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May 14, 2009

This Is Your Captain Speaking
To the outrage of William Shatner devotees everywhere, the role of Captain Kirk in the new
Star Trek went to Chris Pine—an unproven 28-year-old from L.A.—who didn’t know a Vulcan from a Venezuelan. When it comes to his breakthrough role, we don’t know whether to congratulate him or send our sympathies

You play Captain James T. Kirk. Any razzing from old friends of late?
It’s pretty fucking inescapable. I play basketball with a bunch of guys at 9:30 a.m. and
it’s like, “Yo, wussup,
Captain Kirk!” I don’t have a smart comeback yet.

You weren’t much of a Trekkie, we hear.

I was a Star Wars kid. The kitsch factor in the original Star Trek series is high, but the show manages to take on these huge questions about race, sex, and war. I have a great appreciation for what Mr. Shatner did with the part. There’s a gravity
to it, but he’s having fun.

Surely tiptoeing around the rabid fan base—calling him “Mr. Shatner” and all that—must get old?
The amount of dissection of the minutiae of this movie…I was blown away by the protectiveness. I’m definitely guilty of looking at the blogs, and I’m not a fan of the anonymity [of the Internet], how it allows people to just spew poisonous vitriol like vomit.

You seem interested in playing a diverse range of roles. Are you worried you’ll forever be typecast because of your looks?
I did a movie called Smokin’ Aces, and the casting director didn’t want to
see me for the role of a neo-Nazi hit man. But it didn’t bum me out. I had to prove I could do it.

What was the state of the Lindsay Lohan circus when you starred opposite her in Just My Luck [in 2006]?
She was making a lot of money and attracting
a lot of attention from the paparazzi. It put in stark relief that I don’t want that kind of life.

Isn’t Star Trek bringing it anyway?
Maybe. But I’m not gonna hunt it out. I won’t tell my publicist I’m going to Starbucks in twenty minutes and to call the photographers.


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