Star Trek Beyond: Interview with Star Chris Pine

First Star Trek

star_trek_beyond_posterChris Pine: I first saw the TV show with my grandmother when I was growing up.  She was a huge Shatner fan and she watched when she babysat me.  She watched TJ Hooker and all sorts of Shatner things and that was the first time I saw that.

The first time I saw a film was the Wrath of Khan, somewhere about the time that I started our first film, and I wasn’t a fan growing up, but I think if anything there’s a lot more to look as an adult exploring this franchise because there are a lot of complicated issues being dealt with it and I think actually we see in our films and especially the second, which I think really, when I think about it, it was such balls to, I mean we really tried to do a lot on that second film and I am not sure if we knocked them all out of the park, but we certainly tried.  It’s a lot about difficult things. And that second one was about revenge, and the idea of needing to seek revenge, and eye for an eye mentality, and this film is again about strength and unity and about family and I think the journey of Kirk in this one is something that I have never played before which is not really, I usually have a very clear, I am very active and am pursuant with something and this is a kind of more existentially lost Kirk, he’s a lot quieter and it’s not all about him and this is certainly not the Kirk show which I appreciated.  So the bandwidth, the emotional bandwidth for this one was a lot bigger.

50th Anniversary of Franchise–Perspective

Chris Pine:  Simon and Doug and Jess were very interested in exploring this idea of Federation and the foundation of, the series in many ways is the idea of this strength and unity and working together to achieve great things and this one really explores the idea of is the Federation worth it, and should we work together and are bad guys snot and we think yes, and I loved the simplicity of that story and that antagonist and I think especially as we see what is happening in the world right now, as usual Star Trek amidst and amongst all of the explosions and all of the entertainment, what it does is social commentary better than any entertainment franchise and that’s what we are talking about.  And with people wanting to build walls and with Brexit and extreme right wing Nationalism seemingly everywhere that it’s good to promote this idea of unity and it’s never a bad thing to talk about.

Barbra Streisand

CP:  I was not in the recording booth with Barbara Streisand, I was somewhere in London and she was I’m sure in Malibu.  But it’s great fun.  To think to think that a turn in a film I did three years ago has led me to a place where I am working with and when I told my parents they flipped out.  We talked and she was very interested to see what I wanted to sing or hear about what I wanted and I said you can give me anything, I am just happy to be included.  And I had a great time, I haven’t heard it yet, I hope it works out.


star_trek_beyond_16_pineCP: I think film is collaborative at its core, and what JJ did so well years ago was hire a good team.  And we worked well.  And no one carries the film more than anyone else, it’s a combination of people with many different strengths and I am happy and proud of that.  And in terms of Jack Ryan, who knows?  I wish it would have worked, but apparently it didn’t, and it’s amazing ten years on, nearly ten years on, we are still doing it and still enjoying it and finding new things to do to talk about and new comedy to explore, new relationships to explore and I hope it goes on.

Standalone Versus Franchise:

CP: I think there is plenty in this to go on, whether it be the action or the banter between the characters.  We have a fervent and rabid and invested fan base and a fan base that has allowed us, I say us, I mean every different part of the franchise to be allowed to exist for 50 years and still be relevant, and that is important and it’s important to play to that audience.  And it’s also very important to for the future as anything, to invite new people into the fold and I think we do that rather well and I think the choice of having a new writing team behind it and a new director behind it with Justin, who has clearly had such global, commercial success with The Fast and Furious franchise, I think it was intelligent of the powers that be to have that new force in it.  So I don’t know, I disagree, I think there is plenty there for the fans, more than plenty, and I think there is certainly some excitement for new people.  In fact we heard going around the globe in the past nine days that people said exactly that, had they not been fans before, they were really excited by this new iteration.


Justin and the Newbies

CP: There was no test for the newbies, we don’t do that, we just try to have a good time.  Sofia and Idris fit in so smoothly.  The fact of the matter is that the film came together really quickly this past year and this is like a $150 million film and for anybody to come in and with not that much time to prep a film, that is really, really hard.  It’s hard on any film, but especially hard on a film like this.  And Justin, that’s his par for the course for what he does, he’s been doing this for a long time with these kind of films that work this way.  And so he was a general, he came in, he was decisive, he made decisions and he made everybody feel like they were on the same page and that is what a director has to do, above and beyond being a storyteller and all of that.  And he also, having come from Sundance’s first film, he has a really great sense of the smaller story and then having come from the Fast films, he has a great sense of the macro, bigger, action, kinetic pack story, so that marriage of the two made him a perfect fit for it I think.

Anton Yelchin

CP: As you can imagine, it’s been a very difficult, nearly a month or two or three weeks, probably less than a month.  It’s hard to talk about, hard to encapsulate someone’s life in some sort of sound bite or tidbit, and I will say this, it was very nice when it happened and we were able to be together and people came from all over the globe.  And we hung out at my house for a lot of it and people stayed at my house and it was just nice to have the family around to help deal with a loss like this and experience mourning at such an intense level, was really my kind of introduction to losing someone very close.  So it was nice to be supported.  And Anton, he was a very special, unique creature and it’s such a shame, as it always is when people pass.  But he was a real artist and a creative fearless artist.  He was a musician and he was going to direct his first film and he was a writer and a musician and a photographer and he was just exploding out of every pore in all directions and I would have been fascinated to see what this mind could have done.

Last Scene:

CP: We shot that in Dubai, and we were on wires, they just pull us on wires.  And then there’s green screen in the background and the structure was built there and then a whole bunch of people crossed the globe and were microscoppingly working on every single frame to make it look like it’s anti-gravity. But it’s not.  It was just great wirework done by our stunt team, led by Mike Gunther.

Kirk and the Other Characters

CP: What I mentioned before was that Kirk was just a lot quieter, and the film was not really predicated on his arc necessarily because there was so much other wonderful stuff happening and I thought high time about it.  For instance, my favorite part of the whole film is probably when Urban’s Bones McCoy and Spock, I thought what they had was the most fun in the film.  But I really like that scene at the bar with Carl and it’s only two pages, but there was a lot of rich stuff in there about a guy that was still sad about his father and really lost himself and this being a Starship Captain was something that he wanted to do and that’s finding new impetus as you get older and a new drive, a new reason for being resonated deeply with me.  So that was very nice.

Personal Traveling

CP: This has been the fastest tour, the one that went all over the place, the second one a little bit less and the third week even less.  We just hit Sydney, London and LA.  Sydney this time around wasn’t so much, I think we were all kind of getting our bearings just figuring out how to deal with doing Press with Anton’s passing and it just felt very off-kilter.  So it didn’t really matter that we were in Sydney.  But I have toured Sydney before by helicopter and I am a bit of a foodie so I always make sure that we have great places to go out to eat.  London I have basically lived in for the past year and a half of my life, so I know London pretty well, but I went to a great new restaurant this time that I hadn’t been to.  Traveling, I enjoy cars, so I have a couple of really nice cars and I love to drive them when I am in LA.  And especially when you are on such jetlag, what I enjoy is, like today, I woke up at three in the morning and got in my car and went around and drove for a couple of hours and then got coffee and that is my favorite time in LA, is that time before it becomes a cluster fuck of traffic and you can feel like you really own the road and that and coffee and silence is pretty fantastic.


CP: My favorite museum in the world right now is the British Museum and we would just, it was right near one of my favorite coffee shops.  And so on days off when I was making Wonder Woman I get a coffee and just pop in for 30 minutes, so all you have to do is pop in for 30 minutes, two, three times a week at the British Museum and I mean it was so much fun.  You get the Egyptians and you have the Syrians and the Phoenicians, and you have every culture that has ever existed on Planet Earth and you can just get a little tidbit of what they were about and we just spent hours, hours and it’s such a remarkable museum.

Telescope as Wrap Up Gift

CP: Our wrap gifts for Star Trek was Justin got us a telescope, and so I put the telescope out on my balcony and I have never been a big telescope kid because I am not a mechanical guy so it’s like putting shit together just drives me crazy.  But I diligently put this thing together like some sort of IKEA bookcase and a lot more successful than I have been the past.  And I looked at the moon and it’s extraordinary and all you have to do and what is so much fun about space is the moment that things become overwhelming here, you realize that, you have heard it before, but we are just so small.  We are so little.  And to think that there are these planetary bodies existing so far away with histories all their own that we have no idea about, the fact that on planet Earth even, the timeline of human existence is changing all the time because we always think we know what the hell is going on but we don’t, we just create a narrative to fill in the gaps.  And just mystery I guess, just awesome, awe-inspiring mystery, because we don’t know and we are such babies on the planet and it would be nice to hopefully pop in if we exist 100 thousand years from now to see what the hell is going on.

Diversity of Roles

CP: I like doing a whole lot of different things.  “Into the Woods” I got to overact and kind of got to play being a poor actor which was a lot of fun.  “Horrible Bosses” I got to be a jackass and do comedy and improv and I hadn’t done that much before.  And “Hell or High Water” was for me about not doing much of anything and trying to be as quiet and still as possible.  As an actor and artist you like playing different colors and so I like to have the chance of doing many different things.

Making Big Movies

CP: Big films are just really big and there are a lot of people.  You are moving fast, probably not as fast as a small independent film, but it’s usually the same anxiety. You want to do a good job and you hope the script is good and you never seemingly have enough time.  It was hard going from the Star Trek world, where I just know everybody so well and like we are a family and we work really, really well together to someplace, like anything, you don’t know anybody.  But I loved Patty and I loved Gal from my first meeting and it was a great group and again, she did a great job of casting good people, because more than anything, you spend a lot of time away from your family, away from home, and you just hope the time you are spending with people are people that you dig, and I really like both of them.  The attention to detail that Patty gave is just absolutely exquisite and craftsmanship across the board is just on par with anything that I have ever done before.  And I think it’s a simple story told really well and I play an American spy that is spying on the Germans in World War I, and I have seen the horrors of war and I don’t have much hope for mankind and what we are capable of, because I have seen such awful stuff, whereas Diana really has a lot of hope for humanity because she is this newbie to the planet really.  So I think we learn a little bit about one another that way and that is how we grow as people and that is the importance of that relationship, is that I learn a little about what it really means to live in the world right now and I learned from her a little bit more about hope and investing and humanity is something that is good and not inherently awful.

Wonder Woman

CP: I had a very simple job, fall in love with Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman.  So as you can imagine, it’s not all that difficult.

Dreams as a Boy

CPP: I wanted to be Maverick in “Top Gun,” or Don Mattingly, who is a famous baseball player.  Those were my two dreams.