Chris Pine: The next action hero

With Bottle Shock, Chris Pine has arrived in Hollywood. But it's his take on Captain Kirk that will make him a star, says Kaleem Aftab

This summer, Chris Pine is being asked to boldly go where no man has gone before, or perhaps should ever even dare to go: the 28-year-old has been given the astronomical task of filling William Shatner's space boots in Lost creator J J Abrams' reworking of Star Trek. Chris Pine plays Captain James T Kirk and as with most remakes, the world expects Pine to pale by comparison.

The role is the equivalent of a warp drive for the Los Angeles-born actor. His biggest parts to date have been playing Lindsay Lohan's love interest in the 2006 romantic comedy Just My Luck and starring as Bill Pullman's errant son in the current film Bottle Shock, based on the true story of a blind wine-tasting between Californian and French wines in 1976 in which the American vintages had the audacity to win.

When I speak to Pine, he is drinking coffee. He admits, "I don't really know too much about [wine], but I learnt some stuff making that movie that I quickly forgot. However, I do know the wine I like. When I was in New Mexico, I was introduced to Italian wines, the Barolos, the Brunellos and the Amarones, but I couldn't name a specific year. The Amarone is a sweet wine and I'm not much of a fan, but I had a couple I really enjoyed and it reminded me of port a lot."

When I jest that he recognises that European wine is actually better than American, Pine retorts: "If you want to fight we can."

Pine is not a man you'd pick a fight with. Standing just over 6ft tall, he has lines stacked like building blocks on his abdomen. He's every inch the action hero with more than a hint of his parents, veteran actors Robert Pine and Gwynne Gilford, about him.

Indeed, there are a couple of scenes in Bottle Shock where Pine's character Jim can be seen in a boxing ring playfully sparing with his winemaking father Bo. It was this relationship that attracted Pine to the story: "I think the story about the wine and the competition is interesting but what really attracted me was the father and son relationship. This film is about a son who wants his father to love him and tell him he has done a good job. Instead, you have this dynamic at the beginning of the film where the dad thinks his son is kind of worthless, there is this whole back story about the broken family and why Jim is so broken."

When Pine decided to follow in the footsteps of his parents, they were quick to point out that life in the business can be a long hard road. Pine recalls: "My mother gave me the talk about how it's not all wine and roses. I knew that, of course, because I grew up in an acting family and I saw my dad through good years and bad years. So I knew that it wasn't all going to be great."

A lack of funds meant the actor could not come to live in London when he won a place at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. It was just after he had finished studying English at Berkeley in California and on the spur of the moment he applied.

When they accepted his application, Pine faced a major dilemma: "I didn't have enough money and I didn't know if I wanted to go into that much debt as paying for it was going to have to come out of my own pocket. So I figured I'd just let my ego take a pat on the back with the knowledge that I got in and just try to break into the industry another way".

It didn't take long for Pine to make an impression. After a couple of appearances on popular TV shows, ER and CSI: Miami, he landed the part of Anne Hathaway's regal love interest in The Princess Diaries 2. His granite jaw makes him prime material for girl's bedroom walls, but Pine saw these teen romance roles as a necessary part of his schooling rather than a sign that he'd made it. Watching the struggles his parents went though have made Pine humble and wary of his own success. At times, he is like a veteran who has had a roller-coaster career rather than one straight to the stars.

"I've been blessed. There is no correlation between hard work and success in acting. I had a conversation with J J Abrams and he said something that resonated with me, 'if it were to be taken away tomorrow, you want to know that every second you did what you loved and wanted to do.' That is the truth, it can so easily be taken away."

The actor found himself in another huge conundrum when he was originally offered the part of Capt Kirk. At the time, director Joe Carnahan, who directed Pine in Smokin' Aces, had also offered him a chance to play opposite George Clooney in an adaptation of James Elroy's novel, White Jazz. It was Carnahan rather than Abrams who helped convince the actor to choose Star Trek. "Joe is a friend first," says Pine. "We had many raps about the pros and cons of taking Star Trek and he always approached it as a friend and not a businessman. Then someone said to me: 'In five years looking back would you regret the decision of not taking Star Trek?' and I said, 'Probably', I never want to be wondering what if."

Pine was also concerned that he would be overwhelmed by the sheer size of working on a $150m (£102m) movie employing extensive work in front of a green screen to animate backgrounds. However, Abrams calmed the actor's nerves by telling him that although Star Trek would be primarily an action film, he'd approach it with the same attention to character that he displayed when making breakout hit Cloverfield.

Naturally, the biggest fear Pine had was stepping into an iconic role that has always been associated with William Shatner. But Pine has a novel way of dealing with updating Star Trek. He's not going to model his Kirk on Shatner and has instead looked to Harrison Ford's turns in Indiana Jones and Star Wars for inspiration. "What Harrison is so great at is bringing that quality to his character that if he could be anywhere else in the world at that time, he would be," chirps Pine. "He is just stuck in the middle and has to deal with it. I've always loved that quality about him in Star Wars, that absolutely grumpy manner, the accidental hero. I want to bring that kind of humour to Kirk."

The proof that Pine made the right choice in ditching White Jazz came with the news that when Clooney left the project, it was pulled. And now Pine gets his cake and eats it. He's now working with Carnahan again, in Killing Pablo, an adaptation of Mark Bowden's book on the assassination of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. It appears that Pine has some lucky lotion that he bathes in every morning.

'Bottle Shock' is at cinemas now. 'Star Trek' is out in the UK on 8 May

Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf