Chris Pine: The Thinker

5.6.2013

By Shana Naomi Krochmal

Is Chris Pine too smart for his own good? Or just ours?

Pine doesn’t flinch away from talking about himself as a movie star, even if it’s with the same serious, analytical tone. (“I liked the Avedonian vibe,” he says of Out’s cover shoot, “how it becomes purely about the architecture of the shot.”)

And a modern male movie star has to take care of his body, or at least pay someone to badger him into yoga or boxing or basically anything that doesn’t require being stuck in a gym. Tennis -- especially outside -- where he can work up a good sweat while catching up with old friends, is acceptable. “It’s strictly for vanity,” he admits, laughing. “I need accountability. I need to know that I will lose out on money if I don’t show up. Otherwise, I’ll be chain smoking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. I wish I had the fucking willpower.”

He’s just off a three-week green juice regimen, his first-ever cleanse, and though he liked how good it made him feel, he is chagrined at one lingering effect: “I can’t eat pasta like I used to, even, like, a month ago. It’s too much. And nothing beats a good bottle of red wine and some Italian food.”

He confirms, despite a long list of actresses and models and reality stars he’s been linked to in the past, that he’s currently a bachelor. “It’s really hard in our business to maintain something,” he says. “For me, right now, it’d be really hard.” But it’s a sunny day, and he’s a movie star. It can’t be that hard. “Well, I’m a 32-year-old man,” he says, and half-covers a not-so-bashful grin with his hand. “I feel like it’s always springtime.”

For a guy who studied English mostly because he liked reading -- “I tried philosophy, but it was too restrictive” -- these days he doesn’t get to dig into a book all that often. He’s hesitant to admit the last novel he remembers finishing is Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize–winning A Visit From the Goon Squad -- his back-cover blurb: “Blew my mind -- the melancholy of time passing, of regret, of moments lost” -- and has been trying to find time to concentrate on Water Music by T.C. Boyle. (“His imagination is stunning, and his command of language is -- I’m just circling words.”)

Mostly, that four-year degree contributed to a kind of critical speed-read technique. “I think I’ve read 20 scripts in the last two and a half weeks,” he says. “Those tools are indispensable, all those little micro-muscles in your brain that are just trained to see certain things. All you do all day is read, break down story, structure, character, and technique.”

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Pine has found a formidable foil and word-sparring partner in crime in Trek costar (and fellow Out cover boy) Zachary Quinto. In modern movie tradition, the two spend arguably as much time sitting side by side at press junkets as they do on set. There is even one YouTube clip cut together to highlight a lengthy war of vocabulary one-upsmanship between them. (“The rivalry that we have in life is really rooted to the mastery of the English language,” Quinto jokes in the video.)

Kirk and Spock occupy a high throne in postmodern media studies, the academic form of super-meta criticism that came into fashion just after Pine’s college days. Their epic, devoted relationship inspired the earliest examples of fan fiction, collected in Xeroxed zines and distributed at sci-fi conventions. This pre-dated the Internet, decades before homoeroticism became a part of queer film theory. Eventually bromance entered the mainstream lexicon as a way to describe the intense connection between two male characters.

SLIDESHOW: EXCLUSIVE SHOTS Of CHRIS PINE for OUT

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