Chris Pine: The Thinker


By Shana Naomi Krochmal

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

“I certainly don’t want to take away from what I hope is my talent, either,” he says. “You just hold on as desperately as you can to who you are, and show faults and flaws. I think audiences really respond to humanity -- and by that I mean all the great things and all the really shitty things. The more vulnerability you can show, the more flaws you can truthfully inhabit -- that’s what I think is responsible for grabbing a person’s interest.”

As we finish our iced coffees, Pine wants to revisit his thesis on the Homogenization of Male Movie Stars.

“In the late ’60s and early ’70s, you had John Cazale, you had Pacino, DeNiro, Hoffman, Voight, Elliott Gould,” he says. “Look at Gene Hackman. Look at all those pictures on a wall; they could not be any more different from one another, and they were all major stars. They could not have been more different in terms of aesthetic, in terms of energy, talent -- all of it. And now…”

He laughs, kind of, as he names the men hanging on today’s wall: Ryan Gosling. Chris Hemsworth. Chris Evans. Oh, and Chris Pine. “I am part of the white, brown-haired, blue-eyed population,” he says. “We’ve been given a great opportunity, but in order to carve out our niche, we’ll have to do a good job of differentiating ourselves. I’m not taking away from anybody’s talent, but if you look at that other generation, I think there was much more disparity.”

Quinto, who emphatically calls Pine’s range “phenomenal,” says Pine’s priorities are clear. “I don’t know what those [other] actors want,” he says. “I can only speak to the man that I know, and I know Chris first and foremost cares about digging deeper within himself, about being a good person. At the end of the day, you have to unplug from that comparison game, because it will absolutely drain you.”

There’s a brief, quiet lull right now in Pine’s life, with two huge films ready to be released. “I’m looking for a gig, I guess,” he says, a little weary. “Waiting to get hired.”

He’d happily do theater, another indie project, or basically anything that keeps him thinking, which may account in part for why this A-list actor has yet to find an eligible suitor for his next dance. He wanted to be in Ryan Murphy’s HBO adaptation of The Normal Heart, but the schedule didn’t work. “I would have done that in a fucking heartbeat,” he says. “Right now I just want to play good roles, and if the role happens to be a gay man, that’s not of any import other than is it a good story? Does it say something that’s interesting?”

It’s not hard for him to imagine a time -- maybe soon, maybe five years from now -- when a big, smart action movie also (finally) goes gay. “All it really takes is the fact that the man isn’t going home to his wife, but has a boyfriend at home,” he says. “I think it would be a wonderful thing to see.”



Tags: Movies