Going back through the transcript I realized that a lot of this didn’t end up making the cut of the print piece, in part because I knew he would be asked similar questions over and over and over in the junkets leading up to the premiere. But it was still great to hear him talk in such smart, big idea terms about Kirk.
CHRIS PINE ON JIM KIRK IN THE 2009 FILM: He’s young. He’s impulsive. He trusts his gut. He listens to his heart. He follows his passions, whichever way they throw him. He’s a man of the flesh, I think—his mind goes along with whatever his beating heart is telling him to move toward. That was a lot of fun to play in the first movie—the guy in the bar who’s drunk and hits on a woman and gets in a fight. That kind of microcosm—that’s the man.
ON WHAT’S CHANGED FOR CAPTAIN KIRK: Coming into the second film, I don’t know how self-aware Jim Kirk is of his own faults. I think he leads with his bravado and thinks he’s just that—just brawn and strength and courage and decisiveness. Jon Harrison, our bad guy, it’s like he puts up a huge mirror and Kirk finally has to slow down for a minute and look at all that he thinks are his strengths. I think he sees in those strengths a lot of cracks in his armor. He’s brought to his knees, and becomes very vulnerable, very, very insecure and questioning. It’s like he has a mini-—not a mini, a major existential crisis in the midst of a major, world-ending crisis. I don’t know if that’s a sign of masculinity or that’s a sign of being human, of what it means to be human. Being human is being questioning and introspective, I think.
ON PLAYING A CHARACTER WHO HELPED CREATE THE MODERN BROMANCE: I never thought about it that way. I always thought about it more like it was a dialectic of a human being. One couldn’t be more logic and reason—that’s his genetic coding. And the other was more impulsive, following his passion, his fists. That was how it was a functional relationship. You have Spock as the cold reason, you had the passion of Jim Kirk, and then you had the ironic sarcasm of McCoy, which gave the whole thing levity. That dynamic was beautiful.
ON WHY KIRK NEEDS SPOCK: The relationship [with Spock] is the core of what Kirk goes through. It’s substantial, and the arc and the trajectory of his journey is huge, almost Greek. But you can’t talk about Kirk without talking about Spock, and it’s through his relationship with Spock that he learns the greatest lessons, about loving someone to the point of being able to do away with all rules and regulations and the constraints in order to save, protect and do justice to your friend.