Chris Pine brings on the charm 0
Chris Pine (AFP photo)
According to the IMDB website, actor Chris Pine is known for his sparkling blue eyes and for often playing, "Charming and likeable characters."
Pine, 31, plays an emotionally damaged survivor in People Like Us, a film about family, identity and redemption opening in theatres on Friday. He's a hustler named Sam who discovers, upon his estranged father's death, that he has a half-sister (Elizabeth Banks) he knows nothing about. The film is all about Sam's journey to connect with this woman, even as he must face the truth about his own parents and about the life he's made for himself. If you've seen Pine being funny in This Means War or boldly going in Star Trek, this new film may surprise you. In a good way.
Over the phone from Los Angeles, Pine says that People Like Us is the story of flawed characters, and that's "100%" why he was interested in his character.
"It's always more interesting to play a character who goes from A to Z," he says, "and if Sam doesn't get to Z, at least he's trying desperately to get there."
Pine says he felt protective of Sam, who is slick and fast and has what the actor calls "almost-addict" energy. "You know, this is a man who, when his girlfriend tells him his father has passed away, he says, 'What's for dinner?' You get a sense of a guy who's incapable of connecting to his emotions. Beneath the veneer, he's incredibly hurt and hiding this sense of abandonment. That character we see in the beginning, I like how different he is from the Sam we see at the end."
Pine was born in L.A. and studied English literature at the University of California (Berkeley). He also studied acting at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. His early work was in various TV series, and his feature film debut came in 2004 with The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. His other films include Just My Luck, opposite Lindsay Lohan, Unstoppable, in which he co-starred with Denzel Washington, Smokin' Aces, Small Town Saturday Night and Bottle Shock. Pine has worked steadily for about a decade; he became a fixture in the moviegoers' consciousness with Star Trek in 2009.
He's often asked about the Star Trek sequel coming up next year. Pine describes the action film as, "A small, character-driven movie," and he's not joking. He said in a recent interview that without the character-driven drama and the consequent emotional connection, "You can blow up anything you want and no one cares. People like good stories. They don't always care if there are big explosions."
(Of course, he has also confirmed that the Star Trek sequel will involve explosions and set pieces that will, "Knock people out of their seats.")
In the near future, Pine will voice Jack Frost in the animated movie Rise of The Guardians, and star in Mantivities, an indie comedy he co-wrote.
As a third-generation actor, Pine says it was "probably inevitable" that he joined the industry. Still, he didn't really jump into acting until college. Acting, he says, "appeals to different aspects of my being, and different interests of mine. From an intellectual standpoint, I love reading and breaking down stories, and I found performing to be a huge thrill, so I love that. And I kind of love the challenge.
"I think oftentimes acting is the good, complete marriage of body and mind. It takes a fair amount of intellect to break down a piece of material, but then it takes an incredible opening of the body and heart and all that, to really get at the meat of the material. So I guess that's the hunt."