Chris Pine was a born leading man, but I get the feeling we’ve only just scratched the surface of his talents. He had few credits to his name before he landed the starring role of Captain Kirk in 2009’s Star Trek, capably filling the seemingly un-fillable shoes of William Shatner. Since then, he’s moved from genre to genre with ease, hitting a high in 2016 with Hell or High Water, which was nominated for Best Picture at 89th Academy Awards.
But Wonder Woman is not about Chris Pine—Wonder Woman is about Wonder Woman. The first solo film for the world’s most iconic female superhero puts that character, and her journey, firmly in the spotlight.
This, of course, doesn’t stop Chris Pine from nearly stealing the show. Pine plays Steve Trevor, a World War I pilot and American spy who crash lands in the homeland of the Amazons, saved from drowning by Diana, Wonder Woman herself. Rather than getting lost in a big budget epic that moves from Greek mythology to trench warfare, Pine shines, bringing wit, humor and warmth, and striking tremendous chemistry with his co-star, Gal Gadot.
“I had a great time. I loved Gal. I loved Patty. I had great fun.”
Pine’s performance is integral to developing the light tone that makes the film so refreshing, and gives a character that could be forgettable the sense of a rich inner life and fully formed personality, while still managing to stay in support of Wonder Woman herself.
Pine may be a born leading man, but he doesn’t think about the roles he takes in terms of where his name is billed.
“I don’t necessarily look at the roles I take from that definition. I think if there’s something fun to play I can play it. If it happens to be second billing it’s second billing. I don’t care so much, as long as I’m having fun. Living the dream.”
Pine is directed by Patty Jenkins, the first woman to direct a studio superhero movie. According to Pine, it was Jenkins’ passion that convinced him to take the film.
“Patty is a pretty incredible human being. When we first met about the part of Steve, she sat across from me and essentially acted out the entire film over the course of a two-hour lunch. She was so specific, so articulate, and so ardent. I would’ve said yes just for Patty alone.”
But while Jenkins helming the film is a milestone for women directors, Pine chooses not to focus on the gender aspect of her success.
“I think by virtue of the question it just shows how far we have to go in the world, you know? She’s a great director who happens to be a woman. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Pine has similarly positive words for his co-star.
“Gal knocked it out of the park. She’s physically perfect for it and she’s got a work ethic like no one I’ve ever met before. She’s a tremendous actress and I was so glad to play opposite her.”
“I felt part of something very special, making this film, which I think is much more than a superhero movie. It’s using the global medium of film and this bold manner of storytelling to depict the actions of this very powerful woman in a violent, male-driven world. She shows my character—who has been a spy, who has seen evil up close and been fully immersed in the morally gray, toxic universe of war—that there is still room for idealism and for an earnest desire to do right by others. It’s a story that resonates and that’s very a propos to today.”