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Star Trek Into Darkness – Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto interview

Star Trek Into Darkness

Interview by Rob Carnevale

CHRIS Pine and Zachary Quinto talk about some of the challenges of making Star Trek Into Darkness and what they most like about playing the roles of Captain James T Kirk and Spock, respectively.

Zachary also discusses his own approach to the role when he first landed it and working with Leonard Nimoy, while Chris also talks about keeping one of his favourite props. They were speaking at a UK press conference…

Q. What was the biggest challenge for you of making Star Trek Into Darkness?
Chris Pine: I would say that everything is bigger about this film in terms of spectacle and story. The first film, we got a chance to establish these characters and who they were and paint them in quite primary colours. This story, for each of us, gave us a real chance to explore many different sides of our characters that we didn’t get to do beforehand. So for me it was trying to find, for a character who is so genetically self assured, was trying to find the flip side of that coin, and to find the fragility and vulnerability all at the same time. It was exciting and difficult all at the same time.

Q. And Zachary?
Zachary Quinto: There’s a general kind of challenge for me to playing Spock who is a character who is erroneously assumed to have no emotion and so to cultivate an inner life and convey that there is a deep well of emotion in this characters is a consistent challenge. But I would say shaving my eyebrows. And I’ve got the bangs covered.

Q. What was the first thing you did when found out you were doing Star Trek?
Chris Pine: I don’t remember what I did. But what I do remember is that when I auditioned for JJ I wasn’t all that… I’d auditioned for it and didn’t get it and was then called back and was a little less enthused because my ego was burned. But I do remember going into the room with JJ and it’s the most vulnerable position an actor can be in… going into a room and basically selling your wears and seeing if people like you. But it was such a comfortable room and so much fun. It had been such a long time since an audition had been fun and not terrifying. So, I remember thinking that if an audition could be that much fun, I can’t imagine what making the thing is going to be like. And any kind of trepidation I had about the role or the franchise kind of disappeared completely. And that’s really due to what JJ brings to it… not only is this for the fans, it’s this whole different energy for non-fans alike. It’s for fans of adventure, for action and thriller and romance and all these different kinds of colours that I think just the term science fiction can sometimes alienate people or make them feel alienated from. I was excited by that.

Q. And Zachary?
Zachary Quinto: I reached out to a friend from college who has been in his life to no fewer that 50 star trek conventions. He’s now my business partner actually, so that worked out [laughs]. I asked him to compile for me a booklet of information on the history of Vulcans and the life of Spock and the family tree. And we began to enter into a session of tutorials, which lasted only until the time that it was announced that I was going to play Spock, which was about a month-and-a-half, two months later and that’s when I met Leonard Nimoy and I fired my first tutor for someone who has subsequently become enormously important in my life both personally and creatively. So, he usurped that position.

Q. Was there a prop you kept?
Chris Pine: I would have loved to have kept my script but then on the last day of shooting I found out we had to give our scripts back to maintain secrecy. But I kept a leather jacket that I wore from the first film in the bar scene that I was a big fan of.

Q. And Zachary?
Zachary Quinto: On the first movie, similar to having to hand back our props at the end of the day, we would also cut up the ears that I wore and throw them into the garbage. I felt it was so wasteful. So, on the second movie I asked politely and kindly if I could preserve a couple for my own collection, which I did. So, I have a couple of pairs of ears – in particular, one pair that I wore during the fight scene that we had on the trash barge, which is speckled with green blood [smiles].

Q. What trait do you like about your characters?
Chris Pine: I like Kirk’s underdog-edness. There are many things about Kirk that I like. He’s a fighter and it may not always work out, it may not always be the best choice, but I can appreciate a guy that even when he’s knocked down and exhausted he’s giving it all he’s got.

Zachary Quinto: I value Spock’s compassion, his faith in humanity, his measured expression as well – that he’s not irrational and that ultimately he’s true to himself.

Read our review of Star Trek Into Darkness

Read our interview with Simon Pegg