Chris Pine: The New Captain Kirk

Krista Smith, Vanity Fair
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It's been a while since Hollywood had a bona fide homegrown movie star: they tend to come from places like Missouri or Kentucky, not Studio City. But here's Chris Pine, 28 years old, native to "the Valley," and soon to be seen on-screen as the new Captain Kirk in director J. J. Abrams' young-guns reboot of the original "Star Trek."

Pine didn't slip effortlessly into William Shatner's double-knits. "There have been, like, three auditions in my life where I feel like I'm in a 'Saturday Night Live' skit," the actor tells Vanity Fair. One was for 'Avatar'" -- James Cameron's upcoming science-fiction epic -- "which was probably the worst audition I ever gave. Another was for '10,000 bc,' where I was just, like, on my haunches pretending to be in a loincloth in Burbank." Pine laughs. "Then the other one was 'Star Trek.' It was all this jargon talk of torpedoes and photons," which, needless to say, didn't quite trip off the tongue. Fortunately, he got a second chance seven months later and nailed it.

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Pine, who graduated from U.C. Berkeley, comes from two generations of actors: his father, Robert Pine, has 200-odd television shows to his credit; his grandmother is B-movie actress Anne Gwynne, who was often seen in horror films. Chris Pine isn't jaded, but neither is he naive. "I know where I come from and what I want and why I got into [show business]. I know the reality of it. I just hope that I have longevity in my career."

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