Posted on March 01, 2023


DON’T WORRY DARLING: We have the truth about SpitGate from the man himself, Chris Pine, ESQUIRE’s March cover star. In addition to SpitGate, Pine has more to say. Hollywood tried to turn him into a heartthrob, but while everyone was taking him for granted as the likable dude with the thousand-watt smile in franchise fare, Chris Pine was figuring out just what kind of actor—and man—he really wanted to be. Twenty years into his career, at his home, high up in the hills of Los Angeles, Pine ponders the next twenty. 






On whether there was drama on the set of Don’t Worry Darling: “I absolutely didn’t know about it, nor really would I have cared. If I feel badly, it’s because the vitriol that the movie got was absolutely out of proportion with what was onscreen. Venice was normal things getting swept up in a narrative that people wanted to make, compounded by the metastasizing that can happen in the Twittersphere. It was ridiculous.”

On the memes of his face people created after the Venice press conference for Don’t Worry Darling: “All the memes I saw about my face in Venice made me f*cking laugh…Sometimes the question’s not that interesting, and you just f*cking zone out, and you’re looking at a ceiling because it’s really pretty.”

On how he thinks the industry perceives him: “We’re in a business of perception, and I’m reminded often that the way that I know and experience myself and perceive myself is oftentimes wholly different than how the industry does, or artists and creators that I’m interested in working with. They think my interestingness only goes so far, I guess.”

On being the comic relief: “I’m willfully emasculating myself, because I just don’t give a sh*t. If it makes me laugh, it makes me laugh. I love looking like a fool. Kirk’s like that, too. In [Star Trek], he’s James Dean, and then he walks in to meet Bones and he hits his head. I want to be able to show that you can be cool and masculine without having it be a p*ssing contest all the time. And if you’re p*ssing, sometimes you p*ss on your foot and you can look like a f*cking idiot.”

On his long-bearded phase circa March 2022: “That guy. Gregg Allman meets someone that just came from a Bob Evans late-night slumber party. I was definitely feeling myself there.”

On whether there will be another Star Trek movie: “I don’t know anything. In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors…I would say it’s frustrating. It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created—I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”

On embodying the “earnest hero” persona: “It’s been mapped onto me since I was twenty-one, twenty-two years old. For a long time, you just embody it, until you’ve been in the business long enough and things start to shift. For a long time, I felt like the clothes were wearing me, but I was a good enough mimic to pull it off. Then you start kind of molding these characters to you, and people start seeing what you’re doing, and maybe even shifting the archetypes to really fit who you are.”


“The Natural” by Alex Pappademas is on Esquire.com now and in the new March issue, available everywhere by March 7.


[Photo Credit: Mark Seliger for Esquire Magazine]

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