Chris Pine admits to not needing to try as hard come Star Trek Beyond

Chris Pine really came into his own by the time Star Trek: Beyond rolled around.
Star Trek Beyond Asia Tour - Guangzhou Red Carpet & Fan Screening
Star Trek Beyond Asia Tour - Guangzhou Red Carpet & Fan Screening / Emmanuel Wong/GettyImages

Chris Pine really made waves in 2009 when he took over the iconic role of James T. Kirk, essentially replacing William Shatner in the 2009 reboot of the franchise that Shatner made famous. Pine has been a good choice for the role, really highlighting how much he enjoys playing the character and acting with the current cast around him.

Arguably that's the biggest difference, Pine has no outstanding issues (that we're aware of) with his cast members. Something we can't say for Shatner. Yet, despite how the casts have taken to each version of Kirk, each version of the iconic character seems to share similarities with one another that help branch the divide between their respective eras.

In fact, Pine intended that to be the case, telling Business Insider that he intentionally did some things in the 2009 film that harkened back to Shatner's Kirk, though he didn't elaborate on what. He told the outlet that as the series went on, he felt more and more comfortable in the role, to the point that by Beyond, he didn't need to try as hard, saying;

"It's interesting. Karl Urban decided to go head first into McCoy because Karl loved "Star Trek." With Spock, you have to do Spock-like things, plus Zach [Quinto] kind of looked like Leonard [Nimoy]. And then Kirk is a tricky one. You are the lead of the band of characters, so you don't want to occupy too much space. It's fine if they are doing a thing, but you don't want to. And J.J. [Abrams] never asked me to do a thing, though I did do little nods to Shatner because it was fun.

But I would say I felt most in his shoes in the third movie. By that point, I think I mellowed into it and didn't feel like I was trying too hard."

Pine has been widely accepted as a good version of Kirk, though we'd hazard a guess that he isn't nearing anywhere close to that of Shatner's turn. While fans debate about which Batman or Superman is better than the other, (and even Spock), there is no debate. Despite Pine arguably being a better actor than Shatner, Shatner's Kirk is still the standard bearer.

It's why Pine tried to emulate his version, because it worked.

We're hopeful Pine gets to have a shot at the long-gestating fourth film, as we'd like to see what the crew can do with another original plot.