In addition to the mental demands of playing a character, there were also physical preparations for Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto to complete before they would be ready to step into their roles as Kirk and Spock.
As reported by The Cinema Source, Pine paid attention to the small details of Kirk, so that his portrayal of Kirk would be similar to that of William Shatner. “You watch the show, you know what Kirk does,” he said. “What resonated for me were certain physical things. There’s a way that he holds his body and moves about the deck of the ship that’s very, it’s almost theatrical, you see his kind of theatrical training in his gait and in the way he carries his body, in the way he sits in the chair.” “I just picked up on certain things that I talked to J.J. about,” said Pine. “Then he agreed with me and said ‘how can we chart the growth of my character into what Mr. Shatner had done throughout the course of our movie,’ and that led to certain inclusions, you know.”
Pine found the physical demands of portraying Captain Kirk more difficult. “We learned everything from boxing to Muay Thai boxing to krav maga to self defense to all these different martial arts and disciplines,” he said. “And then, we learned the choreography for the specific fight scenes. It’s been a bumpy road. I just didn’t quite realize that it would be quite as difficult physically demanding shoot as it turned out to be.”
The amount of physical training required was a bit of a challenge for Zachary Quinto too. “Well, there was a group of us that sort of had a Star Trek boot camp for a few months, leading up to shooting,” he said. “[which included] Chris Pine, John Cho, myself, in preparation for some of the physical work that we would do in the movie. So that changed my routine because it was more structured than my own personal physical workout regiment.”
Quinto gave his opinion regarding the surprising romantic relationship between Spock and Uhura. “I think it was one of the boldest re-imaginings of the characters as we known them in the past,” said Quinto. “So I felt that was a risk and the risk pays off on a number of levels because I think it infuses the story with a certain amount of levity and humor between Uhura and Kirk and Kirk and Spock. But between Uhura and Spock, I think it provides a certain kind of depth. And Uhura provides a canvas in a way to which Spock would be able to project the emotions that he would not be able to otherwise express. And that for me, for the journey of this particular story was really valuable.”