In a new interview with Chris Pine, the actor spoke about Kirk’s development in this film and what he expects for Kirk in the next film.
Unlike the first film, where fans saw a cocky Kirk, the Kirk in this film has issues.
And as an actor, the difference in the character was something he was eager to explore. “What I was most excited about was that, for someone like who Kirk, for someone who you’d expect to be a strong and confident leader, and who, certainly from the first film had that self-assuredness, in this one I got to explore the flip side of that,” said Pine. “The flip side is self-doubt and fallibility and this kind of existential crisis about whether or not he’s meant for the captain’s chair and whether or not he’s good enough. To begin a film and to carry the hero, or one of the heroes, from such a place of weakness, I thought that was an interesting challenge and one I looked forward.”
John Harrison was an important part of showing Kirk’s flaws and helping the character to develop. “…I knew how important John Harrison was to this story and, at least selfishly, to development of Kirk in this story,” said Pine. “Kirk is unhinged. Kirk is filled with self-doubt. Kirk is the little dog barking all too loudly. And you needed to see that. The only way you could see that, really, is when has his fingers put to the fire. That’s in verbal combat with Benedict’s character. We’re separated in a lot of our scenes by a glass partition, and it just goes to show you how powerful his character is, that he can wield the strings like a puppet master over poor Jim Kirk with nothing but a batting of the eye and the inflection of a word.”
What would Pine like to see for Kirk in a third Star Trek film? “I’d like to see Kirk, whatever direction he goes in, still growing,” said Pine. “I know that’s probably anathema to what fans want to see from their beloved Captain Kirk, but I don’t think he’s quite there yet. So I want to see him still growing.”