Chris Pine

Now that he’s Captain James T. Kirk in the rebooted “Star Trek,” Chris Pine has seen his previously low-key career undergo the kind of dramatic breakthrough possible only in Hollywood.

ShoWest exhibitors are believers in the actor, who have named him ShoWest Male Star of Tomorrow. But Pine isn’t convinced — at least not yet.

“It’s flattering but incredibly daunting and a little bit perplexing when you’ve heard people say what a great job you’ve apparently done,” says Pine, noting that “Star Trek” doesn’t come out until May 8. “It remains to be seen.”

Surprising as it sounds, this 28-year-old son of actors initially wasn’t sure about stepping into Kirk’s uniform.

He was also offered a role in the Joe Carnahan-directed “White Jazz” at the same time “Trek” came his way. “It was not a no-brainer,” he says. “This wild, sociopathic, obsessive-compulsive, latently homosexual, angry young man sounded like a blast. It was just a fun-fun-fun character role. Then I had Jim Kirk, more of the Harrison Ford versus the Gary Oldman role. My natural inclination is to do the character piece.”

It was his sister who “turned the tables” when she asked, “Is there a way to look at it that Kirk is the more challenging role?”

That made Pine, best known until now for romancing Anne Hathaway in “Princess Diaries 2,” think again about taking the “Star Trek” job.

He cites “that adage of whatever scares you more is the right choice” as what helped him make up his mind. “It’s easier to put on a ton of makeup and strange clothes; you’re hiding yourself. (Instead) it’s me as James Kirk. In order for James Kirk to sell, I have to sell me.”

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