Chris Pine, Eric Bana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, and Clifton Collins Jr Star Trek Press ConferenceChris, the scene with the green girl brings down the house, and you’re probably only the second actor in history to have a love scene with a green girl. What was that like? Did the make-up come off on you? Were there accidents?
Chris Pine ('Kirk'): "Were there accidents? It brought the house down, and I don’t think I had anything to do with it. It wasn’t my acting ability. I think it’s because the green girls have a certain place in the Star Trek canon. I remember that day being very long and, yes, that poor girl, Rachel Nichols, was in the make-up chair for two hours getting painted. So there was a lot of green paint on my nose after many a take. It wasn’t as fun as it looked. It was a long day and, yes, the make-up proved to kill any buzz that I might have gotten otherwise."
For Anton and John, have you guys had a chance to meet the original actors that played your roles?
John Cho: "I wrote George a letter after I got the role and asked if we could sit down and have a meal, and he was very, very sweet. I was a little nervous and I told him so, just because he casts a pretty large shadow. He said, 'Hey, John, relax. They’re going to be calling me ‘the old guy who played John Cho’ in a few years, so go forward and be cool.' It put me in the right frame of mind."
Anton Yelchin: "Walter came on set, thankfully, because I was just really worried about meeting him during the actual shooting of the scenes. He came on set once I was done with the majority of them, and he was just very kind and wonderful and, actually, complimentary. It meant a lot to me to meet him and hear what he had to say and what he thought. I was really kind of honored by his presence there."
With this being expected to restart the franchise, how much of the power of the franchise did you feel was on your shoulders?
Eric Bana: "I think the reality is that every time you do a film, as an actor, there’s crazy pressure, and I think that pressure comes from within. It comes from yourself, and taking on external pressure is the biggest creative killer. When I read this script, not only did I want to get involved immediately, but I turned to my wife and I said, 'The crew of the Starship Enterprise have got the coolest roles for coming-out character performances, ever. I hope they cast these roles well because there’s amazing potential in all of these characters.' I cockily thought that I would be the free-est because I was playing a villain who’d never been seen before, and the other guys had all this baggage and weight and pressure. And I was completely wrong. All of the crew of the Starship Enterprise have done the most comprehensive, respectful, re-imagining of characters. I think all of them had the hardest job in Hollywood this year, without a doubt, and they’ve done the most incredible job. By the end of the film I was like, 'That’s it. That’s them.' It’s an amazing thing that they’ve done, that they’ve been able to just brush that pressure off. But the reality is that it’s there on every movie."
We’ve heard that a sequel is already being thought of. Have you talked about it already?
Chris Pine: "I think it’s presumptuous to start talking about future installments before the movie has come out. We’re very excited about this one. I think people will enjoy this, whether they’re fans or non-fans. I know that Bob [Orci] and Alex [Kurtzman], and Damon Lindelof, the producer from Lost and a friend of J.J.’s for a long time, are now attached to write a second one, if there is, in fact, going to be a second one. But, I know that I loved making this and I loved the team behind it, who were my fellow crew mates. So if I were to be asked, I know that I would sign up."
John Cho: "I’m in, yeah. If the opportunity presented itself, yes."
Anton Yelchin: "Yeah. I’m with Chris. We all worked really hard to make this film the best it could be and, hopefully, people appreciate it. And then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Star Trek fans have historically been of a different kind. Are you guys ready for the onslaught of personal attention?
John Cho: "I’m not sure that I’ve really even thought that much about it. I have, in the sense that I’ve decided, 'Let’s be surprised by what comes.' Who knows what it’s really going to be like? They’ve been caricatured so much, it’s hard to know what the experience will be like. My decision has been just to enjoy myself and be surprised, step by step."
Anton Yelchin: "Also, the biggest part of this experience for me was just the characters are so great. I’ve had so much joy playing this character, and that’s been the most important thing to me. Everything else is secondary."
Chris Pine: "I really couldn’t say it better. I’ll cross the bridge when I come to it. It hasn’t happened yet."
Eric, why do you think we love villains so much?
Eric Bana: "I think we only love them when they’re good. Hopefully, Nero is a worthwhile adversary for the crew of the Starship Enterprise. That was all that I was interested in because I realized very early on that this really is a hero’s movie, not a villain’s movie. But you also need the villain to be strong enough to pose a threat. I think we have to be interested in them because it just makes the drama more dramatic and makes the peril more perilous, and so forth. I think we only love them if they’re good and, if they don’t work, they can just be a bit of a thorn. Hopefully, Nero’s not a thorn."