According to J.J. Abrams
, without a big "movie star," a lot was riding on Chris Pine
and Zachary Quinto
to make Star Trek XI
a success and they rose to the challenge.
As reported by Sky Movies, Abrams talked about casting the roles of Kirk and Spock and one of the casting decisions was a piece of cake. "...The hardest part, I think, was Kirk, because with Spock we were lucky to meet Zachary Quinto fairly early on and he was clearly born to be Spock," said Abrams. "...Kirk was the hardest one for real. Because William Shatner brought a number of things to that role. He was incredibly cocky. He was incredibly smart. His wit was sharp. You could always see it. He had a great sense of humor. He was everything in this package. He didn't have anything to hide behind, no masks or pointy ears or crazy hair. It was all about his attitude. It was all about his presentation."
Abrams wanted the actors to do their own takes on the characters, not imitate the original actors. "Finding someone who would come in and be simultaneously brand new and also familiar was really challenging and Chris Pine came in and he was like finding a movie star that is unknown. He had this incredible confidence, and yet he wasn't obnoxious. He was great looking, but not 'Oh come on, give me a break.' He just had all of these. He is so smart, as an actor and a guy. He asks great questions. He was wonderful collaborator."
Unlike another Abrams film, there wasn't a big movie star to carry the movie, but Pine and Quinto were up to the challenge. "...This was sizable movie without a movie star," said Abrams. "And so a lot was riding on Chris and Zach's shoulders to help make this thing work and they just brought their 'A game.'"
To hear more, including Abrams thoughts on the world of Star Trek and the challenges of making the film, head to the link located here.