Chris Pine had been a student of mine in a senior English seminar at Berkeley. I have to admit, he was one of my favorite students. In part, this was because he wrote well. In part, it was because he was a complete nut. The last time I had seen Chris, he had run up to me in Aroma cafe in LA, a few days after the end of the semester in May 2002, begging to know his final grade. At the time, I was cupping a latte in one hand and trying to hold a poker face. It lasted about 0.68 seconds.
“Hi Chris,” I took a sip. “It’s nice to see you, too.” I looked around to see if anyone was there to witness me revealing a grade before the official end of the term. The coast looked reasonably clear, and Chris seemed SO eager to hear his grade. I lost the battle and broke out in a grin. “Oh, and I’m pretty sure you got an A.” In an instant, the man who would later be James Tiberius Kirk was jumping up and down, doing a frenetic fist pump and shouting, “Yes! Yes! WHOO HOOO!” at the top of his lungs.
“Sebastian embodies the notion of a hardworking actor. His level of commitment is fantastic. He really finds the greatest level of detail in his performance. It’s the hardest thing to do as an actor, to convey emotion and subtlety without speaking. He has to come up with such a complex inner life. I think when you see him perform the character, you see the complexity in his eyes.” - The Russo Brothers