It can’t be easy playing sidekick to the comic book universe’s most stunning and powerful icon, Wonder Woman. Yet Chris Pine pulls it off with great aplomb in Wonder Woman 1984.

One of the many reasons to check out sequel Wonder Woman 1984 is surely to admire Chris Pine’s hysterical ‘80s costume change montage.

When STACK speaks with the actor, he’s had plenty of time to consider his place in this surprising role reversal.

“The second banana is a nice talking point but, really, what it highlighted for me is what it must be like for a woman, to go into things where you have a part in the film, but you’re playing the girlfriend. And there are scenes in this where I would be like, ‘What the f–k am I doing in this scene?’ So, it was eye-opening in that regard,” says Pine who, despite his various macho roles in the Star Trek franchise or as Jack Ryan, has always brought a certain tongue-in-cheek levity to his performances.

If the first Wonder Woman left Pine’s Steve Trevor for dead, then the actor thought long and hard after director Patty Jenkins outlined her witty resurrection plan.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to do the movie if I thought that I was just there as eye candy or to make a joke of the man not being the lead. I’m all about gender parody, but I wouldn’t put myself through that.

“But Patty’s pitch was so buoyant and alive, and so fun. It reminded me a lot of Romancing the Stone, Kate Capshaw and Harrison Ford, Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant, or Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn – these seminal onscreen romantic relationships that we’ve seen since the beginning of film. I never really had a chance to do that, and the fact that Patty was thinking about mixing a romance into a USD 200 million action film was incredible.”

He was even relieved to discover that he had few action scenes, leaving Gal Gadot to do all the heavy lifting. “I’ve done enough action films, so I was happy to let Gal get up at 5am to go do her stuff.”

While Gadot worked on perfecting her stunts, Pine was left to ponder on their screen chemistry.

“The thing I was really interested in was, can you make an electric-alive romance on screen? Because there’s something you can’t force – either it is or it isn’t, and it’s a gamble. But I remember meeting Gal for the first time and she’s just so bright and lovely. It’s easy to fall in love with her, and that’s my job here – to fall in love every day. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do.”

Certainly, the relationship between Steve Trevor and Diana Prince has reversed since we last saw them.

“In the first one I play a jaded, war-weary soldier who’s seen it all and seen the depravity of humankind and has to warn Diana about the awful reality that humans can be really sh–ty creatures,” says Pine.

“While with this one, she’s been around for a long time now, so she’s now seen it all. She’s been through two or three wars while I get to play the qualities that she had in the first film, which are a kind of boundless optimism and joy to be here with all that curiosity and innocence.”

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