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First-time director Chris Pine draws a Wild Card and answers a big question


Each week, a well-known guest draws a card from our WILD CARD deck and answers a big question about their life. This week we hear from actor and now-director Chris Pine. He's known for playing different versions of guys who save the day, including a young Captain Kirk in several "Star Trek" movies. But his directorial debut, "Poolman," is a much smaller, quirkier movie. It stars him as a pool cleaner at an apartment complex in LA. He spoke with WILD CARD host Rachel Martin.

RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: I am holding three cards in my hand - one, two, three.



PINE: Yeah.

MARTIN: What's a lesson you have to keep learning over and over?

PINE: To be in awe, always. In reverentia semper - to be in awe, always. What's yours?

MARTIN: Whoa. I mean, I'll tell you mine, but that - I want to sit with that. That's beautiful, though. Mine's not as lofty, or, I mean, I just - I'm an innately impatient person.

PINE: I get that. Where does the impatience come from?

MARTIN: Where does it come from?

PINE: Are you a perfectionist?

MARTIN: No, absolutely not. Oh, my God. I wish I were more of a perfectionist.

PINE: You've never been a perfectionist.

MARTIN: Zero - never ever.

PINE: Ah, good for you. So what is the impatience from?

MARTIN: Time. I'm urgent about time. I want to use it well. I hate wasting time.

PINE: Interesting.

MARTIN: And I just want to get on with it. But - so it's a constant struggle of, like, I want to get on with things. But also, you need to sit and find reverence and awe and everything, right?

PINE: Well, again, you talk about need, need to. Need, to me, reminds me of the word should. One - I should, which - I detest the word should. So I don't think you need to do a f****** thing. I think, you know...

MARTIN: (Laughter).

PINE: ...Honestly, it's, like, what makes you happiest.

MARTIN: Do you find yourself in points when you can't recognize awe and reverence?

PINE: Of course I do. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I'm impatient as well and oftentimes feel this kind of, like, oblique background static energy of need, should, go, do. What's happening? Why isn't it this? Why isn't it that - all of these things that are saying, the present moment is not fulfilling X. I was talking to my therapist about this, and I was like, I want to be in flow state again. Like, making this movie was flow state, 24/7/365. Well, what is flow state other than a complete disappearance of the overwhelming reality of the march of time? We go into flow state to forget about our...

MARTIN: Right.

PINE: ...Mortality. There is...

MARTIN: No, but you can't live there forever.

PINE: Well, you can't...

MARTIN: Otherwise, it doesn't exist.

PINE: You can't live there forever. And take everything away. What are you left with? You're left with sitting here now. So you better get really good...


PINE: ...At dealing with - getting good with boredom, getting good with frustration, getting good with all of that.

CHANG: That is actor Chris Pine speaking with Rachel Martin. And there's plenty more to that conversation. Just follow the WILD CARD podcast. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.