[on filming Just My Luck (2006) with Lindsay Lohan] It was a real cyclone of insanity, like being around The Beatles. That’s what Chris Pine is thinking about right now. From where I’m sitting, however — across the table from Pine at a bustling Italian place in Silverlake, LA’s hipster district– the quote wasn’t all that bad. We were chatting innocently about ,” he said, taking a mouthful of branzino. “But my character — there was just so much meat there. I could chew up scenery right and left.” And this was where the dildos reared their heads. No flash or swagger, just a tallish bearded guy, in a T-shirt and cargo pants, with a touch of gravel in his voice.

He lives up in the Silverlake Hills in a glorious new home overlooking one of those twinkling grid views you see in the movies.

He appears to have embraced the role of the rakish bachelor; clearly his reverence for Clooney isn’t just talk.

The muscle I have to work on is being more present.” So that’s what he does. It sweeps you along with such force, that you need to stop sometimes, just to notice what it feels like. Prior to Star Trek, he was a relative unknown, one of the many middle-billing strivers on movies you’ve not seen — unless you’ve seen Blind Dating and Bottle Shock? But Star Trek beamed him up to another reality altogether, a world in which he’s sharing the screen with Denzel Washington in .

Quite deliberately, as our food comes out, course by course, he takes a moment to lean over each plate and breathe in the aromas, eyes closed, making the appropriate noises of ecstasy and appreciation. And now, he’s here, as far up the mountain as he’s ever been, getting all tuxed up for the Academy Awards and walking down the red carpet, consciously trying to apply the brakes.

Even in that meeting, it’s like, ‘shut the fuck up and listen.

Think about the time I was watching Top Gun at eight years old.

It’s no surprise that for years therapy has been “like going to the gym”, a constant fixture, and not just because it helps with his acting.

“I like this idea of becoming fully realised,” he says.

Not the objects themselves, necessarily, but a quote regarding “dildos”, a quote he just gave, not five seconds ago. We could have segued to any number of topics, like how supporting characters are often better than the leads, or how never came out, and isn’t it funny how things go? He reacted in the moment, call it instinct if you will. A model of containment and discipline, he’s off the booze today, and the garlic and the dessert: “I’m doing a mini-cleanse”.

“That’ll be the quote right next to the picture, I know it,” he says, looking at my voice recorder with a furrowed brow. “There was this one scene,” he said, “where my apartment explodes, and dildos and pornos are flying all over the place. ” If there were footage of this moment, I’d play it back ever so slowly just to see the uh-oh dawning in glorious slow motion, morphing that beaming blue-eyed smile, so full of exuberance, into something rueful, as he calculates the scale of his blunder. He once told magazine he wanted to be a permanent bachelor like George Clooney. And he pauses often as we talk, careful to edit and filter his thoughts before speaking.

(June 30 to August 8, 2010) He acted in Martin Mc Donagh's play, "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," at the Mark Taper Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.