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Chris Pine morphs from ‘Star Trek’ hottie into Irish hothead

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Saving the universe can get to be a little, well, meh. So “Star Trek” star Chris Pine is expanding his horizons with a role as a crazed Irish lawman who gets deathly revenge on the murderers of his cat, Wee Thomas.

That can take a lot out of a Hollywood hottie, so naturally Pine was doing a little two-fisted drinking at Sunday’s opening-night after-party for the Mark Taper Forum production of Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, “The Lieutenant of Inishmore.”

“There’s a vodka soda,” he said, nodding at the glass in front of him, “and there’s a Gatorade to replenish my dwindling muscle.”

By all means, replenish away.

Pine was still surfing his post-curtain adrenalin rush, which was showing no sign of abating. “I love the character,” he said at McCormick and Schmick’s in downtown L.A., where the Center Theatre Group had lined up an Irish band called Slugger O’Toole (with Dan Harper of CTGLA’s Play Program youth theater) and private bar to re-create the Emerald Isle’s je ne sais quoi.

“I don’t get opportunities to play wackos, whom I love playing, and this was a great chance to play one,” Pine said. “He’s become more and more weird as I’ve played him, to my great joy.”

Pine had just come off filming “Unstoppable” with director Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, which opens in November. He compared the experience of working with those heavyweights to movie-making grad school.

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“I learned what it took to make a movie of that scale with someone who’s been making movies of that scale for that long, and what it was like to be No. 1 on the call sheet of a film that size, the kind of grace Denzel carried himself and how good he was.

“I’ve just had a great year. I’ve had a blessed and wonderful year.”

We’ll drink to that. Gatorade, anyone?

-- Irene Lacher

Related dispatch from our Culture Monster friends:

Theater review: ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore’ at the Mark Taper Forum


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