Timothy Olyphant Reflects on Losing Captain Kirk Role in ‘Star Trek’ Trilogy

Timothy Olyphant Reflects on Losing Captain Kirk Role in ‘Star Trek’ Trilogy

Timothy Olyphant is looking back on a role that got away.

In an interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast conducted before the actors strike, Olyphant was asked about losing the Captain Kirk role in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek films to Chris Pine.

“Here’s what I can tell you about Star Trek: I went in and auditioned not for Captain Kirk, but I remember reading with J.J. Abrams and he’s just a lovely, lovely guy. And just a lovely audition process,” the actor recalled. “Somewhere in there, I was auditioning for Doc, he’s like, ‘I already got a guy for Doc, so I don’t need you for that, but I don’t have a Kirk.’”

Related Stories

Olyphant explained that though there could’ve been a chance he could’ve gotten the part, there seemed to be a goal to hire “somebody younger” for the Kirk role.

“I believe it was one of those things where it’s like he might have been prepared to hire me, but they wanted somebody younger, and he (Abrams) was having a hard time finding somebody younger,” he said. “And somewhere along the line, J.J. called and said, ‘I found a guy, younger, who’s really good.’”

Pine went on to star as Captain Kirk in three Star Trek films, including Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) and Star Trek Beyond (2016).

Despite losing the role to Pine, Olyphant had nothing but kind words for the actor, who he says he has since met.

“I have since then met Chris Pine and I am a huge fan of him, both on- and off-screen. I love that guy,” he said of Pine. “He’s a good dude.”

He continued, “This sounds very show business-y, but I had the honor — we’re going to say honor — to go to the Golden Globes one year … and I spent most of the evening at the bar with Chris Pine. Just really really adored him. What a good guy. And I really like his work. He’s one of those guys who makes it look simple and easy.”

“Auditioning sucks and the fact that I remember the audition process fondly says a lot about J.J. Abrams and what a wonderful man that guy is,” he added.

In addition to Pine, the Star Trek films also starred Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldaña and John Cho.