Timothy Olyphant Says He Lost The Role Of Kirk To Chris Pine In JJ Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ Films Because He Was Too Old

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Timothy Olyphant is currently enjoying the revival of one of the actor’s career-defining roles with “Justified: City Primeval,” airing on FX now. But EW reports that in a recent sit-down with the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, Olyphant talked about a big role he missed out on a decade and a half ago: Captain Kirk in J.J. Abram‘s “Star Trek” films. The reason he didn’t get it? Abrams wanted someone younger, like Chris Pine, who’s thirteen years younger than Olyphant.

“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,” started Olyphant. “And just a lovely, lovely audition process. Somewhere in there, I was auditioning for Doc, he’s like, ‘I already got a guy for Doc [Karl Urban played Dr. Leonard McCoy], so I don’t need you for that, but I don’t have a Kirk.’” But Olyphant was a little too old for what Abrams and Paramount were looking for. “I believe it was one of those things where it’s like they might have been prepared to hire me, but they wanted somebody younger, and [Abrams] was having a hard time finding somebody younger,” the actor continued. “And somewhere along the line, J.J. called and said, ‘I found a guy, younger, who’s really good.’”

Of course, Pine went on to star as Kirk in Abram’s 2007 and its two sequels, 2013’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond.” Along with Pine’s Kirk and Urbnan’s Doc, the series also starred Zachary QuintoSimon PeggZoe Saldaña, and John Cho. Meanwhile, Olyphant eventually scored “Justified,” which ran from 2010-2015.

But does Olyphant harbor any resentment for not landing Captain Kirk? Not at all, and he actually loves Chris Pine as an actor and all-around guy. “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’s a good dude.” Olyphant said of his fellow thespian. “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 adored him. What a good guy. I really like his work. He’s one of those guys who makes it look simple and easy.” Olyphant also sang Abram’s praises, too. “Auditioning sucks,” Olyphant said, “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.”

“City Primeval” is scoring well with critics, but that’s not the only limited series Olyhant has on the small screen this year. He also stars in Steven Soderbergh‘s “Full Circle” on Max and in “Daisy Jones & The Six” on Amazon Prime. And on the movie front, Olyphant stars in “Havoc” next, an action thriller with Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker. So even if Olyphant didn’t land the Captain Kirk role in the ’00s, in terms of his acting career, he’s still lived long and prospered.

Timothy Olyphant Says He Lost The Role Of Kirk To Chris Pine In JJ Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ Films Because He Was Too Old

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