I’ll be the first to admit that I went into Wonder Woman for – well, Wonder Woman. I had a vague and very basic idea of who Steve Trevor was, but this is one of the few superhero movies I came into without much knowledge of the comics and/or pre-existing ideas of what should happen.
Basically, I was just there to see Gal Gadot kick ass.
Add to that the fact that I tend to get hyper-rational about movies – at least before the movies turn me into an actual emotional mess – and my brain had already done the math and pretty much decided that there was no reason to get attached to Pine’s character. He was going to die anyway. Getting attached to Peggy Carter only brought me pain, after all, and he was the white male equivalent.
It was better to protect my heart.
To top it all off, I didn’t even think it would be hard. Chris Pine was barely on my list of Chrises. Sure, he was the guy from Star Trek – but I’d never watched or cared about that, so, that wasn’t really a point in his favor. What he was, and I thought would forever remain, for me, was the guy from The Princess Diaries 2.
And that’s not a good thing.
I know a lot of people love that movie. I understand that it’s considered the height of romance in some circles. I can’t watch it without cringing. Fact is, I read eleven The Princess Diaries books and I was attached to Michael Moscovitz. I was so attached that the presence of Pine in the sequel was tantamount to a betrayal.
Almost like he’d been personally responsible for breaking up my OTP. And if you’re reading this, you probably understand how important OTPs are.
So, to make a long story short, I went into Wonder Woman expecting – wanting – not to care about Pine. Sure, I knew he was more than easy on the eyes, and I’d never read anything from him that made me want to lump him in the asshole category some male actors belong in, but I just couldn’t find the love in my heart. Or, really, the interest.
I was ambivalent.
And then Steve-above-average-man-Trevor happened and I forgot about my petty hang-ups.
Not because he was hot. Objectively, I knew Chris Pine was hot. I might have been stubborn, but I wasn’t blind.
Not because he was a good actor, one who imbued Steve Trevor with a combination of wonder every time he looked at Diana Prince and a steadfast sense of duty and honor that was at least 90% of the reason why he made that final sacrifice, no. Good acting is something I tend to expect these days, even from blockbuster movies.
Not even because his words on the Press Tour (which I would only hear about later) made him sound woke AF, because, to be honest, that’s become almost basic stuff for me these days. I’ve scratched plenty of actors/movies from my list because of stupid comments.
It was all of that, and more. It was being faced with an actor and a character that represented the kind of male presence I wish we got to see more, not just in movies, but in real life.
It was Diana, wonderful, brilliant Diana; taking center stage, and Chris Pine and Steve Trevor being content to, for once, let the woman save the day.
It was seeing a story about a woman, told from a woman’s perspective, a story aimed at me, without ever feeling like the guy was the least bit concerned that, this time, he wasn’t the focus.
In short, it was something that should have been commonplace, but isn’t. Something that, thanks to characters like Steve Trevor, might be better from here on forward.
So, thirteen years later, it’s time for me to say …I forgive you, Chris Pine. I forgive you for breaking up my OTP. You’re no longer that guy.
Now you’re Steve Trevor, and common sense be dammed, I care. I care so much that I’ve been concocting scenarios where Barry Allen goes back in time to save you (I’ll forgive the sins of your TV self if you do, MovieBarry! I promise). I care so much that my Chris ranking has now become a truly complicated endeavor.
I care – and that’s a good thing. Not for you personally, but for the DCU universe and the subsequent movies. Before Steve Trevor I cared for one thing and one thing alone – the women. Now there’s a ray of hope. Maybe these movies do know how to write real characters. Maybe I should go watch Justice League.
And to think I’m saying all of this because of Steve Trevor – and Chris Pine. I wonder, what would my teenage self say about that?