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11-Jul-2016 11:21

“I think there is a growing homogenization of what masculinity means,” he says. (Indoors, they are a speech-stoppingly bright blue, a shade so intense I’d assumed they only looked that way onscreen because of some post-production magic.) Somehow he doesn’t draw any undue attention sitting smack in the middle of a Sunset Boulevard sidewalk with his iced coffee and chicken sandwich.

” He’s not kidding -- he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley’s top-notch English department in 2002 -- but even without the pedigree, it’s obvious this guy is smart. Not just wisecracking late-night talk-show smart or charming, control-the-narrative-of-your-own-cover-story smart.

He’s the kind of smart you have to hustle to keep up with.

The kind of smart that seems unfair, given the fact that he’s also a keenly talented actor who stares at you so sincerely with those blue eyes while spitting out 50-point Scrabble words.

It’s possible that Pine’s success is in part a fluke of timing.

He’s come into the prime of his leading man potential just as action movies—still the gold standard for a box office–driven industry obsessed with drawing young men into its clutches—seem to be getting more intelligent, even if they cycle through the same archetypal territories of daddy issues, best-buddy bromances, and reluctant heroism.“You take someone like a Bruce Willis or a Charles Bronson -- the definition of masculinity there becomes about the ability to inflict violence, take revenge, take what’s yours,” he says.