Chris Pine Reveals 'Life-Changing' 'Princess Diaries 2' Paycheck

Chris Pine reflects on pivotal early career moments.

by Nouman Rasool
Chris Pine Reveals 'Life-Changing' 'Princess Diaries 2' Paycheck
© Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Chris Pine revealed in an upcoming May 5 episode of "Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist" that getting cast in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" in 2004 turned out to be the real game-changer in his life. The actor elaborated on his most noted blockbuster role in hits like "Star Trek" and "Wonder Woman" by explaining how deep the impact from that first major film experience went into shaping his life and career.

The simple excitement, in the most pure form possible, in retrospect, must have crossed his mind at that point in time, the day that news arrived, which was going to change his life forever. "It was the height of summer and I was getting off at Magnolia.I was on my little Verizon tiny little flip phone, my silver one and I got a call from my agents that I booked the job,” he shared.

The emotions surged as his agents disclosed his earnings: “You’re getting paid $65,000," an amount that felt astronomical to Pine at the time. "It was like they had just told me I’d made $50 million. It was absolutely Earth-shattering,” he expressed.

Breakthrough Role Impact

In "The Princess Diaries 2," he was cast as Nicholas Devereaux, the suave bachelor trying to win over Anne Hathaway's Princess Mia. It was a film that brought the hunky actor not only a fat paycheck but also an opening into Hollywood that Pine had longed for.

Prior to this role, his career consisted of minor parts in commercials and a brief appearance alongside Sally Field in "ER." Pine humorously noted the relative value of his paycheck after taxes and expenses, "I got that $65,000 and I just remember distinctly knowing in that moment that my life had changed somehow, even though $60,000 at the end of the day turned out to be about $15,000,” he laughed.

The financial struggle before this role was real for Pine, who recounted having an overdraft of $400 and considering asking his parents for financial help. "And I owed my parents rent money. But that is a wild feeling. I’ll never forget that,” he added, highlighting the mix of disbelief and relief he felt upon securing the role.