Actor's Yorkshire days recalled as new Star Trek film hits the screens

THESE days actor Chris Pine has the universe at his feet, thanks to his role as Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie.

Not so long ago, however, his final frontier consisted of nothing more exciting than the lecture halls and libraries of the University of Leeds.

Pine, 28, spent a year studying English at Leeds after boldly going to the UK on an exchange programme from California's Berkeley University in 2000.

Asked about his stay, he said: "I loved it. I miss it. I wouldn't trade (that] year for anything in the world.

"Leeds offered me everything I could have possibly wanted from a university."

One handy product of Pine's time in the city is his ability to deliver a perfect Yorkshire accent – as the cast of Star Trek found out on set.

British actor Greg Ellis, who plays Chief Engineer Olsen in the movie, told an interviewer how he discovered his colleague's talent for talking Tyke during test shots for a skydiving sequence.

He said: "I was hanging on a wire and I heard someone shout in a northern English accent.

"It was Chris Pine. It was amazing, he has an amazing ear."

Los Angeles-born Pine began his acting career with appearances on ER, CSI: Miami and other TV shows.

Parts in movies like Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement and Just My Luck followed before he landed the plum role of James Tiberius Kirk in Star Trek.

A prequel to the original TV series of the 1960s, it tells how Kirk and other legendary characters such as Spock and Scotty started their voyages on the USS Enterprise.

Critics have hailed Pine's performance as one of "real dash and charisma".

His fellow cast members include Heroes star Zachary Quinto and the UK's Simon Pegg.

Released nationwide on May 8, the sci-fi movie had its UK premiere in London's Leicester Square earlier this week.

Another Yorkshireman who has starred in Star Trek is Mirfield-born Patrick Stewart, who played the part of captain Jean-Luc Picard in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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