The ‘Chris Pine Effect’: How Pop Culture Connects Us


Chris Pine recently paid a visit to my work cubicle.

I walked into my usually tidy office space to find every available surface plastered with colored printouts of the megastar. My computer screen, desk, chair and walls were completely covered by the blue-eyed wonder. After a long week, the prank was refreshing.

My office became the new water cooler. The younger girls stopped by to giggle about Pine’s cuteness. Women old enough to remember the original Star Trek waxed on about how he had made the series young again, what a wild card he had been in “Princess Diaries 2,” how “This Means War” was a win-win as they waited to see if Tom Hardy or Chris Pine would be the last man standing. “Imagine what that would be like,” one lady said.

We all had.

The men in the office wanted to know why he had captured our attention and who had pulled the prank, while nodding and saying, “Chris Pine is a cool dude.”

The office connected over their shared love of the Hollywood-generated perfect man. Women that I had said only a few words to suddenly wanted to chat for 10 minutes about movies and the magnetic stars who drew them in.

There may be something to wearing your heart on your sleeve, even if just in a comic longing for the perfect man. Having a moment to be silly brings camaraderie to a professional office. Human connections start with a shared human experience.

Pop culture may be superficial but it’s the light-as-cotton-candy topics that easily turn into lunch invitations, then work friends, then life-long pals. If you need to break the ice, realizing that we are all 10-year-old girls at heart isn’t a bad place to start.

We make small talk about the weather because it affects all of us—we’re humans with bodies that feel the cold, rain and wind. But I live in California where the sun always shines—so I have to settle for talking about Chris Pine.

My collage of Chris Pine photos has been trimmed down to the favorites. And those few remain to remind me that small talk can be real talk.

Clara Fox is a part-time reporter and full-time movie lover who works in the film industry and lives it up in L.A. You will likely find her at a first-weekend showing for the latest Chris Pine movie.

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