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NEW PHOTO: Star Trek Star Goes From Studious to Stud!

Apr. 22 2009, Published 4:58 a.m. ET

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Beam me up Scotty! Chris Pine is gearing up for a new level of stardom as he steps into the role of Captain Kirk in the upcoming, much-anticipated Star Trek flick. While the 28-year-old California native is now famous for his piercing blue eyes and megawatt smile, during his college days at the University of California at Berkeley, he was more adorable nerd than universal heartthrob.

The photo was taken in 2002 when Pine was still an undergraduate English student. He would later move on to romancing Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries 2 and Lindsay Lohan in Just My Luck. Seven years after that photo, he is upfront and center in JJ Abrams $150 million blockbuster opening on May 7.

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Pine fluffed his first audition for Star Trek but director Abrams decided to give him a second shot because he already knew Zachary Quinto (who plays the new Spock). After he landed the part, Pine sent William Shatner a letter and the original Captain Kirk wrote back giving the young star his vote of approval. Pine has promised Star Trek’s army of fans that he will try and convey Shatner’s “humor, arrogance and decisiveness” as he reprises the famous role as the swashbuckling space traveler. (Photo: Pacific Coast News/WENN)

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