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Chris Pine Says ‘Princess Diaries 2’ Salary Was Life-Changing: See How Much He Made

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Chris Pine is one of the biggest names in Hollywood — commanding millions for his biggest blockbuster roles. But that wasn’t always the case.

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In a preview from Pine’s upcoming interview on Today‘s Sunday Sitdown with Willie Geist, the actor looks back on his days as a struggling up-and-comer, remembering the exact moment he got the call that changed his life and career.

“I just remember distinctly knowing in that moment that my life had changed somehow,” he says of booking the role of Nicholas Devereaux in 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

“It was the height of summer and I was getting off at Magnolia,” Pine recalls. “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.”

“I pulled over onto the side of the freeway and they said, ‘You’re getting paid $65,000,’ And it was like they had just told me I’d made $50 million. It was absolutely earth-shattering,” he continues. “I’ll never forget that.”

Pine played the antagonist-turned-love interest to Anne Hathaway‘s titular princess in the film — his first major movie role — making it a breakthrough for his Hollywood heartthrob status as well.

Chris Pine as Nicholas Devereaux in ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.’ – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

At the time, however, the actor was simply relieved to be able to pay his bills. He tells Geist his bank account was overdrafted by $400 when he landed the payday and he was just about to ask his parents for financial help…again.

“I owed my parents rent money,” he admits. 

Following the popular sequel, Pine began his ascension to leading man status. Just five years later, he was leading J.J. Abrams’ first Star Trek movie in the iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk — and he hasn’t looked back since, turning in commanding, celebrated performances in films like Hell or High Water, Wonder Woman, Don’t Worry Darling and more.

However, Pine’s never forgotten that first big breakthrough. At the premiere for his latest film, Poolman — which he also directed and co-wrote — he told ET that he remembers being “absolutely terrified” when facing the media circus at the Princess Diaries 2 premiere.

Chris Pine at the 2004 premiere for ‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.’ – John Shearer/WireImage

“I remember when we had to do the premiere for that, it was at Disneyland. I got picked up in a stretch limo with my agent and we went there and I was so nervous,” Pine recalled.

“I mean, I remember wearing Converse and grey pants and just being absolutely terrified,” he added. “Just because this whole experience and people shouting… you’ve got to get used to that whole thing.”

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