Editorial: An image enhanced
A celebrity in trouble, and what a refreshing change.
No, not the fact that a celebrity was in trouble per se, but the dignified way in which Chris Pine, the latter-day incarnation of the Star Trek dynasty's Captain James Kirk, faced up to that trouble.
What a contrast, what a lesson in maturity, what a refreshing change to see someone known the world over accept what he had done, and front up to take the consequences. It can't have been easy, but it was the right thing to do.
The starkest contrast Pine's behaviour provides is with that of a young celebrity arguably a few times as famous as he is. Canadian superstar Justin Bieber has been in trouble with the law a fair bit of late, but in some instances it's seemed he's his own worst enemy.
A recently leaked video showing Bieber giving a deposition in a lawsuit, brought by photographer Jeffrey Binion, who claims one of the star's bodyguards choked him last year, has brought forth a wave of criticism of the singer's allegedly arrogant attitude.
Pine had been making a movie, Z for Zechariah, in Canterbury, staying in Methven, just over an hour up State Highway 79 from us.
On February 28, the cast and crew had a wrap party at the Blue Pub in the alpine village, at which Pine said, as today's court report indicates, that he drank four vodkas.
Driving back to his accommodation, just 2km away, in the early hours of the next morning, he was stopped at a police checkpoint, failed a breath test and requested an evidential blood test, which found him to be 23mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood over the limit of 80mg.
The story broke last week and a day or two later, it was reported that while Pine was now in Sydney, he planned to return for yesterday's scheduled appearance in the Ashburton District Court. That he did showed he took the whole business, which he himself had described as a "foolish action", seriously.
Yesterday's hearing included an appeal by his lawyer for a discharge without conviction, saying he'd suffered enough through media coverage and a conviction would affect his image and his ability to work in some places.
I disagree on at least one count. I think the way Pine handled the whole situation - including Judge Joanna Maze's decision to enter a conviction - and dealt with the waiting mob outside, who, according to media present, he urged to keep calm, and even signed some autographs for en route to his car, will enhance his image.
Because unlike some celebrities, it seems he didn't act as though he was somehow above the law, or the rest of us.
The Timaru Herald