Chris Pine Calls His $65,000 ‘Princess Diaries 2’ Salary ‘Absolutely Earth-Shattering’

Chris Pine felt like more than a million bucks after being cast in “Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” — he felt like $50 million, to be exact. Not that he made anywhere near that sum.

During an upcoming appearance on NBC News’ “Sunday Today with Willie Geist,” Pine recalled how joining the 2004 sequel film proved to be a pivotal point in his career. Pine played Prince Nicholas Devereaux who tries to woo Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) in her ancestral home country of Genovia.

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

Pine credited “Princess Diaries 2” for being the film that made him feel like he actually “started working” in Hollywood after auditioning for years.

“I got that $65,000 and I just remember distinctly knowing in that moment that my life had changed somehow, even though $60,000 at the end of the day turned out to be about $15,000,” Pine said. “That [money] lasted no time at all.”

When he got the call, Pine had an overdraft of $400 in his bank account and “owed my parents rent money,” he said. The role proved that he was a working actor.

“That is a wild feeling,” Pine said. “I’ll never forget that.”

He hasn’t look back since. Pine recently made his directorial debut with “Poolman,” a career move for which he credits his “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins as inspiration. Pine previously told Esquire that he felt like his acting career was at a stalemate after decades in the industry before connecting with Jenkins.

“[My career has] been mapped onto me since I was twenty-one, twenty-two years old,” Pine said. “For a long time, you just embody it, until you’ve been in the business long enough and things start to shift. For a long time, I felt like the clothes were wearing me, but I was a good enough mimic to pull it off. Then you start kind of molding these characters to you, and people start seeing what you’re doing, and maybe even shifting the archetypes to really fit who you are.”

During “Wonder Woman” production, Pine recalled Jenkins giving him advice.

“She said it felt to her like I was really bored,” Pine said, “that maybe I felt uninspired, that I was doing the same old shtick.”

Jenkins encouraged Pine to “do something else on these tentpoles besides wait in [his] trailer” while on set.

“That’s what Chris thought being an actor was,” Jenkins said. “So it’s uncomfortable to step out of that into being, A, a huge movie star but then, B, going even further, to be a grand artist. There’s something for Chris about being content with the space he’s occupied in his career — ‘I’m a journeyman actor, I’m just happy to be here’ — that Chris very much can’t stop applying to himself. There’s always a part of him that’s like, ‘I’m lucky to be offered anything.'”

Meanwhile, a “Princess Diaries 3” has been confirmed to be in production, with Hathaway telling V magazine that development is “in a good place” at the moment.

“We’re in a good place,” Hathaway said. “That’s all I can say. There’s nothing to announce yet. But we’re in a good place.”

There’s no word yet if Pine or Hathaway will reprise their respective roles, but the third film will directly serve as a continuation of the 2001 and 2004 movies.

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