The Chris Wars—the historic battle between Hollywood’s most powerful, blandly handsome white men—have dragged on for so many years that they have largely ceased to carry any meaning. We at The Ringer covered them to exhaustion—on podcasts, blogs, even videos. But even now, if you ask four people who the Best Chris is, you’ll get four different answers. (Or more: Despite my history as a Chris Evans devotee, I harbor a soft spot for the deeply underrated Chris Messina.) But the recent release of Wonder Woman 1984, as well as the tumultuous months that preceded it, has changed my mind for good. Let us cease our efforts to find the best Chris. We have him, and we always have had him, in the chaotic-good, paparazzi-trolling, caftan-wearing Chris Pine.
This week, Pine delivered yet another charming, droll performance in the otherwise overstuffed, nonsensical second offering in the Wonder Woman franchise. The context surrounding his character Steve Trevor’s return—namely that it was facilitated by the creepy possession of another man’s body—is also … not great! But Pine himself injects some much-needed fun into the movie, from an ongoing fanny pack bit to his utter amazement at the future world Steve was never meant to see. And of course, every movie is 95 percent more enjoyable with the addition of a makeover montage—especially one that features Chris Pine in leather pants.
It’s also worth noting that Steve Trevor is, at his core, the world’s most supportive boyfriend. He follows Diana around, keeps his head in a crisis, and mostly serves to cheer her on and try not to die. At the end of the film, he sacrifices his second “life” in order for Diana to regain her powers and save the world. A boyfriend with killer baby blues who puts your career above his own life—what more could a girl want?
But it wasn’t just his second turn as Steve Trevor that cemented Pine as 2020’s Official Best Chris. Really, he set himself up for success as early as March 18, the day Gal Gadot released her infamous, cringey “Imagine” video. The video, which has become this year’s go-to example of performative celebrity activism, was notably missing only one of Gadot’s big-name WW84 costars—one that it’s impossible to, er, imagine wasn’t asked.
And he didn’t decline out of stage fright: The man is musically gifted, and it must have taken some real willpower not to channel his fittingly un-self-aware Into the Woods character into Gal’s mash-up. But he didn’t, and that alone gives him the lead as 2020’s least problematic Chris. Pine’s absence from the video, and from the majority of 2020 headlines, is maybe the smartest thing any Chris has done this year. Other Chrises have made news for a variety of questionable choices, from Evans’s accidental NSFW photo leak to the dramatic “cancelation”—and ensuing celebrity defense—of Chris Pratt. Chris Hemsworth has mostly just been working out a bunch on Instagram, and pretending that normal people like us can get as jacked as he is. 2020 is for sadness and snacks in bed—read the room, Hemsworth! (Pine, who spends a scene in Wonder Woman 1984 munching Pop-Tarts in bed, clearly understands this.)
Other than avoiding public embarrassment and carrying superhero movies, Pine has spent much of quarantine doing the only thing we really wanted celebrities to do this year: Walk around (outside, safely, by themselves) in ridiculous clothes and a goddamn mask. As the year draws to a close, the internet at large appears ready to salute Pine for his contributions to pandemic fashion. He spent the year perfecting the celebrity quarantine fit—something comfy, mismatched, thrown together at the last minute, and all the more eye-catching. Feast your eyes on this workout fit featuring an RBG tank top and printed bandana.
Not your speed? Try, perhaps, this grandma-core sweater vest and patchwork backpack. Or what looks like a button-down pajama shirt paired with corduroy shorts and some truly ungodly teal slippers. Or maybe the most powerful quaran-Pine fit of all: a hot pink shirt, very snug shorts, and a feathered cowboy hat worthy of Pine’s character in Hell or High Water.
It’s been an incredible run. I have only one suggestion: Chris, please adopt the fanny pack that Steve Trevor was so delighted by in WW84. They’re back in, and they’ll go with your cowboy hat. I promise.