Chris Pine on Style, Grooming and His New Country-Western Vibe: "Anything That Makes Me Smile, You Know?"

Chris Pine - 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival-H 2016
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The actor comes clean about what he looks for in a fragrance, whether he prefers a clean-shaven face or manly scruff and why he's been rocking those high-waisted, pleated pants: "The tight-jean thing has definitely run its course."

Chris Pine is ready for a break.

You know, the kind of kick-back-and-stick-your-feet-in-the-sand-(or the pool!)-type of respite that one typically is granted after a grueling work spell. The L.A. native has been on a (fortunate) grind for more than a year straight, standing in front of cameras, both on set with back-to-back acting gigs and, later, while making the promotional rounds to support this year's endeavors The Finest Hours, Star Trek Beyond and Hell or High Water.

Pine next will be seen opposite Gal Gadot in the highly anticipated Wonder Woman, out next summer, but he's not even thinking about that yet because the face of Armani's Code fragrance line has his mind set on that staycation. Up first, however, is a press tour in Asia for Beyond and a phone call with Pret-a-Reporter about style, grooming, that work schedule and, of course, what he plans to do with his downtime. It involves a guitar ...

How long does it take you to get ready, and what are your go-to products?

It kind of all depends. Because I’ve been with the same group of people for a while, a lot of my time getting ready is just saying hi and shooting the shit and talking and laughing really, quite honestly. Living in Southern California, I'm in my pool or the water most of the time, so I love the chunkiness of saltwater through your hair. I use this product called Magic Moon, which is not, ironically, a laxative. It's a really good hair product. I’ve got a Mason Pearson brush, which I love. I got one of my favorite beard brushes, which is just something from a department store that cost me $5 in New Zealand that I use all the time. And then for moisturizer, I usually just use argan oil. For face products, I usually just use [Dr.] Hauschka, a little bit of Hauschka, mostly because I like the way it smells. And then I let David, my groomer, do his magic.

Read More Peek at Chris Pine's Armani Code Fragrance Ads

As the face of Armani Code fragrances, what do you look for in a fragrance?

For me, fragrances are very  one of these beautiful art forms that bring about a whole host of things. It’s what you want to smell like, it’s memories that make you smile or are resonant of times in your life, it can remind you of music. If you’re a lover of scent, it’s a very kind of particular and evocative thing. For me, personally, just like in my home  I’m looking at my incense right now. I like kind of natural, woodsy earth tones. I like patchouli, I like tobacco, I like sandalwood, I like tree resin. I’m not a huge fan of citrus  I like things that are kind of moodier and … more deeper base notes.

ARMANI MAN: Chris Pine adjusts his sleeve in this behind-the-scenes shot from his Armani Code shoot.

Do you prefer the clean-shaven look or a little bit of scruff?

I’m kind of going all over the place now. I’ve been having to do so much press, and I’m just getting so fing sick of it, but just to kind of make myself giddy, I started off with a beard for this last press tour. And then I went to a goatee, then I went to a handlebar, and then I got sick of all that and then did clean-shaven and then grew my sideburns out. Now I’m rocking this kind of '50s Nashville country-singer vibe, so I went super clean-shaven. Anything to just make the day go by and give myself a reason to smile.

HANDLE THIS? Chris Pine shows off his creative facial hair at the premiere of Paramount Pictures' Star Trek Beyond at Embarcadero Marina Park South in San Diego on July 20, 2016. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)

When do you feel your best?

Oh, it depends. I like craftsmanship, so I really love this great outfit I wore to my last premiere that, again, for me was just evocative of — I wanted to look like, I told my stylist, I was like, "Let’s just go for a Nashville country singer that’s on his way to Miami in a [Chevrolet Bel Air] and then became a hit man for the mob and lives in Little Cuba." We came up with this f—ing bitchin’ little outfit that I loved, and so it could be that. Or it could be an Armani tailored suit that I spent hours working with with Isaac, my favorite tailor, taking out the ins and outs of the shape of the lapel, the length of the lapel, the location of the button. It could be my favorite pair of Edmonds jeans with my new favorite sneakers, these Common Projects retro high-tops. It just really depends. For me, it’s mostly anything that makes me smile, you know?

COOL KICKS: Chris Pine was spotted in Common Projects high-tops in Los Angeles on Aug. 11, 2016. (Photo by gotpap/Star Max/GC Images)

You mentioned the outfit you wore to the premiere for Hell or High Water — high-waisted, pleated pants. It’s a brave look, and you pulled it off. Why did you decide to go for it?

Oh, I’m so into them right now. The more ability to move in pants, the better. I mean, I think the tight-jean thing has definitely run its course, even though I still have some of my favorite pairs of skinnies, but I’m trying a kind of retro vibe right now. I just love this kind of — you know, the pants, they’re this beautiful kind of off-white, yellow, pale yellow that, for me, just kind of screams the '40s or the '50s, and I never used to like a pleat, but I really like a pleat and a cuff now. And I haven’t been a fan of socks for a good long time, so I just rock my Thom Browne vibe and then this beautiful kind of pajama shirt. Usually I like stuff kind of fitted, but I’m getting more and more into this comfort, this melding of comfort and style rather than looking like you’ve tried to shove yourself in to some sort of sausage casing.

See More Baggy, Pleated Men's Pants Return to Fashion

HELL OR HIGH-WAISTED: Chris Pine rocks a retro vibe in a navy, floral-print Boglioli pajama shirt from the fall collection at a screening of CBS Films' Hell or High Water at the ArcLight Hollywood on Aug. 10, 2016. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)

There’s been a noticeable change in your style.

For a long time, it was about just looking absolutely perfect, and now I just am so bored with myself and hearing myself give notes on my different kind of looks — because I always have ideas about what we can do — though now, it’s just more about, again, having a lot of fun. It’s part of my job, doing all these things, so I would rather just have a blast and try new things. Maybe it’s because of my film Hell or High Water that I’m kind of into this '50s, like, country-Western-singer thing, so I was like, let’s let that inform everything and then, you know, it just becomes another outlet for your art, in a way.

This movie is getting great reviews, currently at a stellar 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. How closely do you pay attention to reviews?

Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled beyond belief that it’s being received well. I don’t usually do films that are critically lauded or appreciated, and I couldn’t be prouder to be involved in this film, and just like any true actor, I hate critics when they don’t like something and just couldn’t love them more when they do. We made a good film. I’m really quite proud of it and proud of the craftsmanship involved and proud of my co-workers and the crew and my beautiful director and beautiful scribe. It's been a good couple days, and I hope it gets some traction with theatergoers.

Critics have come down hard on big summer releases. Do you think that is deserved?

I’ve been working, literally, for a straight 60 weeks without a break, so I really haven’t had much time to do or see anything. I haven’t seen Suicide Squad or Batman v. Superman. Seriously, the last movie I saw in the theater was my own. I think it’s a fair criticism to say that we've gotten our fill of superhero films, and audiences should just have different things to choose from when they go to the theaters. God willing, if these kind of different films make money, studios and theater owners will see that there’s a thirst for other things besides shit blowing up all the time and that people can talk on camera and we won’t lose people’s interest. Although I’m 35, and I don’t know what a 17-year-old who’s been raised on an iPad thinks or does or wants, quite honestly. But when we start doing trailers for trailers before the trailer actually shows, that’s definitely pretty telling about the attention span of young people.

What are you doing next?

You know, all I’m really interested in doing is telling good stories. I know that sounds trite, but it’s true because you want to challenge yourself, and you want to do good work. Everybody wants to do good work, and in order to do that, you have to find the material. Even though I do have this romantic, anachronistic version of a Hollywood world with glorious movie stars and plush red carpets and a studio system, those times, unfortunately, have run their course. I’ll just have to read my old Life magazines. I’ve seen a ton of beautiful television recently that reminds me of the power of the moving image, and many of those stories are gravitating toward the small screen, so I’m on the hunt for good stuff. And what’s next? I don’t really know yet. I would really like to not do anything for a minute and sit and play my guitar a little bit and paint and keep my feet in the sun and not do anything but be a loafer, and then when that’s done, I don’t know.

CODE CONVO: Armani loyalist Chris Pine talks to the production team in this behind-the-scenes still from his Armani Code shoot.