From Fan to Family: Meet “Pine Nut” Stephanie Chappell

Beyonce has her “Beyhive.” Justin Beiber has “Beliebers.” And Chris Pine, thanks in part to Turner’s very own Chappell, has the “Pine Nuts.” Because let’s face it – what’s a diehard fan-base without a catchy, clever name?

Confused? Allow us to explain.

A Pine Nut Pioneer

It all started in the far-away kingdom of Genovia, where princess Mia Thermopolis fell in love with a dashing, young suitor named Nicholas Devereaux in “The Princess Diaries 2.”

That’s when Chappell, senior manager of Strategic Business Events at Turner with 10th Street Production, Live Events, was first introduced to the man she’d eventually call (Turner) family: Chris Pine.

In 2009, five years after his “Princess Diaries” debut, Pine starred in the iconic sci-fi series, “Star Trek.” His stunning performance as Captain James T. Kirk hooked Chappell and made her eager to see more of his work.

Chappell soon found out Pine was performing in a play called “Farragut North,” in Los Angeles, California. She checked internet to see if anyone else had seen the show or had any advice on how to potentially meet the “Star Trek” star.

Before long, Chappell found a fellow fan, started chatting and became friends. They connected with a few other fans around the world and formed a mini Chris Pine posse. And thus, the “Pine Nuts” were born.

“Shortly after our small group coined the term Pine Nuts, the name stuck,” Chappell admitted with a smile. “It’s something so many Chris Pine fans use when describing themselves and it’s so fun!”

When the Pine Nut pioneer eventually made her way over to sunny, Southern California to see Pine perform live in his play, “Farragut North,” she was so impressed with the young actor and quickly realized her fandom was not just a fad.

“Once I saw him on stage,” Chappell noted, “I was really sold on being a long-term fan. His performance was just out of this world.”

So, what is it about Chris Pine that has girls…pining? We can’t answer for everyone, but it’s clear that Chappell’s admiration for the actor is as genuine as they come.

“I liked the personality that came through from his performances,” Chappell admitted. “And while I thought he was very handsome, he isn’t perfect and it just somehow made him seem more real and relatable.”

A year or so later, Chappell and a fellow Pine Nut reunited. The pair attended a taping of Jimmy Kimmel where Pine was promoting his newest film “Unstoppable.”

Without any prior knowledge of Kimmel’s questions – and much to the chagrin of the group - Kimmel asked Pine about the Pine Nuts during the show. As he was talking about his newfound fanbase, he caught a glimpse of Chappell and her friend in the audience. He gave them a shout out and Chappell even made a few cameos laughing in the audience.

From that point on, Chappell has remained a huge fan of the actor’s work and has loved seeing his career flourish. She’s even stayed close friends with some of her fellow Pine Nuts from around the world.

But the Pine Nuts aren’t just fans – they’re philanthropic. From the very start, the group began organizing charity events in Pine’s name, including  Project(RED), Toys for TotsCanuck Place Children’s HospiceThe Orangewood Children’s Foundation, various adopt-a-family charities, and many more.

From Fan to Family

In 2017, it all came full circle when TNT announced Pine would be starring in the network’s newest suspense series, “ I Am the Night.”

As a long-term Turner employee, Chappell was beyond words when she heard the news. She was no longer just a fan, she was…family; Turner family, but family nonetheless.

To promote his new Turner series, Pine ventured to New York the summer of 2018 and attended the company’s Upfront show –an event Chappell herself helps manage.

“It was so fun to have him attend one of my work events.” Chappell noted. “I was able to catch-up with him briefly there and had a lovely chat.”

Pine even gave Chappell a personal shout out at the event!

A cherry on top of a deep-pine-ing bond between fan and her famous friend…now family.

Catch Chris Pine in “I Am the Night” Monday’s at 9/8c on TNT Drama.