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Matt Damon called J.J. Abrams when he heard rumors that he was being considered for the role of Captain Kirk. The response from Abrams was a very polite "no". He explained that Damon was "too old" for the role.
Chris Pine (Kirk) described his first audition as awful, because he could not take himself seriously as a leader. J. J. Abrams, did not see Pine's first audition, and gave him another audition opposite Quinto (Spock).
Zachary Quinto was cast as Spock. It was he who was supportive of casting Chris Pine as Kirk because they knew each other, both working out at the same gym.
Apparently the original Star Trek television series in the 1960s was not a hit, when it was first aired, but later caught on like wildfire and had a steadily growing fan base ever after.
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