What's not to love about Chris Pratt? We loved him in “Parks and Rec,” Delivery Man, Zero Dark Thirty, and in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. He's the guy next door. He's a PNW boy. And he's a Seahawks fan. He just got himself a star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The very first press junket I ever attended for Walt Disney Studios was Guardians of the Galaxy. Since that time, I've been fortuitous enough to attend almost a dozen trips (I'm extremely grateful they recognize the time, energy, and dedication I put into my craft as a writer and influencer). This past trip for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. press junket and Red Carpet Premiere, I had the opportunity to have an Exclusive Interview with Chris Pratt to talk to him about his role as Star-Lord / Peter Quill—the second time I've been fortunate enough to interview him for his role in a Marvel film.
Note: Spoilers from our interview to be added on May 5th when the movie releases! They're under embargo until that day. Check back then for the juice!
What's not to love about Chris Pratt? We loved him in “Parks and Rec,” Delivery Man, Zero Dark Thirty, and in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. He's the guy next door. He's a PNW boy. And he's a Seattle Seahawks fan. He was almost as excited to be interviewed by us with our warm welcome as we were to see him. His smile when he entered the room said it all.
Chris Pratt: I saw it about a week and a half ago for the first time, and last night was the second time. I was so relieved when I saw it because I knew like the script, the script, that movie is exactly what the script, how the script read. And so, I, when I read the script, I knew it was good. And, but there’s so much stuff that can happen between reading the script, and then watching the movie, you know? Much, we, there’s so many moving parts, some of which I’m responsible for. So, I was like, “Please still be good.” I was just relieved to see that the movie was as good as the script.
When you read the script and you found out that you were gonna have this not so good relationship with your father in the end, how did you feel about that?
Chris Pratt: Oh, I mean, that concept was mind blowing. It was next level to me. And, understanding like the nuances I was gonna be allowed to play as this character, way different from the first movie. I mean, there were certain emotional tones in the first movie with Peter Quill with his mother, with the, that side of his origin. But this new story, feeling the reality of like his biological father, and this guy that he’s built up in his mind.
It’s a very contemporary story, and there’s a lot of kids that are gonna relate to that, you know, whose dads weren’t around. And who have another man in their life who’s been, you know, responsible for raising them, and possibly how we’ve taken, how we can take relationships for granted that aren’t those relationships we have built up in our mind, you know? It’s, I, it was so great when he, James kinda just told me that he had, the, he told me the whole script when we sat down and like a couple years ago.
Maybe just a few weeks or maybe a month or so after the first movie came out, he invited me to his house, and just told me the whole movie. I was the first person to hear it. And, I’m like crying at the end. And he’s like, “So, what do you think? Would you?” ‘Cause he was kind of asking if I was willing to go there, you know? And, like, “Are you crazy? Yes. I, Please, it’s amazing.”
On scenes that made it into the movie that were improv
Chris Pratt: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. I mean, James is, really knows my voice. And especially in the second movie has written the script in a way that it sounds like stuff I would improv. You know what I mean?
But there are a few jokes that I improv that made it. I think the thing about “if the thing between my legs had a hand on it.”
Yeah, and the, I remember in the day we were, I was talking to James about that today, on the day it wasn’t that funny. It was just like we’d done that scene a bunch of times, and they had to do it again because they needed to get something else. And so, I knew they already had whatever the line that was written. They already had it. And so, I knew when they already have it, then I have, that’s my room to play, you know?
I say, you’re gonna throw this take away anyways, I’m just gonna whatever I want. And that’s what I said when he was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And, you know, it wasn’t that funny. And then he put it in the movie.
What would Peter Quill’s favorite snack be and was is your favorite snack? (Because if you don't watch “What's My Snack” on Instagram, you should)
Chris Pratt: Peter Quill’s shirt in the movie, if you see that, that’s his favorite snack, because that’s actually a label from, this is a little Easter Egg, but from the first movie, there was some candy on the table, and I think I’m eating some of the candy. I don’t know if I, they ever made it in the movie, but James really loved the label, the art department had gone the lengths of creating this language, and created a label for some candy.
And so, he put that label on the shirt. So, that’s like a snack that Peter Quill likes to eat. And I don’t know, I think it had, there’s a real language and it says something. But, that’s probably his favorite snack.
Snack, snack, I’m like a cheese and crackers and crudités, sausage and cheese and crackers. Yeah, like cheese, crackers, and mustard and that kind of thing. If I could, you know, I’d just, I could live on that. I’d get fat.
And Doritos with my face on it I should say, yeah.
On weight and fitness and getting a killer body for the first movie, and then keeping that off that off and keeping his physique up. And lots of people have trouble with that. So, what has he done that kind of flipped the switch
Chris Pratt: Well if I’m gonna be fully authentic, I’m pretty careful about when I reveal myself to the public. So, and I do it in a way to make you think that I’ve kept it off the entire time, but I haven’t. You know?
Seriously, like I kinda keep tight, close to what I need to be, but I have to live my life as well. So, when I do a shirtless scene, or I do a magazine cover, or I do a photoshoot that I know is gonna get a lot of press, I then dial it in so that I can take a good picture. And so all my eating habits and diet fitness habits are, it’s very shallow of me, but hey, they’re very much based around how I’m gonna put myself out there. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t, if people can’t lose weight and they can’t keep it off.
That’s just really natural. And I think, you know, the best thing, the best way to think about it is not to have a goal of like a weight goal, do you know what I mean?
It’s not to say like my goal is 225 pounds. That’s not my goal. My goal is 6 months. It’s like 6 months of consistency. Go to the gym, or do something every day for 6 months. See if I can do that. Like make the goal, a consistency. Like build up a bunch of consistency and make it more of a lifestyle.
I just did it a couple weeks ago where I had like a photoshoot for Men’s Fitness or something, and that was, I made that my goal. And then like 3 days, I swear, like I worked hard for weeks and weeks and weeks, I got in great shape. I felt good. I did the photo. And like 3 days later I put on like 20 pounds. Just ‘cause I was so goal oriented, you know what I mean? ‘Cause then you hit that goal and you’re like, nailed it, let’s eat, just a little bit, and then like 6 weeks have passed and be like, “What did I do? Why did I do that?” So, it’s natural to kind of go up and down.
On being authentic, philanthropic, a guy next door, and the Russell Wilson of Hollywood.
When I asked this question, I know we had a moment, I mean, who doesn't connect over being a Seahawks fan, a mutual man crush on Russell Wilson, and being from the PNW?
Chris Pratt: you know, I actually credit Russell Wilson. I think I saw how he did it, and I was like, this guy’s awesome. Like, he’s open with his f-. He’s open about his faith. He is a superstar quarterback, and, you know, I have a pretty healthy and not that secret man crush on him. But like, I saw how he did it, and what he did up at Seattle Children’s Hospital. And, I remember around the time that I got Guardians of the Galaxy.
I remember thinking to myself like, “if this thing does what it could potentially do, and there’s a world where it would mean something for me to go do that, I’ll definitely do it,” you know? And I, and I follow, and I get that from Russell Wilson, but I think if I credit Russell Wilson, he wouldn’t take the credit. He’d give the glory to god, he would say that it was like, you know, his faith that. So, I think it’s the same kind of thing. I really love how he does it, and I have to credit some of that with him.
On being a family man and the importance of marriage and being a dad. How he finds balance.
Chris Pratt: Thanks for asking me that question. That’s a good question. I know Anna [Faris] gets asked that question all the time, and she’s like, “How come no one ever asks you that question?” I think it’s not easy. It’s a lot of just communication. We have help. You have to just plan everything. Everything has to be planned, just planning everything out. And so, you manage it by just making sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing. You check in with everyone. And I have like a staff of people who work for me, and it’s their jobs to make sure that I’m not spending, ‘cause if I do all the administration in my life, I’d never have time to do anything, ‘cause it’s, like I told my publicist, I’m like a parcel. I don’t even travel, I just get shipped everywhere. You know? I don’t do any of that stuff. So, I just focus on what I can do. But I think you don’t have to be present to be a presence, and with technology now, FaceTime, little tricks, little things like that. Checking in every day, and nurturing your relationship with your spouse, and not making it just about the kids is important.
Like we were just in London, and I hadn’t seen them in a while, but they got to come visit me, and stay with me for a few weeks. But we took a weekend trip for ourselves to go to Paris and left Jack behind. And as much when we were there we’re like, “God, it’d be really fund if Jack was here,” it was good for us to be out there by ourselves, and do that. So, I think just like prioritize, and work on, make lists, and probably you’re gonna fail. Some of the time, you know? Do your best.
Here are some thing we chatted with Chris about that are Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 spoilers, so if you haven't watched the movie, stop reading right now. I mean it.
On his emotional performance surrounding the knowledge that Ego gave his mother the tumor and brining that raw passion in the fight scene with him and how he channeled his real life experiences to create that energy and emotion?
Chris Pratt: You know, thank you for that. That's something that for me as an actor is one of the hardest things for me to do, is channel anger, because I do it so rarely in my real life. Not saying that that’s healthy. Don’t really do it that often. And so, I think often times like, you know, how we behave in the real world is, that type of behavior’s really easy to do as an actor, for me at least, real natural stuff.
But for me to like look someone in the eye and yell at ‘em, and tell them what they did to me, that they wronged me, that I’m pissed off, that type of thing is not something I do that often. So, it’s hard for me to, it was hard for me to get there. And when you can’t like use just the natural empathy for your character that you’re playing, this character that you’re playing that you love and you have to have empathy for them, and then you feel their emotions. Because, you know, if that doesn’t work to get you there, you have to rely on some sort of tricks to work rather from the inside out, but from the outside in.
And I think that’s what I had to do in that scene. So, it was actually not as emotional for me as it was kinda practical. Like creating a center, creating a loud voice, you know, finding. James really helps me with that stuff, and, you know, it’s just a lot about energy, and, you know, heightening your energy, and grounding it, and being direct. That’s something that doesn’t come that natural to me. So, I’m glad that, if you think that, if you think it worked, that’s good. That makes me feel happy.
On working with Kurt Russell and wanting him to play his father
Chris Pratt: Ah man, everyone on my team, everyone who’s been hanging out with him, they’re either just like, “He’s such a great dude.” And, he really is, man. You know, I’ve heard a few people say like, “It really feels like you guys could be father and son.” And, it, we have, we share a lot of the same passions. He’s a really cool guy. He’s a really open book. Definitely know where you stand with him. He tells ya, he tells it like it is. And, I really like that.
And, you know, obviously he’s like this iconic dude, who I’ve known about him for decades before he ever knew I existed. And so, there’s always that strange moment when you meet someone and you’re a big fan, you won’t, you feel like you have to tell him, because otherwise you try to build a friendship and it’s a little inauthentic, you know? You just say, “Listen, I have to get this part out of the way, but I love you so much. Oh, you’re the best. You’re the best. You’ve always been the best.” And he goes, “Yeah, I know. Thanks.” And, all right, let’s get to it, you know?
That’s the thing, you know, that’s a pff. That’s, that was what when James told me, I was like, “Are you serious?” Like, I fight, I meet my father, my long-lost father I’ve always wanted to know. He turns out to be a god. Instills me with his superpower.
And because of my devotion to my mother, and to my family and my f-, my Guardians, I choose to relinquish that power, and take revenge to kill him. That’s a, that’s like, it’s like Shakespearian. I mean, that’s, when do you ever get that kind of a story in a comic book movie? You know, I mean, I guess probably a lot of ‘em, maybe, I don’t know. But, nothing quite like this. This is really next level. It’s not just a team of dudes fighting a new kind of villain that has a special kind of super power.
This is like really deep profound personal relationships. So, I was, yeah, I was thrilled. And I, yeah, I gotta kill him man. I was like, “Sorry Kurt.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 saves the galaxy May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 flies into theatres May 5, 2017
I’ve been invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles. As always, all opinions are my own.