Some actors I get to interview more than once, which could be good or bad. I was eager to do so because hey..this was Chris Pratt. Not only is he charming, funny, and quite sexy, but he’s just a great guy. He’s a guy who loves his family and goes full force into his acting. If he needs to lose weight…he will. Gain weight…sure. He goes all in. That is why they the MARVEL head honchos could not have picked a better guy to help launch Guardians of the Galaxy. Below is a few excepts from our interview:
Q: You clearly didn’t need it but did they want you to take dance lessons?
Chris: Well, once they saw me cut a rug, no, that was a how about that kind of thing. That’s just like another element to this movie that’s like unlike anything anyone has ever done in a way, so that’s pretty cool.
Q: How did you get involved, how did you get the role?
Chris: Ooh well I got involved early- probably like let’s see. It was January when I auditioned, but, the year after I shot Zero Dark Thirty. I’m trying to figure out the exact year that would be, I guess twenty twelve into twenty thirteen. Marvel had sort of like circled around me and said, hey, you know, what about having Chris audition for this role, for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Meanwhile I was like, on the diet roller coaster all the time, so sometimes I was like super fat and sometimes I was super fit. At that point I was super fat and I was like, oh god, I don’t want to go audition for this and be told no, so, I don’t think so. The couple of times they asked me and I wasn’t sure about it. I know James Gunn definitely wasn’t interested in having me in the movie at first. You know, he was like, there was a bit of an identity crisis around (him), I was having one of who I was an actor.
I think he was about who his Peter Quinn was going to be and meanwhile he was testing more and more people and it just wasn’t working and, you know, I saw the movie Zero Dark Thirty in the theaters for the first time. I kind of forgot that I had gotten in good shape for that and that I played this character. I was like, oh my gosh, that’s right, I can do that. When I saw it, I had already put on like forty pounds in like a month after shooting and soI thought wait a minute. Maybe I should be trying to do action-y kind of movies, ’cause I bought it. Like until seeing that movie I had kind of forgotten that I had done that or I was capable of that. So then I said, but I want to do it with some comedic elements and kind of bring my own personality into it and my manager said, Guardians of the Galaxy. I said, oh shoot okay, maybe, you know what, why not, let’s go after it and just see, let’s have a conversation. And that’s kind of how I got in. Then James was like, hey look- it’s Chris
I auditioned and he saw something in me and he, and what he said to me, I was really on board with. I wanted to do something in action, I wanted to do something with comedy and I wanted to breathe my own spirit into it and I thought there was nothing out there that was going to let me do that. I thought maybe I’d have to try to develop something or write something, and when he said, look, I just want somebody to come in and do their thing and just own it. There have been many incarnations of this character, there can be another one. I just thought, all right, here I go, I’m going to try and own it. And I did.
I don’t know about you, but for me Chris IS Peter Quill. Of course he looks good and is ripped, but the physicality he has with the other actors and the little nuances he bring to Star Lord help bring this character to life.
Q: Being a Marvel super hero now, were you a fan of the Guardians before or know anything about them, or a fan of comics?
Chris: Okay that’s a good question. I was a comic book fan probably eighth grade – ninth grade – tenth grade right around that time. I think it was maybe even earlier, sixth grade on, I was a fan of comic books. We didn’t have a ton of money growing up, and so comic books are not expensive, but if you’re broke everything is expensive, you know. I didn’t have a ton of ‘em, my friends had a lot of them, I would like to draw the pictures out of them. We were big artists, a lot of artists in my family, we would like to draw and paint and things like that. I loved the artistry, I loved the characters, and what they were, just the, the physicality of the heroes. I was a big fan of that. Always drawing comic book heroes. One time that I won three hundred bucks playing Bingo with my mom and bought three hundred bucks worth of comic books. One of them was a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book and it was right around that time I guess in 1991 there was an incarnation of it.
For me the stories weren’t what grabbed me, it was the covers and it was the cool art on the inside and the outside. So it was more the pictures that grabbed me. So some of the comics that I collected were- I collected a Ghost Rider, the one with the glow in the dark cover, I had a Bart Man number one. I had a stack of Richie Riches I got at a garage sale, old, old ones. And I had a big stack of Conan I think it was the Samarian or something. They were really sexy. I remember, I was like a kid, they were like the closest thing I had to smut were like these things. I had one called Icon. I had the Infinity gauntlets. Of course some Spider Man, some X-Men, some Wolverine, a lot- Punisher Twenty-ninety-nine was another one I collected, yeah.
Q: What was your most memorable moment while filming?
Chris: That very first day we were on a set in an area that’s called Morag, which you’ll see in the movie. So Morag – that was a real set, you know, it looks so fantastical and it’s just such an epic set, you assume it’s all green screen. The thing was a real set. I mean, we were ioutside at, at Longcross Studios, I’ll never forget this. I was wearing Quill’s long jacket for the first time. Actually another great moment is the first time I put that jacket on and walked, I was like, oh my god, the jacket was totally telling me how Peter Quill would walk, you know. …but I’m running, there’s a wind blowing like probably sixty seventy miles an hour, rain machines, guys are shooting real water from real ponds, hundreds of feet up in the air. And we’re on a, an outdoor set that’s probably a hundred and fifty yards long, a hundred and fifty yards wide. So it’s a massive like two football fields put together with green screen all the way around these giant, uh, these giant like shipping containers stacked, stacked like ninety feet high.
So there’s an element of green screen around the entire horizon, but on the inside it was like a sea had just drained out and- and it revealed this city that had been underwater for ten thousand years. That was the moment where I thought, holy crap. This is happening, I’m on this movie, and- and it’s going to be epic.
Personally I can’t imagine what that would feel like. I’ve had a few “on set” experiences, but actually being the lead in a MARVEL film no less where you are just this cool, outlaw has got to be a high point.
Q: How does it feel knowing you’re an iconic hero for younger kids of this generation?
Chris: Oh my gosh that is, that is to me the greatest part of all this. I remember pretending to be Han Solo in my backyard, or pretending to be Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker as a kid. I mean, comic books and storytelling of this magnitude is what really helped me cultivate my imagination as a young kid. To think that kids are going to be out and they’re going to watch this and they’re going to feel that way.
It’s just really I mean, I’ve been Googling synonyms for surreal just to try to help explain what it feels like. It’s really cool and I think to me that’s like by far the, the very greatest feeling is that I’m going to be a hero to these kids. They’re going to dress up like me.
Q:How much training did you have to do for the fight scenes?
Chris: Oh the fight scenes were pretty intensive, I mean, we had about six weeks of rehearsal before we even started shooting in London and we did stunt rehearsals every single day. A big part of that was learning, training, refining the fight scenes. So we would learn a fight scene for a couple of weeks and then it would end up changing, and we’d learn it again. I secretly think it was like a way for them to get me to lose even more weight, they’re like, Hey, Chris, even more stunt rehearsal, can you believe it [LAUGHTER] this stunt is you running on a treadmill. We did a ton of training, but it was really fun and that is the stuff I really like. I was an athlete growing up and played sports and it’s just nice to be part of a team of athletic people and being coach-able and being told what to do and getting better at it day-by-day at doing something physical. That to me is really like a nice break from sort of the mental exhaustion that can come with acting, you know. You don’t have to think too hard to do stunts, which is just perfect for me.
Q: How does it feel to have an action figure doll made of yourself?
Chris: That to me is pretty, it’s pretty crazy it’s pretty weird. My friend has a Peter Quill doll that you push a button and my voice comes out of it. Everywhere we go they’re taking pictures of me, like, oh look at Star Lord, Star Lord at Subway
Q: Did you have any input in the soundtrack? What’s your favorite song?
Chris: I have a contentious relationship with that soundtrack because I put it on my iPod as my list to run and work out to. So I love and hate all of those songs. [LAUGHTER] The best one was probably Ooh Child ’cause there was a certain beats per minute that matched with my running pace. And for me when I’m running, I need to match my feet to the music, so I can forget how terrible it is that I’m running.
It’s like kind of almost like dancing in that way, and that was the song that had the appropriate beats for minute, I think it’s got to be close to like maybe eighty beats per minute, or something to that, because that’s like the right pace for me as a runner. I like that one, I definitely hate some of the songs though. Not that they’re bad songs it’s just I’ve been, I’ve listened to them maybe no less than a hundred and fifty times or something. So that’s enough- yeah.
I have to take a moment and tell you just how freaking EPIC this soundtrack is. I listen to it and the entire family loves it. Thankfully it’s replaced our Frozen soundtrack lol.
Q:Do you have a favorite behind the scenes moment?
Chris: Oh man, well James kept telling me over and over that he was going to replace me. [LAUGHTER] it kind of became an ongoing joke that he kept pitching different ideas for actors, who he was going to put their face on my face, at the end of the movie. It was like that- which by the way, I never was offended by. I thought it was funny every time he said it. Maybe my favorite part about filming this movie was the relationship I had with James in terms of our comedy, it matches up really well. It’s super inappropriate and we’re constantly trying to outdo one another in, in terms of our inappropriateness. And so we say some pretty shocking and terrible things that we’d be laughing at, but it was kind of I don’t know it was like a survival mechanism, or something like that, that was probably the most memorable joke, yeah.
I can’t say enough good things about Chris and the movie. Want to see him in action as Peter Quill aka Star Lord? Check out the featureette below:
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Hits theaters Aug. 1
***Disclosure: I attended #GuardiansOfTheGalaxyEvent . My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney and myself. All opinions are 100% mine. Pictures by Disney***