Chris has had a busy few years. And with the announcement of Guardians of the Galaxy doing the 3rd film in the near future, it doesn’t look like he will be slowing down anytime soon. He joined our group full of smiles and thoughtful answers as he talks about Kurt Russell playing his father, what’s his snack, balancing family and work, and being funny.
Chris Pratt Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Interview
Entering the room with a huge smile and full of excitement, we all applaud.
What a nice welcome I need that from everyone. I love this. Hi, guys. What’s happening?
If you out and come back in, we’ll totally do it again.
Yeah, we totally would. Great job on the film.
Did you like it?
Yes. Oh my god, so good. All the feels.
I was at the premiere, is that when you guys saw it for the first time?
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. That movie is exactly how the script read. And so, when I read it, I knew it was good. But there’s so much stuff that can happen between reading the script, and then watching the movie, you know? There are so many moving parts, some of which I’m responsible for. So, I was like, (laughing) please still be good. I was just relieved to see that the movie was as good as the script.
It’s superb. While reading the script, you found out what kind of relationship Peter Quill has with his father. How did you feel about that?
Oh, I mean, that concept was mind blowing. It was next level to me. And, understanding the nuances I was going to be allowed to play as this character, way different from the first movie. There were certain emotional tones in the first movie with Peter Quill with his mother, with 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. There’s a lot of kids that are going to relate to that, you know, whose dads weren’t around. They may have another man in their life who’s responsible for raising them. And possibly how we can take relationships for granted that aren’t those we have built up in our mind. When James 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, (laughing) please, it’s amazing.”
So, then maybe in like two weeks he’s gonna sit you down and tell you the rest of the story?
He grins so sheepishly (he’s SO handsome) –
Has he already told you the story?
He hasn’t told me the whole thing, but I’ve got some of it. I know some of it.
You have a pretty emotional fight seen.
That’s something that for me as an actor, one of the hardest things for me to do, is channel anger because I so rarely am in my real life. I am not saying that that’s healthy. Don’t do it that often. And so, I think often like, you know, how we behave in the real world, that type of behavior’s 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 was hard for me to get there. And when you can’t like use just the natural empathy for this character that you’re playing that you love. You have to have empathy for them and feel their emotions. Because 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 not as emotional for me as it was kinda practical. Like creating a center, creating a loud voice. James helps me with that stuff. It’s just a lot about heightening your energy, grounding it, and being direct. That’s something that doesn’t come that natural to me. So, I’m glad that, if you think it worked, that’s good. That makes me feel happy.
Can you talk about working with Kurt Russell, and on and off screen?
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, “It really feels like you guys could be father and son.” And we share a lot of the same passions. He’s a cool guy. He’s an open book. You know where you stand with him. He tells it like it is. I like that.
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 feel like you have to tell him because otherwise (we all laugh) 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. (All laughing) Oh, you’re the best. You’re the best. You’ve always been the best.” And he goes, “Yeah, I know. Thanks.” (All laughing) And, all right, let’s get to it, you know?
I love the funny parts of your character. Are there any scenes that make it into the movie, that like you’re like, “I have to say this”, and they just roll with it?
Yeah. Yeah. For sure. I mean, James 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. But there are a few jokes that I improv that made it.
One scene, in particular, I remember the day. 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, that’s my room to play, you know?
I say you’re gonna throw this take away anyways, I’m just gonna do 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 is Peter Quill’s favorite snack versus Chris Pratt’s favorite?
That’s a good question. I’m glad that you asked that, and thanks for following me on what’s my snack? Peter Quill’s shirt in the movie, if you see 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. That’s probably his favorite snack.
What about your snack?
Man. I like cheese and crackers and Crudités, that kind of thing, you know what I mean? Is that what it’s called, Crudités? I could live on that. I’d get fat. And Doritos with my face on it I should say, yeah. (We all laugh)
Speaking of weight and fitness, you obviously got a killer body for the first movie, and then you’ve kept that off and kept your physique up. And lots of people have trouble with that. So, what have you done that kind of flipped the switch?
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. (we all laugh) 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, really, all my eating habits and diet fitness habits are, it’s very shallow of me, but they’re very much based around how I’m gonna put myself out there. So, don’t be hard on yourself, people lose weight, and they can’t keep it off. That’s just natural. And I think the best way to think about it is not to have a weight goal.
It’s not to say like my goal is 225 pounds. That’s not my goal. My goal is six months. It’s like six months of consistency. Go to the gym, or do something every day for six months. See if I can do that. Make it more of a lifestyle, rather than seek out a number on the scale.
U like fit’niss? How bout fitt’niss insta post up ya butt? Boom! #WHATSMYSNACK Thanks to @mensfitnessmag editor @shawnperine photographers @rikerbrothers the writer #JimSchmaltz and of course my dear sweet Bridget for grooming. @bridgetbragerhair and my publicist @allison_garman and God and of course Spider-Man for me stealing his pose. On newsstands now! #starlord #gotgvol2
I just did it a couple of weeks ago where I had like a photo shoot for Men’s Fitness or something, and I made that my goal. And then like three 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 three days later I put on like 20 pounds. (All laugh) Just ‘cause I was so goal oriented. ‘Cause then you hit that goal and you’re like, nailed it, let’s eat, just a little bit. Then like six 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.
So, I love that you’re super authentic and you’re also very philanthropic. You are like the Russell Wilson of like Hollywood. Have you always been like that? Or is that something that you’ve kind of like come into because you have this fame and the ability to give back and do good in the community?
Oh, that’s nice. I actually credit Russell Wilson. I think I saw how he did it, and I was like, this guy’s awesome. 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. (We all laugh)
Don’t we all.
Yeah. (he laughs) 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 do that, I’ll definitely do it. I get that from Russell Wilson, but I think if I credit Russell Wilson, he won’t take the credit. He’d give the glory to God; he would say that it was his faith. 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 to him.
Chris, you’re a family man, and you talk a lot in interviews about the importance of your marriage and being a dad, and…
You know, we always ask the mom actresses how they do it. But you have to balance as well. I mean, you’re still a great husband and father, and you show that all over social media. But, how do you balance it all?
Thanks for asking me that question. That’s a good question. I know Anna gets asked that question all the time, and she’s like, “How come no one ever asks you that question?” (we all laugh) That’s a good question. You know, I think it’s not easy.
It’s a lot of just communication. We have help. We just plan 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 a staff of people who work for me. If I did, do all the administration in my life, I’d never have time to do anything.
It takes a team.
I told Allison, my publicist, I’m like a parcel. Like, I don’t even travel, I just get shipped everywhere. (All laughing) You know? And, so like I can’t, I don’t do any of that stuff. So, I just focus on what I can do. 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, 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 (Anna and son Jack) in a while, but they got to 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 as when we were there, we’re like, “God, it’d be really fun if Jack was here.”
It was good for us to be out there by ourselves, and do that. Prioritize, make lists, and probably you’re gonna fail. (all laughing) Some of the time. Do your best.
Read my other Chris Pratt interviews!
Guardians of the Galaxy opens May 5, 2017
*I was invited by Disney/Marvel to attend a special press trip to share my experience with my readers. All opinions are my own.