It’s every actor’s dream to have a starring lead role. And especially one where you’re a hero of sorts. But when Chris Pratt heard he was being considered for the lead role as Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy (Aug 1) he didn’t jump up and shout about it, mostly because he said his weight was always fluctuating from “super fat” to “super fit.”
I got to interview Chris during a 4-day press trip in Los Angeles during a Disney/Marvel/ABCFamily Guardians of the Galaxy Event.
Chris was open about his consideration for the role. When he found out about the role, he thought: “I don’t want to go audition for this and be told no, I don’t think so. And, the couple of times they asked me I wasn’t sure about it. I know James Gunn definitely wasn’t interested in having [LAUGHS] me in the movie at first.” At the time, Chris said he not only had reluctance about his weight issues, but he was having an identity crisis around who he was as an actor.
But he soon remembered his role in the movie Zero Dark Thirty and the fact that he was more than capable of playing an action hero.
“Until seeing that movie I had kind of forgotten that I had done that or I didn’t know I was capable of that. And 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 we got in. And then James was like, Chris, hey look- it’s Chris!”
And Chris has fit very comfortably into the role of Star Lord in more ways than one. I got a chance to see the movie and it is funny, entertaining and pretty epic. Chris is witty and he definitely has got some moves that will make you want to groove.
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?
“I didn’t have a lot, like we didn’t have a ton of money growing up, and so comic books are actually kind of- they’re not expensive, but if you’re broke everything is expensive, you know. So 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.”
“So some of the comics that I collected were- 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. The closest thing I had to smut were like these things [LAUGHTER]. I had one called Icon. I had the Infinity gauntlets. You know, 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?
“The very first day we were on a set in an area that’s called Morag, which you’ll see in the movie. Morag –that was a real set, you know, it looks so fantastical and I don’t know, like it’s just such an epic set it- you assume it’s all green screen. The thing was a real set. I mean, we were in- outside 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. Um, 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 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, shipping containers 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, you know, this city that had been underwater for ten thousand years. So it was, it was, it was like I, that was the moment where I thought, holy crap. This is happening, I’m on this movie, and it’s going to be epic!”
Q : How does it feel knowing you’re an iconic hero for younger kids of this generation?
“Oh my gosh that is to me the greatest part of all this,” Chris said. I remember pretending to be Han Solo in my backyard, or pretending to be Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker as a kid. I mean, you know, comic books and storytelling of this magnitude is, is what really helped me cultivate my imagination as a young kid, you know. And to think that kids are going to be out and they’re going to watch this and they’re going to feel that way… that’s like by far the very greatest feeling is that kids are going to, you know, I’m going to be a hero to these kids.”
Chris said he learned a lot while working on this movie.
“I learned a lot from James Gunn on this because this was the first time I’d ever done- been the lead of something, certainly something this big. And so I think for me the challenges were just getting out of my own head and just trusting the dialogue. Sometimes it’s just as simple as standing on the mark and speaking clearly. And- with volume and energy, you know. And sometimes as an actor, you want to do so much.
“You’re concerned about the psychology of the character, or, you know, the reality of the scene, or the stakes and the drama and you’re thinking about all of those things. But it’s important sometimes to just trust the words and say them clearly. You know, and understand that you’re actually a very small part of something very big. You know, the scene doesn’t actually rely on whether or not you’re thinking about your mother in your head when you’re doing the scene. You can do all of that stuff but if it messes up you standing on the mark and speaking clearly, you shouldn’t do it. And so for me it was a lesson in just like trusting the dialogue and pace, understanding pace and energy.”
Guardians is a movie full of energy and it’s fast paced! Be sure to check it out August 1st when it hits theaters!
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!
Disclosure: I was invited to a Disney/Marvel #GuardiansoftheGalaxy Press junket in Los Angeles and received hotel accommodates, some gifts and meals. But all opinions are my own!
I love that Chris Pratt gave kudos for learning from James Gunn.