I have to give a Galaxy-sized thank you to Disney & Marvel Studios for hosting me during the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Event.
I’ve been in awe of Chris Pratt since the first Guardians of the Galaxy when he lost a bunch of weight and got super ripped for the film. He went from cuddly funnyman to super hot hunk in what seemed like no time at all, and he’s somehow kept it off. He seems to be a doting husband and loving father, and I’ve never seen a picture of Chris and Anna where they didn’t look like they weren’t completely head over heels in love. Their relationship and his ability to remain seemingly down to earth is one of the reasons he’s one of my current favorite actors. When I found out that we were going to be interviewing Chris during the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Press Junket, I was really looking forward to seeing if he’s as cool in real life as everyone says he is.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Chris is definitely very real, and because he’s so real, is quite naturally funny, and he makes fantastic eye contact.
There is so much from our interview that I cannot give away until the movie is released, so instead I’m going to introduce you to the Chris Pratt I met, how he feels about the movie and his role in making it a success, how (and if) he’s kept the weight off, and what it was like working with legend Kurt Russell.
1. Chris feels responsible for some of the moving parts of the movie, and he’s relieved that the movie was as good as the script was.
“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 the movie is exactly how the script read. And so when I read the script, I knew it was good, but there’s so much stuff that can happen between reading the script, and then watching the movie. 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.”
2. He believes Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a contemporary story that kids and young people are going to relate to, he’s known about the plot since shortly after Guardians of the Galaxy was released, and he gets goosebumps when he talks about it. (Yeah, it really is THAT good)
“It’s a very contemporary story, and there’s a lot of kids that are gonna relate to it, [kids] whose dads weren’t around and who have another man in their life who’s been responsible for raising them. It also speaks to how we can take relationships for granted that aren’t those relationships we have built up in our mind. James told me the whole script when we sat down together just a few weeks or maybe a month or so after the first movie came out. He invited me to his house, and told me the whole movie. I was the first person to hear it, and I was crying at the end. He asked me,
“So, what do you think? Would you?”
Because he wanted to know if I was willing to go there, and of course I was like “Are you crazy? Yes, please, it’s amazing!” I have goosebumps just talking about it. I really do.”
3. He has a hard time channeling anger because he does it so rarely in his real life. Peter Quill experiences extreme anger in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and Chris was asked how he tapped into that anger to make that particular scene so convincing. He admitted that he has a hard time channeling that anger because it’s not something that he experiences very often in his every day life.
“That’s something that for me, as an actor, is one of the hardest things for me to do, to channel anger, because I do it so rarely in my real life. Not saying that that’s healthy, I just don’t really do it that often. And so, I think often times how we behave in the real world, that type of behavior is really easy to do as an actor, for me at least.
But for me to like look someone in the eye and yell at them, 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 use just the natural empathy for your character that you’re playing that you love, you have to have empathy for them, and then you feel their emotions. Because if that doesn’t work to get you there, you have to rely on some sort of tricks to work not necessarily from the inside out, but from the outside in.
That’s what I had to do in that particular scene. It was actually not as emotional for me as it was kinda practical. I just had to create a center, create a loud voice. James really helps me with that stuff. it’s a lot about energy and heightening your energy, and grounding it, and being direct. That’s something that doesn’t come that natural to me, so if you think it worked, that’s good. That makes me feel happy.”
4. He gets star struck too and has a special trick for working with his icons. When asked about his relationship with Kurt Russell, Chris had a confession.
“Kurt Russell is like this iconic dude, who I’ve known about 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, where you feel like you have to tell them, because otherwise you try to build a friendship and it’s a little inauthentic.
You just say, “Listen, I have to get this part out of the way, but I love you so much, you’re the best. You’ve always been the best.”
Kurt responded “Yeah, I know. Thanks.”
And, after that we just got to it.”
5. When Chris has to redo a take but knows that they already have his lines down, he plays around with the next take and sometimes his improvs make it into the movie! He says that James Gunn really knows his voice and wrote the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 in a way that sounds like stuff Chris would have already improved, but one particular improv made it into the movie and made the entire theatre erupt into laughter.
“There are a few jokes that I improv that made it. The thing about if “if the thing between my legs had a hand on it.” That was improv.
I remember in the day we were filming that, and 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 was that was written, and that I had room to play.
I say, “You’re gonna throw this take away anyway, I’m just gonna say whatever I want.”
So I said that line and he was like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And it wasn’t that funny at the time, but then he put it in the movie!”
5. The shirt Peter Quill wears in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is actually the label of Peter’s favorite snack, which is an Easter egg from the first movie. Chris’ favorite snack are cheese and crackers, Crudités, and Doritos.
“So Peter Quill’s shirt in the movie, is his favorite snack, because that’s actually a label from the first movie. At one point during Guardians of the Galaxy, there was some candy on the table and I think I’m eating some of the candy. James really loved the label, the art department had gone the lengths of creating this language, and created a label for some candy, so he put that label on the shirt. So, that’s like a snack that Peter Quill likes to eat.
I’m like a cheese and crackers and Crudités guy. Cheese, crackers, and mustard and that kind of thing. If I could I’d just live on that. I’d get fat. OH, and Doritos.”
6. He hasn’t kept the weight off – so he’s just human – and a little about how he sets his goals. I asked about how he’s maintained his killer physique and his answer was hilarious and real and something we could all learn from.
“If I’m gonna be fully authentic, I’m pretty careful about when I reveal myself to the public. I do it in a way to make you think that I’ve kept the weight off the entire time, but I haven’t. Seriously, I 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, then I dial it in so that I can take a good picture. So, don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t lose weight and keep it off, that’s just really natural. And I think the best way to think about it is not to have a weight goal. Don’t say “my goal is to get to 225 pounds. That’s not my goal. My goal is six months. Six months of consistency. Go to the gym, or do something every day for six months. Make the goal, a consistency. 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. I made that my goal, 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. Then you hit that goal and you’re like, nailed it, let’s eat, just a little bit, and then like six weeks have passed and you’re like, “What did I do? Why did I do that?” So, it’s natural to kind of go up and down.”
7. He Credits Russell Wilson as inspiration for his philanthropic lifestyle
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 about his faith. He is a superstar quarterback and 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. While I was working on Guardians of the Galaxy, I remember thinking to myself, if this thing does what it could potentially do, and there’s a world where it would mean something for me to give back to the community, I’ll definitely do it, you know? 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.”
8. He admits balancing family life and fame is not easy and that it takes lots of planning. He was also glad that someone asked the question about how he, as a husband and father, balances it all because as a dude, he doesn’t get asked that question, while his wife, Anna Ferris, does. And he has a really important tip about what’s important in a family.
“It’s not easy. It’s a lot of communication. We have help and everything has to be planned. You manage it by just making sure everyone is doing what they need to be doing. You check in with everyone. 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. I told my publicist just the other day, I’m like a parcel. I don’t even travel, I just get shipped everywhere. I just focus on what I can do. I think you don’t have to be present to be a presence, with technology now, FaceTime, things like that. You have to check in every day and nurture your relationship with your spouse. Not making it just about the kids is important.
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. Anna and I took a weekend trip for ourselves to go to Paris and left Jack behind. As much as when we were there we were 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. I think prioritize, and work on making lists. Probably you’re gonna fail some of the time, you know? Just do your best.”
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is in theaters on May 5th. You can purchase your tickets now so you definitely get a seat!
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” blasts into theaters on May 5, 2017.
Images of Chris Pratt by Louise from MomStart.com