In person, Chris Pratt is quite similar to the goofy and eccentric Peter Quill aka Star Lord that he plays in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. During my meeting with Chris, the one thing that stood out the most, apart from the super fandom he enjoys, is the fact that despite his intergalactic stardom, his humility is his biggest asset. During the event held in Tokyo for Guardians...Vol 2, Chris made it a point to sign as many posters for the fans and click selfies with them. Even during this exclusive interview with After Hrs, Chris was visibly embarrassed when I reminded him of his army of fans back home. Excerpts from the chat with him:
Your wife Anna Faris is a genius when it comes to comedy, do you discuss or collaborate with her when it comes to playing Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Yes, we do. She is somebody I really trust in terms of just having a point-of-view about a scene. I talk to her, and not just about comedy. In fact, we probably talk more about dramatic stuff. I feel comedy comes naturally to me and many a time, I don’t find myself struggling with how to make something funny, but I might struggle with how to make something work dramatically and she is one of the first people I will go to and talk about that and she has always got really good suggestions.
This film is all about misfits, did you ever feel like one in Hollywood while you were working your way up?
I definitely felt like an outsider and I was and I guess, probably still am, in a way, because I wasn’t from Hollywood. I did not necessarily fit in or know anybody in that way, yes. Although now, I have spent more time in Los Angeles than I have out of it.
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Do you think it has helped you have this outsider perspective?
Yes, definitely. It’s a little bit harder, but there is a great benefit to being someone on the outside, because in Los Angeles, Hollywood has a tendency to homogenise its men and women. I feel they all become very similar. You have great weather, there are pretty progressive and thoughtful people with easy-going attitudes. That is really great, but it doesn’t necessarily make for the most diverse group of actors. It is like a lot of the guys become exactly the same. So, for me, it was helpful to have this outside perspective because when people in LA are casting for a movie, at times they will cast from Canada, or Australia, or Britain, or India or anywhere else, just because you have a point-of-view that is different with that of creators and writers in LA.
Are there any difficulties for outsiders?
I think just like creating the initial connection, you know, like jumping the first few initial hurdles are tough and very much a Catch-22 situation. Trying to get an agent or manager and trying to get into the Screen Actors Guild, that type of stuff is really difficult. You cannot get a job unless you are in the Guild and you can’t get into the Guild unless you get a job. So, that is really tough. And it’s the same thing with representation. You cannot get someone to represent you unless you have some work to show them. And you cannot get work unless you have representation. That has changed a bit now. People can have a funny YouTube channel and they can create their own content to show to a representative that can get them some work in film or television. That is a bit different than when I started because when I started, you couldn’t even get a camera unless you had tons of money.
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Does your son (Jack) know that his dad is kicking and battling these bad guys? Is he aware how cool his dad is?
He knows the first part. I don’t know if he thinks it is cool. He has seen the movies that I am in and he knows that I am Star Lord and all that...
Does he call you that?
No, he in fact he is pretty cool about it and he is very matter-of-fact. I will say who is your favourite superhero, Star Lord? He says, ‘No, Spider-Man’. He likes Spiderman better. I don’t think if he fully understands what makes Star Lord great because Star Lord doesn’t really have any super powers and cannot fly or shoot webs out of his hand. He is more into the superpowers.
You are an actor who is a part of these two big franchises — Jurassic World and Guardians of the Galaxy — in terms of choices when films come to you, now that you have become a global superstar are you still looking at smaller films, independent studios coming to you with projects?
Yes, I am looking at everything. I am seeing a lot more things come in, but you know my time is limited. Between Guardians and Jurassic... that is six movies. Three out of the six movies have been filmed, and there are three more to go. I have got another film that I am developing. I have got some voice-over work and LEGO movies. From each of these films, I might be able to do one or possibly two a year, which means there is not that much room for independent projects. When I take on one of these movies, it takes me across the world for half-a-year and I need to spend the other half making up for the time that I have been gone. So, I am looking for the right films and I don’t really care what size they are as long as they are perfect. But I don’t have many slots left right now.
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