INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS PRATT
LONG JOURNEY TO STARDOM SINCE TV?
Chris Pratt: My life has changed. You kind of wrestle with the idea of how you are going to approach it and how you are going to talk about it. I think people that go at length talking about fame or a loss of anonymity, often times they spiral into focusing on the negative aspects of it.
I am determined to maintain optimism throughout, and there is a lot to be really thankful for in my life and the way that it’s changed. I have always been a very happy person, so it’s not like I was unhappy and waiting for something to break in my life to make me fulfilled. I have really always felt pretty fulfilled. Now I have got a lot of exciting things happening in my life. How it’s changed is I don’t look at receipts anymore, if I want it, I just get it and that’s pretty cool.
If I go places that are going to be really public, I have to manage that. Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same and I have the same friends that I have always had and I have the same family members who jump at any opportunity to bring me back down to earth if I start feeling to excited about myself.
In my career I have more choice and more access to great material, great filmmakers. I am getting amazing opportunities that I only could have dreamed of just a few years ago.
ANYTHING THAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT?
CP: Just the prospect of what my life could look like in my later years with my wife and my son, the type of opportunities that we have and the places that we can go. Land that I want to own, dreaming about trips that I get to go on and what I am going to do with the few months off that I take every year. That’s all really exciting. And fun toys that I get to play with, and great filmmakers that I know I am going to be able to work with. And of course my HFPA family, the F stands for “family.”
CP: I am definitely on board for number 3, and so far I think contractually that’s it. But I love it. So we are trying to focus on one at a time and it was such a victory for all of us that James is coming on to do the third one, and we all absolutely wanted that. We didn’t want to put too much pressure on him and I wanted him to make the choice that was right for him. So as his friend, I wanted to stand back and not put too much pressure on him. But when I found out that he had signed up, I really breathed a sigh of relief, cause this is his thing, he is the auteur and he will have been the only writer-director to do a trilogy in this universe, from the Marvel Universe.
WORKING WITH SAME TEAM?
CP: It was great. It felt really comfortable right away and James and I became friends immediately working with each other on the first film. But it took half the film before we really started vibing creatively, and before he stopped banging my head against the wall and just submitted to doing exactly what he wanted me to do. After seeing the first movie, that’s when I was really solidified who this character is, because I was all over the place and I was throwing a lot of stuff up against the wall and I wasn’t exactly sure what they were going to put in the edit. When you have a really tricky tone with this, with comedy or drama, this irreverence, this special thing, that tone is found in the post-production process. So, I didn’t really know what the tone was going to be but now that I know, it’s easier to get back. The script was really good, and it felt like on the first take of day one, it was a printable, useable take, and from that point forward, the whole thing piece by piece, felt really easy.
TOO MANY SEQUELS?
CP: I have only made one! I am in the process of the second Jurassic World movie. I got really lucky that I was part of three franchises, and that’s really cool. And for me as a dad and someone who is trying to plan my life, there’s not a lot of clarity in what your life is going to look like when you are an actor, just going from gig to gig and you don’t really know what the next six months might look like or the next year might look like. For me, I have a four year old and it’s really nice to be able to say okay, I know where I am going to be in the second half of 2018, and in the second half of 2019. That’s great, and I can start planning what it is that we are going to do and the curriculum and how he is going to go to school and me and his mom can plan our lives, cause it’s not normal for actors to plan what happens down the pipe. And they are super successful and pretty great movies, so that’s pretty great too.
PERKS ABOUT BEING IN THE MARVEL FAMILY NOW?
CP: They do the toys, there’s a ton of toys and they ask you to do the voice for the toys, but then they don’t to pay you any money for it. (laughter) And so you say, well I don’t know, you are not going to offer me very much money, and then they go, well we will just get someone else to do it. And so what I said was, I will tell you what, don’t pay me any money, just give me as many free toys as I want. And so I have this great deal and any time I go to a children’s hospital, they have to ship toys over and I get to hand out these awesome toys, so it’s kind of a limitless access of toys for kids which is pretty cool. That’s one perk. And that aspect of it is, I saw on Instagram the other day, this little boy, who might have been six or seven years old, and he is sick and his dad posted a picture of him, and he was not like terminally ill, but he had the flu or something, and he was laying in bed and he had a Star Lord doll right here and he had a Star Lord mask on and he was asleep. And the guy intentionally tagged me, so that means there’s this guy somewhere who has a kid who has got a cold or the flu, who is like hey, I think Chris Pratt would want to know that my son is comforted by his toys and is tagged on Instagram, and that guy should know that I thought that that was awesome. That was really cool.
GOOD TRAVELER? HOW DO YOU TRAVEL?
CP: I don’t know if I really travel, I am shipped places. I think travel is like oh I know, let’s go here and let’s see some shrines and take in the sights and maybe get some tour guides and I am like Alison, where are we going? I lay down and I wake up and I don’t know where I am. So I am not really traveling, I am just like shipped around like a parcel. But I am pretty good, and it’s expensive shipping, it’s first class, next day air, Amazon Prime. But I have got it down to a science, I know which headphones I am going to bring, which book I am going to bring, I have a Rubik’s Cube that I annoy my neighbors on the airplane with and I compulsively do that, especially if I am like going to go over any type of talking points or anything like that. Alison is really good at that and I have a great team that I travel with and we are the Dream Team man. And you guys see her, every time you see me, she is making it all happen. So my team, they are awesome and that makes it better.
LIVE ON ANOTHER PLANET?
CP: Where am I going to go? There’s no other planet that is more habitable than Earth. (laughs) I go to Mars, it’s pretty hot there. I mean look, I love my planet and I love where I live and we do got problems, but those problems need people like me, because I am going to solve some hopefully. And they need people like you, they need us. We can’t leave and we can’t run away, we have got to face it. We have got to try to fix it.
JURASSIC WORLD 2?
CP: J.A. Bayona is a really special filmmaker and if you have seen a film like “The Impossible” or “A Monster Calls” he still has, he is just a different filmmaker than Colin or Steven, and there is a reason why they hired him to make this movie, the story supports a little bit more, it’s just a little scarier the way it is, it’s a different type of, I think it’s a different type of terror than what we are used to in the “Jurassic Park” franchise and they are moving it in a different direction that I think is really refreshing and really exciting.
STRANGEST FAN EXPERIENCE?
CP: Some poor guy yesterday, he started getting hives and he started getting really angry and freaked out and they had to lift him up and carry him away. I hope he’s okay. But I am glad he didn’t hurt me. There’s some of those sometimes. It’s really weird, that stuff happens. You never know who you are going to run into, some of these folks are crazy. He was at the premiere. And then they tried to gently usher him and he got really defiant and he started doing this karate stuff and that didn’t work out too well for him. It was crazy to see. I kind of felt bad for the guy.
MUSIC PLAYS BIG PART IN FRANCHISE?
CP: I made my brother a mixed tape recently in a playlist and it was a mixed CD, and it was all songs from the 80s and it was actually before I got “Guardians of the Galaxy” so it wasn’t that recent, but it was all songs from the 80s and I call it “The Guess You Had To Be There Mix” cause it’s all songs that I know for me just really resonate and bring back that feeling of being a kid. Some songs, you hear them and you can like smell the living room where you used to live and you know how music does that and it gets your senses. And I made a whole album of songs for him and sent them to him of all songs that did that to me because we were so tight growing up that I know that he would be hearing those songs right alongside me. And he called me crying and so it was pretty cool. But I have never given nobody a mixed tape to a girl that didn’t like it or anything like that and I wasn’t a mixed tape maker or anything like that. A mixed tape is an amazing gift if you get it from someone you like. But it’s a very painful gift to give to somebody if they don’t reciprocate because it takes so much time and effort to put a song together and each choice, it’s a monumental gesture. And so if it’s unrequited, that can be really painful because not only are you saying I love you, you are saying I love you ten different ways and here’s the ten different ways and these are the songs and here’s why. And if someone responds then that’s true love and it’s amazing, but if they don’t, you are really putting your heart out on the line.
IF YOU HAD TO CREATE CHARACTERS, WHAT 3 CHARACTERS WOULD YOU HONOR?
CP: Jesus Christ and maybe Sly Stallone, and maybe Jim Carrey. I would put those three together, I don’t know why. It would probably be a different answer every time you asked me that, but those are the three that came to mind. It would be a really beautiful statue.
CP: There’s a strange thing that happens when you share a moment with somebody. Because I have done a lot of these premieres now with my team, with Alison and people that I work with, but I haven’t done a lot of them with my wife. And yesterday I was with Anna, she was like, she looked over and she went, I can’t believe that you have been doing this. She was like, this is just dawning on me, you have done this so many times. And she was like, I am so much more nervous than you are. (laughter) And it’s nice when you share a moment with someone, because at least in my life, there’s these diagrams, these circles inside of which are my immediate family and my brothers and sisters and friends that I grew up with, and there’s all my business dealings and people that I work with and then there is my family, my wife and my son. And it’s really rare that those three overlap one another. And so it’s almost like I am like one person when I am with my family and I am another person when I am with you guys and I am another person when I am with my brother and sister and people that I grew up with. And it’s just like a different version of me comes out, like the natural chameleon actor in me and I am sort of expressing myself in a way based on whoever I am in front of. And so to mix that business circle with that circle with me and my wife, it’s always a little strange because you can’t help but feel a tiny bit of duplicity, like where do I fit in this thing? And it’s really nice, I was like, should I pretend like I am more nervous? Cause I am not and I have it so many times now in the last few years that it doesn’t make me nervous anymore. I still sweat and I get hot, sometimes if the guy in front of me is doing karate and things bounce and might fall on me I might get a little bit scared, but it’s become old hat. But with her, she was like, you don’t seem that nervous. So it’s a strange thing. So that was one moment from the premiere yesterday, just being able to experience it, and it was really nice and we are doing, I don’t know, we have just had a remarkable year and it’s been really good and healthy for us at home, and to be there with her, whispering little dirty things in her ear on the red carpet or something, that’s pretty fun. That was pretty cool. And then it comes down to my makeup is running down my neck and it’s on my shirt and I am like ah damnitt I got makeup on my shirt! And that’s all I am thinking about. It’s probably the stuff that you wouldn’t think is going through your head is what is going through my head. But yeah, I shared it with Anna, and I whispered something a little nasty in her ear, and I had makeup on my shirt.
WIFE AS PHOTOJOURNALIST?
CP: That was great. I can’t believe how many people asked me about that, I forgot that people actually follow us on Twitter. She is a comic man, she is a comic. She is always doing characters, I love her, she’s funny. She has posted the worst, photojournalist photos that you have ever seen. It was really good because it was like this big, meta experiment, but they were awful. And each one was blurry and mucked up. It was funny. And she knew people were waiting to see her pictures. She had a lot of fun with that. It was out of focus, and it did really capture the moment.
I knew she was doing it, but I didn’t know how big it was and how much she was actually doing it. Cause I was off doing junket stuff all day and she caught me doing yoga, she caught me in the mirror shaving part of my mustache. People like those little glimpses into our life and we try to have some privacy and stuff like that and we still maintain some of those private, intimate moments, but it’s also kind of cool for people to get a glimpse into our life I guess. And she cracks me up, we laugh every day.
NOTION OF PERFECT ANONYMITY
CP: Just go to the beach, pack a picnic, go to a big public beach, put my toes in the water, walk around with my son, with Anna, people watch, feed ducks and just like go experience a big beach, that is a vibrant beach full of people without being like the center of attention. I would probably do that. My favorite is Black Rock, the beach outside of Black Rock in Maui, which is awesome.
ROLE AS FATHER?
The other day my boy said, it’s funny and it kind of goes back to some of the themes in “Guardians of the Galaxy” which resonated with me. Quill was raised by a guy who was pretty gruff, and I was too, I was raised by a guy who was a real tough alpha kind of dad. There wasn’t like a lot of please and thank you. It was like do what I say and you did what he said. I think that’s how a lot of people’s dads are. But I am teaching my son to say please and to say thank you and if he doesn’t say please and say thank you, it’s like what do you say, that kind of thing. But I still kind of have that carryover of my dad’s mentality from time to time, so I said to him, I said Jack, come sit down. Hey buddy, come sit down now. And he said, now is that any way to talk to somebody? I said you are right. Jack, will you please come sit down?
THEME OF FATHER AND SON?
CP: That’s not so much what the dilemma is for Quill here is that not realizing that the thing you had that you always wanted your whole life was there and you didn’t notice. And taking those relationships for granted is more of a dilemma for him. But I think, he is disappointed by, this guy ends up being a disappointment. But I think that is often the case, especially in these types of scenarios, this contemporary storyline, where there is a father that is absent and there is a stepfather that has raised you. And often times we put so much onus and so much emphasis on the biological father, but that is not what makes a dad. And we put so much emphasis on that and I think that is really rare that people end up finding a person who is, you are going to build them up in your head whether it’s a father or an ex-girlfriend or a relationship that you are longing for, you build it up to be something that it’s actually not. And then often times, once you get it, you realize it can never actually live up to what you hoped.
CP: If I do, it usually doesn’t come out in big public situations. Everyone has as serious side and mine is a little more private. It’s just in my makeup and my upbringing and I was raised in a household that didn’t really have a ton of conflict, which I don’t think is necessarily a healthy thing and it’s like we avoided conflict and sometimes you should have conflict and sometimes it’s healthy to have conflict. And we kind of avoided that. And so it was a little bit like walking on eggshells. And so I am not necessarily super comfortable voicing my opinion sometimes, and when I am angry, often times you won’t see it, you won’t know. It will be under the surface, and then I might go and tell someone that I am really intimate with, like maybe I will tell Alison. Alison has seen my dark side. (laughs) I have one, but I have always been very careful about exposing it because, I don’t know why, I guess I am not one of those people who is indifferent to what other people think of me.
I am thankful that I live in a country that has a balanced Government with checks and balances and I think and trust that we have a system that prevents us from being susceptible to tyrants. And I don’t think, I am not calling Donald Trump a tyrant, but I think that we have a judicial system and branches of Government that can protect us from people like that. And that is why we have elections every four years. And so I have faith in my country and the people of my country to make the right choices and if they see something that’s not going right, to replace the person that is not doing well. And, a Constitution that I really believe in, with laws that will prevent someone from having too far overreaching powers. And I have faith in my Government. And I have faith in God and I pray for my country.
I don’t give anything too much power and usually if someone is driving you really crazy, I can kind of look at myself and make some adjustments so it doesn’t affect me too much. But up until I make those adjustments where it doesn’t affect me, the things that can drive me crazy are gossip. I am not a fan of gossip, I don’t like the whispers and the gossip and I think that can drive me really crazy. And I am also a little bit, it drives me crazy, I get cynical about people who jump to a conclusion really quick. And I probably do that my own self and that’s probably why when I see someone else do it I don’t like it. But if someone is quick to judge, or quick to jump to some conclusion, without looking at evidence, I think that’s a problem. Especially it happens now with click bait and that kind of shit, it kills me.
RUDEST QUESTION ASKED?
CP: I am really protective of my family, and those kinds of personal questions can make me uncomfortable. And again, I have to be able to focus on myself and I have to be able to control myself and it’s been a learning process for me. They didn’t teach this class in my high school. But it’s been a learning process, a slight learning process, how to answer those questions and how to deflect and how much of myself I should share and how much I shouldn’t. Like sometimes, I walk away and go why don’t I shut up and stop talking? Sometimes I share too much of myself, and then how can I expect someone not to ask me when I just shared? So I understand my responsibility in it as well and it’s a tough thing to try and manage. But for the most part, there is not that much rudeness and for the most part I am an optimistic guy and I try to focus on the positive stuff.