Chris Pratt Guardians Interview – Who Is Star-Lord? #GuardiansoftheGalaxyEvent
His smile. His laugh. His quick humor. His dance moves? But to kids, many do not know the face behind Star-Lord, the newest hero of the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Who is Chris Pratt and how did he land the leading hero role of a lifetime? Known for his role in the hit show Parks & Recreation, I was fortunate enough to sit down with this hunky and charming guy to get a little more insight on landing the role of Peter Quill, being his own character, his comic book collection, and how he feels about being the next hero for this generation.
As I had expected, Chris Pratt was a charmer. Outgoing, quick wit and a winning smile would flash across his face with every question as he thoughtfully brought his big personality to the table. That’s not to say that he wasn’t humble about his starring role. You could tell that he wasn’t used to such spotlight, especially from a room of family bloggers. Constantly fanning his shirt and saying how hot it was in the room (though he was wearing a long sleeved shirt in the heat of the summer….and I certainly was not complaining) we dug deep.
How did you land the role of Star-Lord?
I got involved early. It was January when I auditioned, but the year after I shot Zero Dark Thirty…2012 into 2013. Marvel had sort of like circled around me and said “hey what about having Chris audition for this role, for Guardians of the Galaxy?”
Meanwhile I was like, on the diet roller coaster all the time, so sometimes I was like super fat and sometimes I was super fit. And at that point I was super fat and I was like, oh God, I don’t want to go audition for this and be told no. I know James Gunn definitely wasn’t interested in having [LAUGHS] me in the movie at first. I think he [had set in his mind] about who his Peter Quinn was going to be.
You could tell that Chris Pratt really pepped talked himself into just auditioning for the part of Star-Lord. He retold his own inner monologue as he watched himself in Zero Dark Thirty for the first time, and how watching himself play a hero-type role reminded him that he is capable of being a Marvel hero.
I saw the movie Zero Dark Thirty in the theaters for the first time. And I kind of forgotten that I had gotten in good shape for that and that I played this character, [LAUGHTER] [that] I did. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s right, I can do that. Because when I saw it, I had already put on like forty pounds in like a month after shooting, and so I thought, wait a minute. Maybe I should be trying to do action-y kind of movies. Like until seeing that movie I had kind of forgotten that I was capable of that.
So after a lot of pushing from himself and his manager, Chris auditioned for the part. Sitting down with James Gunn, Chris was really concerned about making sure that his own personality was conveyed in this movie. I found this quote from him so profound, as you could tell how passionate he felt about making sure that Chris was represented.
I wanted to do something in action, I wanted to do something with comedy. And I wanted to breathe my own spirit into it and I thought there was nothing out there that was going to let me do that. I thought maybe I’d have to try to develop something or write something. [James Gunn] said “look, I just want somebody to come in and do their thing and you know, just own it. This character- there have been many incarnations of this character, there can be another one. I just want someone to come in and own this thing.
And I just thought, all right, here I go, I’m going to try and own it. And I did.
Chris Pratt chatted about challenges he faced as a lead character on a Marvel Film and how he overcame them.
I learned a lot from James Gunn on this because this was the first time I’d ever 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. It’s sometimes it’s just as simple as standing on the mark and speaking clearly, and with volume and energy. And sometimes as an actor, you want to do so much. You’re concerned about the psychology of the character, or 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. And understand that you’re actually a very small part of something very big. 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, it was a lesson in just like trusting the dialogue and pace, understanding pace and energy.
Chris talked with us about the intensive training for this movie. Being a huge action packed summer blockbuster as well as concentrating on changing his own physique, Chris jokes how demanding training was.
How much training did you need to do for the fight scenes?
The fight scenes were pretty intensive. We had about six weeks of rehearsal before we even started shooting in London, and we did stunt rehearsals every single day. And so a big part of that was, uh, was learning, training, refining the fight scenes. So we would learn a fight scene for a couple of weeks and then it would end up changing, and we’d learn it again. I secretly think it was like a way for them to get me to lose even more weight. They’re like “Hey, Chris! Even more stunt rehearsal, can you believe it? [He laughs] This stunt is you running on a treadmill!” We did a ton of training. But it was really fun and that is the stuff I really like. That to me is really like a nice break from sort of the mental exhaustion that can come with acting. You don’t have to think too hard to do stunts, which is just perfect for me.
What was your most memorable moment while filming?
That very first day we were on a set in an area that’s called Morag. That was a real set. It looks so fantastical and it’s just such an epic set. 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. 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 it revealed this city that had been underwater for ten thousand years. So that was the moment where I thought, holy crap. This is happening. I’m in this movie, and it’s going to be epic.
You can tell just by the trailers that the music plays a big part in Guardians. Chris shares his “relationship” with the hit soundtrack.
I have a contentious relationship with that soundtrack because I put it on my iPod as my list to run and work out to. So I love and hate all of those songs. [LAUGHTER] But for me the best one was probably “Ooh Child” ’cause there was a certain beats per minute that matched with my running pace. I need to match my feet to the music, so I can forget how terrible it is that I’m running. I like that one, I definitely hate some of the songs though. [LAUGHTER], not that they’re bad songs it’s just I’ve listened to them maybe no less than a hundred and fifty times or something.
And what’s a movie without a few behind the scene antics? Chris retells some of his favorite laughs.
James kept telling me over and over that he was going to replace me. [LAUGHTER] It kind of became an ongoing joke that he kept pitching different ideas for actors, who he was going to put their face on my face, at the end of the movie. It was like that- which by the way, I never was offended by. I thought it was funny every time he said it. And that was really kind of my favorite part about filming this movie was the relationship I had with James in terms of our comedy, it matches up really well. It’s super inappropriate [LAUGHTER] and we’re constantly trying to outdo one another in terms of our inappropriateness. And so we say some pretty shocking and terrible things that we’d be laughing at, but it was like a survival mechanism, or something like that.
How does it feel knowing that you’re an iconic hero for younger kids of this generation? (This was my question, and I still remember my hands shaking from underneath the table!)
Oh my gosh that is to me the greatest part of all this. I remember pretending to be Han Solo in my backyard, or pretending to be Indiana Jones, or Luke Skywalker as a kid. Comic books and storytelling of this magnitude is what really helped me cultivate my imagination as a young kid. 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. It’s just really…I’ve been Googling synonyms for surreal just to try to help explain what it feels like. [LAUGHTER] It’s really cool. And I think to me that’s like by far the very greatest feeling is that I’m going to be a hero to these kids.
I’ll end this epic interview with a glimpse into Chris Pratt’s childhood.
There was one time that I won three hundred bucks playing Bingo with my mom and I bought three hundred bucks worth of comic books. And one of them was a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book.
How’s that for foreshadowing?
Chris Pratt is just as witty and charming off-screen as he is in Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel definitely knew what they were doing by casting this all-around hero. Who is Star-Lord? It’s Chris Pratt, one of the newest and hottest stars of Guardians of the Galaxy!
Guardians of the Galaxy will be released in theaters on August 1, 2014.
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Missed it? Check out my other Guardians Interviews!
- Vin Diesel, aka Groot HERE
- Zoe Saldana, aka Gamora HERE
- Dave Bautista, aka Drax HERE
- Director James Gunn HERE
Disclosure ~ I received a free trip of a lifetime from Disney as media to conduct this interview. All opinions here are my own. Though I could have listened to him talk and fan his shirt all day long. Be sure to follow Saving Said Simply via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more reviews, giveaways and more.