Okay, so call me silly, but I was really excited to meet Chris Pratt… not just because he played Peter Quill (AKA: Star-Lord) in Guardians of the Galaxy… but because of my son. “Why?” you ask. Well, if you didn’t know Chris Pratt is the voice of Emmett in The LEGO Movie. I couldn’t wait to hear his voice in person. I knew my son would be jealous!
When Chris Pratt entered the room, he was very excited to see our smiling faces. You could tell he was proud to be a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy… and excited to talk to us about his role in the movie.
When you get a chance to see the movie, then you will understand our interest in Chris’ background knowledge of dance. (Jokingly) We wondered if he had to take dance lessons in preparation for his role. Chris said, “Well, once they saw me cut a rug…no…” We all laughed.
How did Chris get involved in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Chris auditioned in January, the year after he shot Zero Dark Thirty. I loved that Chris couldn’t remember the exact year during our discussion…he said either 2012 or 2013. As a busy mom, I completely understand how easy it is to forget the time. So as a busy actor, it was refreshing seeing that he forgets every once in a while too. Chris said, they did a shoot in 2013, and “Marvel had sort of like circled around me and- and said, hey, you know, what about having Chris audition for this role, for Guardians of the Galaxy.”
As life goes, Chris faced the challenge of his weight. He was on the “diet roller coaster all the time, so sometimes I was like super fat and sometimes I was super fit.” At the point of auditions, Chris was at a “super fat” point and he thought, “Oh god, I don’t want to go audition for this and be told no, so, uh, no, I don’t think so.” Chris disclosed that James Gunn (director) “wasn’t interested in having [LAUGHS] me in the movie at first. You know, he was like, there was a bit of an identity crisis around, I was having one of who I was an actor. And I think he was about who his Peter Quinn was going to be and meanwhile he was testing more and more people and it just wasn’t working and, you know, I saw the movie Zero Dark Thirty in the theaters for the first time. And I kind of forgot that I had gotten in good shape for that and that I played this character, I did. And I was like, oh my gosh, that’s right, I can do that. Because it’s, you know, when I saw it, I had already put on like forty pounds in like a month after shooting, you know, and so, I thought wait a minute. Maybe I should be trying to do action-y kind of movies, ’cause I bought it. Like until seeing that movie I had kind of forgotten that I had done that or I was, 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 I, how we got in. And then James was like, Chris, hey look- it’s Chris.”
After the audition, James Gunn saw something in Chris. Chris was ready to dive into this role. He wanted to “breathe [his] own spirit into it.”
Chris Pratt was a fan of comic books and an artist.
Chris was a comic book fan somewhere around eighth, ninth and/or tenth grade. He informed us that, “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 like, I didn’t have a ton of them. My friends had a lot of them. I would like to draw the pictures out of them. We were big artists. A lot of artists in my family. We would like to draw and paint and things like that. And so I loved the artistry, I loved the characters, and what they were, just the physicality of the heroes. I just like was a big fan of that, like was always drawing comic book heroes.”
Chris told us a wonderful story about how he won $300 playing Bingo with his mother. With his winnings he “bought three hundred bucks worth of comic books. And- and one of them was a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book and it was right around that time I guess in 1991 there was an incarnation of it.”
The comic books stories didn’t grab Chris’ attention… “it was the covers and it was the cool art on the inside and the outside.” In his collection he had a Ghost Rider (the one with the glow in the dark cover), a Bart Man number one, a stack of Richie Riches (that he got at a garage sale), Spider Man, X-Men, and a big stack of Conan … which he said, “They were really sexy. I remember, I was like a kid, they were like- they were kind of like the closest thing I had to smut were like these things.” We all laughed in response.
Most memorable moment while filming.
Chris didn’t realize that we had already seen the movie the night before…so once he found out that we loved the movie he was able to talk to us about his very first day of filming. That day they were on a set in an area that’s called Morag… and in Chris’s words it’s “an epic set.” He stated most people will “assume it’s all green screen. The thing was a real set. I mean, we were in- outside 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. 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 like shipping containers stacked, stacked like ninety feet high.”
It was amazing hearing about Morag. Chris was so excited and thrilled to share this moment with us. We were entranced with his words and couldn’t wait to hear more about the set.
He continued talking about the set and that there was an element of a green screen around the set to give it the allusion of a horizon. It was at that moment he thought to himself, “Holy crap. This is happening, I’m on this movie, and- and it’s going to be epic.” And he is right…this movie is EPIC! I know it will be a favorite in my household. I can’t wait to take my husband to opening night…and of course buy it on DVD/Digital!
Favorite behind-the-scene moment.
There was an ongoing joke throughout the filming. “James kept telling me over and over that he was going to replace me,” laughed Chris. James would pitch different ideas for actors. It was all just a joke and Chris never took offense to it. He said, “I thought it was funny every time he said it. And that was really kind of- maybe my favorite part about filming this movie was the relationship I had with James in terms of our comedy, it matches up really well.”
An iconic hero for younger kids of this generation.
When you play a role, you don’t think… wow, I am going to be an iconic hero… but Guardians of the Galaxy has made Chris Pratt a hero for the young children everywhere! His response to this new title was heart-warming. He said, “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. I mean, like this, you know, comic books and storytelling of this magnitude is what really helped me cultivate a 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. It’s just really I mean, I’ve been Googling synonyms for surreal just to try to help explain what it feels like.”
In the movie, the soundtrack plays an integral role. Not only does it tell a story, but it breathes life and emotions into the characters. Chris had “a contentious relationship with that soundtrack.” He put it on his iPod and used it during his workouts. So he began to have a “love and hate” relationship with all of the songs. Out of all of them, his favorite was Ooh Child because it matched his running pace. He said, “When I’m running, I need to match my feet to the music, so I can forget how terrible it is that I’m running.” I giggled…I totally get that! Music helps me forget too.
Meeting Chris was an amazing experience. When I got home I told my son I spoke with Emmett from The LEGO Movie and his jaw dropped. I can’t wait for Logan to get a little older so I can take him to see this EPIC movie! I can already tell that Peter Quill will be his hero!
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens in theaters everywhere on August 1st!
Disclosure: Disney invited me on this press trip and paid for all of my expenses (except travel). All opinions are always 100% my own and honest.