Chris Pratt Talks Family Life, Kurt Russell, and Being Back on Set
Its been months since I visited the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. When we sat down to chat with Chris Pratt about the movie, I was expecting it to be a fun interview. He didn’t disappoint at all. He walked in the room greeting us saying “Hey Mommas!” and that’s how we started the interview.
We quickly started asking Chris how he felt being back on set for the movie. He responded saying it felt great. Coming off a string a three movies back to back, he’s a very busy man. He understand how fortunate he was to have had three jobs in a row, sharing he’s been on the road for about thirteen months. His face perked up when he talked about his family.
Oh God, it’s great. This is a long, this movie is coming at the-the end of a long run of jobs that I’ve had. Fortunate to have three movies back to back. James is so good, he knows exactly what he wants.We all know the characters, everyone’s gotten better since the last movie. We, I’d say we’d really had to pick up right where we left off. It just feels like everyone’s on their A game. The days are totally manageable, and the story is spread out enough to where I have days off. Which is really nice, so I’ve been able to actually get home to LA and Anna and Jack, and they can fly out visit me. And it’s like getting a nice warm up for the reentry period for when I go back home.
When we visited set news hadn’t broke yet about Kurt Russell playing Pratt’s character Peter Quill father in the film. We wanted to know what it was like for him to work with the legendary actor.
Man, it’s been fucking awesome! Not every actor whose been around as long as he’s been around is a joy to work with. And it’s anyone’s right to-to be an asshole on set. Kurt Russell is not, he is so great. I mean, he’s really tough. A lot of people don’t know everything about Kurt Russell, because like he’s like a professional, what was it, a professional baseball player. He broke a World Record, as like a racecar driver as like a teenager. He was a pilot for like 25 years. He actually flew like delivering packages. He has horses and breeds them. He’s like so good.
Pratt liked the actor so much he joked about asking him to be his real father. He laughed saying “no disrespect to my real dad, R.I.P. dad.” We got back into the interview asking how he felt about the direction of his character in the upcoming film. His response – yes, then he shared how he learned about the upcoming film.
When I was first introduced to the story, it was with James. We were sitting and smoking a cigar in his living room, and he was like, okay, here’s the story. So I didn’t get, I didn’t read the script, he told me exactly what was going to happen. It was before the script had been written and when he told I was captivated, I’m so moved and impressed by this story. It’s completely different from the first movie, but similar in that’s it’s really going to surprise people and I think be really good. It’s not going to be one of these sequels that’s just a rehash of what they did in the first movie. It’s taking a big leap forward.
Hearing that story for the first time,I just felt so lucky that he’s the dude in charge of this franchise. Because he has such an awesome idea and is really the only one that could bring that idea to the big screen without screwing it up. So I have a giant sense of… there’s a rush and a relief at the same time.
Soundtracks have a way of adding a different level of passion to movies. The Volume One Soundtrack was awesome, it was one of the first things I asked about during our visit to set. We asked Chris to share with us his thoughts on the soundtrack.
I don’t want to like give away the spoiler. But there is a second tape and just like in the first movie, it absolutely belongs in the movie, you know sometimes how they put songs in movies, just because, hey, this would be really cool song to accompany this scene. That’s fine, but with James the way he’s done it, he’s always allowed the music to be a narrative tool. You know, to get you in the mood, to get you pumped up, and heighten the excitement of the scene or emotion of the scene. But also, he justifies it because it’s a prop in the movie, it didn’t just come out of nowhere.
I’m telling you, his mom had even better taste and probably a little bit more money in volume two. So the songs are in primo and expertly used without being distracting. And in this movie, once you see the movie, you’ll understand more of what I mean that it’s used even more as a narrative tool than the first one.
We chatted a bit more about the music from Volume One and then asked about his training regime for this film.
I mean, maybe not as much as the first one, because I didn’t have quite as far to go. I was still in kind of good shape for the last couple of movies. This one I am more maintenance than-than like a big deadline, you know what I mean. There was already a shot of this sort of shirtless scene. That was pretty early on and you really kind of like planned for that. After that I’m like long sleeve shirts and leather jacket, so I will go have a little sandwich or something.
From there we continued talking about the wardrobe and the various jackets Pratt has to wear during the film. He shared how putting on the costumes helped him feel hilself in the role.
The first time I ever put the duster jacket on, that was the first time I ever really felt like the character. You know they say that old saything that the clothes make the man, but really-really the first time you see yourself, – for me at least as an actor, -when I’m in the wardrobe and I’m looking at myself, and it’s something that I as a person would never really wear, possibly certainly if they going to end up with a long red leather duster, we don’t have one of those in my wardrobe. Other than the one that I stole from the first movie but… when you see yourself in the clothes, all of a sudden, the weight of that jacket, the way it moves when you walk, I had like, I found my walk, and I found the feeling of this character for the first time. And Anna says the same thing about her shoes that she wears as character. It’s like she’ll put on the pair of shoes and that’s the first time she really feels it, when she’s literally walking in that person’s shoes.
We chatted a bit about items on set he really liked, then went on to ask him about his son visiting set. We wanted to know how he feels about his dad being a superhero.
Oh yeah, he’s been to set a few times and I can’t really tell. It’s like it’s all about perspective, you know, he doesn’t have really a world where he’s lived in where his mom and dad weren’t on TV. It’s like, that’s just a natural thing for him, to see Anna on her show or if an old movie is on or something. It’s just that’s life for him. So he comes to set and mostly he’s excited to see me, but he’s three and a half, four, he’s smart. I think he loves it that there are like women and other children that are on set, or there are new people for him to like meet and show off. It’s like, seeing me is the best thing for him.
Next we asked him what he was hoping people would take away from the movie when they see the film.
I mean the beauty of these movies is that adults love them too. But I think the adults who love them, they love them because it brings them back to Saturday cartoons when they were kids, you know. Or if watched the Star Wars growing up, or you watched like these space adventures growing up, you have the toys, like there’s something really special about that as a kid that you’ll always remember when you’re an adult. Marvel, I think what they’ve done is they’ve made movies that kids are going to love, because it has all the elements that kids love. But also, really great compelling stories that adults will watch and want their kids to see. What I want kids to walk away with is just an experience. It’s less about what they think about us, but more about who they got to go see that movie with. What they’ll always remember the time they went to go see Guardians of the Galaxy with their dad, or their mom, or their uncle. It’s not so much about what’s happening in the movie as much as what’s happening for that kid that day.
We were very curious about Quill’s and Gamora’s relationship in this movie. Everyone so far on set was very tight lipped about it, we asked Pratt hoping he’d spill the beans.
Anything that you felt in the first movie, in terms of relationships, we’re not going back to where we started. We’re picking up where we left off. And so, there are going to be just naturally, some characters are going to be drawn towards others. But there is also a lot of new characters. So without spoiling, without spoiling it, I will say that, you’re likely to get that element, but I won’t say with exactly who that is, or how that, how that comes about. I want you to see it.
I know he didn’t share much but I hope it means there will be a love interest in this film. One of the last things we asked him about was how the character has rubbed off on him.
I think like the clothes, like I said, the clothes make the man. I think like a part of us, we get the freedom as actors, and it’s probably the most rotundas answer you’ve ever heard. When you’re actors you really get the freedom to change who you are. And whether you put on the clothes, or the persona, or the personality, I think it’s something inherently we do as people anyways. We just don’t get credited for it and no one really notices it.
Think about it when you hang out with certain friends you might act one way, or with another group of friends you might act another, like a member of your family, or when you’re with grandma you become another person. It’s like nature I think to survive socially we’re bits, we’re kind of Chameleon, and I think it does change me to be here, my personality having played this character. Now when I go home, I’m a completely different person that I am even right here in this interview. But I’m not, I-I don’t think I’m making a consciences choice to do that.
I think it’s just a natural thing that happens because walking around with guns on our hips, cool galactic boots, so I come across as like a cocky confident dick.
You can catch Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in theaters May 5th, 2017.