Who's excited about seeing Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? If you've been following along, you already read yesterday's post about our behind-the-scenes meetings with Executive Producer Jonathan Schwartz, Prop Manager Russell Bobbitt, and saw me holding Baby Groot while standing next to Rocket. Truth! Earlier today I shared my kick-ass interview with Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora. Seriously one of my favorite interviews ever.
To catch you up a bit, on rare occasions, Disney invites bloggers on a secret trip. What this means is that we are only allowed to tell our families where we are going. (Thank you for that, Disney! Otherwise, 'Honey, I'm heading somewhere for a few days and I can't tell you about it' might be rough on my marriage!)
This was the case for visiting the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. Saying I was excited would be an understatement. Interviewing Chris Pratt and other stars from the film was surreal! Being on the set and having Michael Rooker smile and wave at us just before they started filming? That was one of the best moments ever! Check out my interview with Michael tomorrow and our on-the-set post on Friday!
We were actually on set twice, and in between, we sat in a small room with ten folding chairs around a desk. Being about three feet away from these stars...cracking up with them, just hanging out and chatting.. made me realize something they all had in common. They were all grateful for this opportunity and extremely excited about this film.
This was the second time I've interviewed Chris Pratt. The first time was for the film Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn. Chris was just the sweetest guy then, and though he hadn't changed a bit on that front, he looked different. Back in his Delivery Man days he actually had to gain weight for the role. I don't think he has an ounce of body fat now. He looks really, really, really good. I mean really. Just sayin'.
Still, something else was different- his cool factor had definitely escalated with the first Guardians film, and from the moment he walked into that small room, took a seat, smiled and said, "What's up mommas?"- I felt like he was a different guy. So I asked,
Q: Do you think playing this role has rubbed off on you at all?
Chris: I think the clothes make the man. When you’re actors you really get the freedom to change who you are. 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. [If] 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, by nature I think to survive socially 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 don’t think I’m making a conscious choice to do that.
I think it’s just a natural thing that happens because, walking around with guns on our hips, like cool galactic boots, I come across cocky.
I think sexy is more the word I would use, but that's just me...and proably 98% of the women in the world! It's been almost two years since the first Guardians of the Galaxy was released, and we had a lot more questions for Chris.
Q: How does it feel to be back?
Chris: Oh God, it’s great. It really is. I mean that, too. This movie is coming at the end of a long run of jobs that I’ve had. Fortunate to have three movies back to back. This is the third one, so I will have been on the road for 13 or 14 months by the time this is over. It feels like the perfect movie to have as the third movie, because James [Gunn] is so good; he knows exactly what he wants.
We all know the characters. Everyone’s gotten better since the last movie. I’d say we really had to pick up right where we left off. And it felt like, I don’t know, it just feels like everyone’s on their A game and days are totally manageable, and the story is spread out enough to where I have days off, which is really nice.
I’ve been able to actually get home to LA and Anna [Faris] and Jack will be able to visit me. And it’s like getting a nice warm up for the reentry period for when I go back home.
At one point in the interview, we told Chris mentioned someone else we spoke to while we were on set. He misunderstood and thought we said we were talking to his gorgeous wife and was very excited thinking she was there on set! It was pretty cute, and we hated to disappoint him, but we had some questions about working with Kurt Russell, who has a pretty important role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
Q: So, what is it like working with him?
Chris: Man, it’s been %!@?! awesome. Not every actor who has been around as long as he’s been around is a joy to work with. Essentially anyone who has the bad reputation, they kind of earned that. It’s anyone’s right to be an a**hole on set. Kurt Russell is not. He is so great. I mean, he’s really tough. I lot of people don’t know everything about Kurt Russell. He was a professional baseball player. He broke a World Record as a race car driver as a teenager. He was a pilot for years. He actually flew delivering packages. He breeds horses. He’s such a MAN. He’s so good. I asked him if he would be my real dad! No offense to my father, but 'rest in peace dad, you’ve been replaced by Kurt Russell.'
Q: When you saw this script, what was your first thought?
Chris: I hadn't read it. 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 read the script. He told me exactly what was going to happen. It was before the script had been written, and when he told me, 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.
But 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. And so, for me, 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 who could bring that idea to the big screen without screwing it up. It’s like a giant sense of rush and a relief at the same time.
We all loved the music from the first Guardians of the Galaxy. We wanted to know if it was as good in the new film.
Chris: Sometimes they put songs in movies because, 'hey, this would be a really cool song to accompany this scene.' That’s fine, but with James, he’s always allowed it 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. So, it’s the same thing with volume 2. His [Peter Quill] mom had even better taste and probably a little bit more money in volume 2. The songs are primo and expertly used without being distracting. And in this movie, once you see the movie you’ll understand more of what I mean, it's used even more as a narrative tool than the first one.
Q: On that note, do you have a favorite song? We know you can’t tell us about this one, but from the last movie, if you had to pick a favorite?
Chris: The one thing that’s really beautiful about this volume versus the first was that in the first movie I listened to the first soundtrack every time I worked out for that movie. So by the time the movie rolled around, I hated every song. [Collective gasp!] No, I did. But what’s great about this second volume is I didn’t do that. Peter Quill just got this tape two months ago, because we’re picking up just a couple of months after the events of the first movie. So it doesn’t have to be engrained in my psyche, the way a tape would be that I’ve listened to over, and over, and over again, and have come to hate, and then again, learned to love. Which is really where I’m at now. I might not be quite to the point where I’ve learned to love them again, but I know Peter Quill would have. It’s the pulse of his childhood in this tape. He’d listen to it all the time. And I don’t have to do that with the second tape because I’ve only had it a month. It’s just awesome. I really don’t want to tease you but…
Check out the brand new trailer that aired during the big game for a taste of the music! Warning: It's addictive. I've lost count of how many times I've watched!
Q: Do you still train for your role?
Chris: Maybe not as much as the first one, because I didn’t have quite as far to go. (From Delivery Man) I kept in good shape for the last couple of movies. So for this one, I'm just more maintenance than a big deadline. We already shot this sort of shirtless scene pretty early on, and you really plan for that. After that, I’m like long sleeve shirts and leather jackets.
Q: Speaking of leather jackets, we got to go into costuming, and that long leather jacket is heavy! Do you know how much it weighs?
Chris: I don’t know, but I think when it’s wet it’s probably close to 50 pounds.
Q: And you have to wear that for the whole day shoot?
Chris: I have the long duster and the short jacket as well. The first time I ever put that jacket on, that was the first time I ever really felt like the character. They say that old adage, 'clothes make the man.' When you see yourself in the clothes, all of a sudden, the weight of that jacket, the way it moves when you walk.
I found my walk, and I found the feeling of this character for the first time. Anna says the same thing about her shoes that she wears as a 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.
When I’m in wardrobe and I’m looking at myself, and it’s something that I would never really wear...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…
We asked what Chris wanted people to take away from Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and I think his answer will surprise you.
Chris: 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. Or if you watched Star Wars growing up, you have the toys. There’s something really special about that as a kid that you’ll always remember when you’re an adult. When you’re a kid, a movie can be pretty terrible and you’ll still love it, and there are a lot of them that I remember loving as a kid that I’ve watched since I’ve become an adult, and I’m like, 'oh boy, that doesn’t hold up. Good thing I was seven when I watched it. I wasn’t real critical then.' But with Marvel, what they’ve done is they’ve made movies that kids are going to love because it has all the elements that kids love and really great compelling stories that adults will watch and want their kids to see.
What I want kids to walk away with is an experience. It’s less about what they think about us, but more about who they got to go see that movie with, that they will 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.
Q: Team Cap or Team Iron Man?
Chris: I don’t want to say. It’s so hard for me. I have to let Marvel make the decision for me. I really do, because I love Chris [Evans], but I also love Robert [Downey, Jr.]. I can’t take the subjectivity out of having to choose one of my friends over the other. So I’ll let Marvel make that decision. And then once they’ve made it, I will go hard with it. I will! 'That other dude is out of my life, tell them to hold my calls. I’m going hardcore. Dead to me.'
Q: Will we see more of a relationship with Gamora?
We’re picking up where we left off. Some characters are going to be drawn towards others. But there is also a lot of new characters. So without spoiling it, I will say, you’re likely to get that element, but I won’t say with exactly who, or how that comes about. I want you to see it.
Q: What's it like to be on set?
It’s really fun. It’s hard. It’s some work, but mostly it goes from waiting around and being kind of bored, to looking around and having a ton of fun and being really excited, to having to do some hard work that you want to end soon. But there’s a great amount of surreal moments. I was spinning in circles yesterday, opposite Kurt Russell on wires, and we’re flying through the air. We’re doing these stunts basically like being a superhero, which makes it super awesome. And I’m looking at him and he’s looking at me, and even he’s having a #%!&?& ball, you know. And I was like, this is cool. Truly the best part is just getting to know people. That time when you’re sitting around being bored, you actually start getting to know people. I’m talking to Kurt about his life growing up, and what it was like for him and Goldie Hawn, and their relationship. You just never know who you’re going to work with. The work part will be good, and the movie hopefully will be good, but the experience, the journey, you hope that will be everything that you want it to be.
I can tell you this. The movie is going to be awesome. And for me, the experience of hanging out with these people? It was insanely amazing. Obviously.
Chris took a second to grab a photo with us.
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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is in theaters May 5th!