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September 22nd, 2016   admin   No Comments

Chris Pratt is exactly as advertised: tall, handsome, boisterous.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star visited Toronto last week for the world premiere of The Magnificent Seven — which kicked off TIFF.

The frontier drama stars Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio and Haley Bennett.

It opens in theatres Friday.

Based on Akira Kurosawa’s classic, Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven tells a David and Goliath story about a handful of gunslingers defending a town against an army of bad guys.

Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) ups the genre ante with terrific action, ensuring that the wild west really is wild.

Pratt has seen the John Sturges 1960 version of Magnificent Seven, “But I saw it as a young adult. I wasn’t watching it with the critical eye with which I watch movies now.” Instead, homework for the actors, he says, was watching Seven Samurai and The Wild Bunch.

“And The Wild Bunch was a greater influence.”

The actor is exactly the sort of huntin’ and fishin’ man’s man you’d want in a western.

He’s got skills. (And not just with french braids, although you can watch his hair-plaiting talent on YouTube.)

“I’ve been shooting since childhood. I grew up in a small town where you could go into the woods and shoot your gun and nobody would mess with you. Just the kind of rural upbringing I had,” says Pratt, whose childhood was spent in small towns in Minnesota and Washington state, and even in a gold-mining camp in remote Alaska.

“I had a lot of experience with trap shooting and shooting pistols and rifles for sport. Shooting holes in paper. Long time practice.”

Horseback riding is something he learned for the movie.

“I’d done it before, but I was never any good. I didn’t treat the horse like a living being but like an automobile, I’d just hit the gas expecting it to go, and I forgot that they’re not super keen on novice people digging their heels into their ribs. So they get p—ed off and throw you into a fence.”

He laughs. “I had very little confidence when I started the movie, but I let it grow slowly with my skill, and by the end I got much more comfortable on a horse.

“I’m by no means under the impression that I’m an expert.”

Known for his comedic skills, Pratt found success on TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and through small parts in high-profile movies such as Wanted, Moneyball, Her and Zero Dark Thirty.

All that went to a whole different level when Pratt was cast in back-to-back monster hits, Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and Jurassic World (2015).

It didn’t hurt to have The Lego Movie (2014) in there, either.

He was suddenly a huge star.

The actor, who is married to actress Anna Faris — they met in 2007 when both were cast in Take Me Home Tonight — says his life has only changed a little, all that success notwithstanding.

“The areas I have to get through now are going to the airport or planning travel where I’m going to be somewhere public. I’ve always been a homebody, but I’m more of a homebody now,” he says. “I carve out time. I keep my family time really private — so that’s something different.

“But I also have a son who’s four,” Pratt adds, laughing. “So my life has changed away from self-centred, spontaneous living because of that. And it happened sort of at the same time. Our life took a big change, and I don’t know how much of it is based on the success of the past few years and how much is that my priorities have shifted onto caring for another human being more than myself.”

What about the people who treated him badly when he was on his way up?

Any thoughts on that?

Pratt answers very carefully. “Well, now I’ve become a person of value to them,” he says, without rancour.

“I’ll just do what I can to navigate that in a human way.”

The actor seems entirely open to the world, which is unusual in a Hollywood celebrity — most are very guarded in what they’ll talk about and some are protected by an entourage at all times. But none of this fame stuff, says Pratt, makes him particularly anxious.

“I’ve been in a field where there were a lot of unanswerable questions, and I just had to have faith that everything would be okay. And I think it’s like that — I just have to have faith that it’s going to be okay. I cling tightly to my wife and my son and the people who would have me to dinner even if I was still a waiter or a coupon salesman. I do my best to try to nurture those relationships. And I am a man of faith. I rely heavily on my faith.

“Other than that, don’t sweat the small stuff,” he continues. “And understand that there’s a likelihood all of this will go away very quickly.

“So I’d better enjoy it while it’s here.”


Resistance is futile. It’s impossible not to enjoy Chris Pratt’s company, because he is so effortlessly charming and daffy. Here, for example, is how he answered questions at a TIFF press conference about remaking The Magnificent Seven and remakes in general:

“I don’t know how many movies there are in the world—several hundred thousand? Millions? Eventually you just run out of names. You know, it’s like, if I have a son and name him Chad, is he a remake of somebody else who was named Chad? But, The Magnificent Seven, as a title, it gets people excited … We use the story. It’s a bunch of guys. There are seven of us. And we’re all f—g magnificent. But this is a different movie.”

But why take our word for it?

Here’s what other people have said about Chris Pratt:

1. “I said before we ever started shooting Guardians that Chris Pratt’s the biggest movie star in the world, it’s just that people don’t know it yet. And that’s the case.”

James Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy.

2. “I miss your husband. I’ve been thinking about him a lot. If you f— that relationship up, he’s mine! I’m taking him!”

Chris Evans, who has been a friend of Chris Pratt’s since they were both in the movie What’s Your Number? speaks to Anna Faris.

3. “It is just fun to be around them and fun to be on this journey. In this day of sequels and reboots I think it’s refreshing that it is a completely original story with two of the best movie stars in the world. I’m very, very happy with the movie.”

Director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) praises Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence in the upcoming sci-fi thriller, Passengers.

4. “Chris Pratt is here to save us — from aliens, dinosaurs and general boredom…He is a real man in a sea of ciphers, a good father and friend, and one naturally funny dude. Pratt may spend the next few years riding horses or chasing comets, but he can land a joke with a natural ease that most people spend a lifetime trying to achieve.”

Amy Poehler on Pratt.

5. “We’re filming episode six or seven already and he hasn’t been here. He’s been gone and it sucks. Everyone misses him. He’s like this beacon of happiness whenever he’s around.”

Aubrey Plaza, on missing Pratt on Parks and Recreation while he was away shooting a movie. [Source]

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Featured Gif

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