His ca­reer sky­rock­et­ing, fam­ily comes first for Chris Pratt

The Hamilton Spectator - - A & E - LIND­SEY BAHR

LOS AN­GE­LES — There’s not much time for day­dream­ing when your life is as mapped out as Chris Pratt’s. In less than three years, Pratt has gone from un­der­dog to full-fledged movie star, with for­tu­itously timed lead­ing roles in three of Hol­ly­wood’s most promis­ing fran­chises, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Juras­sic World” and “The Lego Movie.” With global box of­fice re­ceipts for the three films ap­proach­ing around $2.9 bil­lion, all wildly sur­passed ex­pec­ta­tions and birthed plans for se­quels.

Pratt is cur­rently busy pro­mot­ing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” out May 5, fin­ish­ing up his scenes in “Avengers: In­fin­ity War,” gear­ing up for the “Juras­sic World” se­quel and eye­ing “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” on the hori­zon.

For the 37-year-old ac­tor, it couldn’t have come at a bet­ter time. It wasn’t too long ago that Pratt and his wife, “Mom” ac­tress Anna Faris, could be freer with their choices.

“For the first part of our re­la­tion­ship, we put our ca­reers at the top,” Pratt said. Now, they’ve got their 4-year-old son Jack to con­sider and hav­ing a han­dle on the next few years is help­ful. They can ac­tu­ally plan where they will be from month to month and strate­gize which jobs make sense. It also means say­ing no to a lot.

“There is no big role that Chris doesn’t pass on be­cause there’s no one that doesn’t want Chris in their movie be­cause he truly is the big­gest movie star in the world right now,” said “Guardians” fran­chise di­rec­tor James Gunn. “He’s not go­ing to say that but that’s the truth. He gets to do what he wants.”

Pratt does have am­bi­tions out­side of the block­buster genre. He’s writ­ten a script (but not nec­es­sar­ily for public con­sump­tion) and would like to even­tu­ally di­rect some­thing he’s writ­ten. Pratt has the easy cool­ness of some­one who is proud of his work and is com­fort­able in the spotlight. The film about Mar­vel’s in­ter­ga­lac­tic mis­fits was also once an un­der­dog that not only ex­ceeded hopes when the first one was re­leased in 2014, but then, instead of coast­ing on good­will, hit its stride in the se­quel, which might sur­prise au­di­ences with its touch­ing emo­tional core.

For Pratt’s char­ac­ter, the rogu­ish Star Lord/Peter Quill, it means meet­ing his real fa­ther for the first time, Ego (Kurt Rus­sell), while con­sid­er­ing the tough-love up­bring­ing of his de-facto fa­ther fig­ure, Yondu (Michael Rooker) — some­one who ac­tu­ally re­minded him of his own dad.

In his 17-year ca­reer in film and tele­vi­sion, Pratt has dipped into a lot of gen­res that has al­lowed him room to hone his craft in dif­fer­ent cor­ners of sto­ry­telling. He’s done sit­coms, rom-coms, sports dra­mas, fu­tur­is­tic in­die breakup stories, nail-bit­ing war films, twisted high school hor­rors, Westerns, space ro­mances, space ac­tion­ers and di­nosaur ad­ven­tures. He’s worked with a mur­der­ers’ row of di­rec­tors and writ­ers from Kathryn Bigelow and Spike Jonze to Aaron Sorkin and Di­ablo Cody. Even “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” checks off a num­ber of boxes: ad­ven­ture, space opera, com­edy and fam­ily melo­drama.

And while this par­tic­u­lar moment means Pratt is hav­ing to say no more than yes, he hasn’t re­gret­ted any of his choices thus far.

“I just miss fish­ing,” Pratt said, laugh­ing.

CHRIS PIZZELLO, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Chris Pratt, right, his wife, Anna Faris and their son Jack on the Hol­ly­wood Walk of Fame.

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