On the list of summer movies to be excited about, Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty near the top. Over on Screenrant, there’s a lengthy and really fantastic interview with Chris Pratt that’s definitely worth checking out when you have a few minutes. He talks about his relationship to the comics, how comedy fits into the film, and how awesome James Gunn is. He also talks about how he thought he was going to get fired before production started for being too fat.
Yea, they sent me the gun and I think they wanted to see how it matched up against my hand, but at the time all I was worried about was “I’m going to send them pictures of me holding this gun and they’re going to think I’m too fat and fire me.” … I was like still very much in the process of losing weight so I was like sucking it in holding the gun. My wife was like, “You look uncomfortable in this photo.” I said, “I am! God.” So I sent in the photo and immediately after they were like, “hey by the way we need to come get your sizes again.” I was like, “I know.”
He also spends a lot of the interview talking about how he views his role as an actor. He boils his basic process down to “looking at something and pretending and saying the words.” On how his physical transformation informs his performance, he says,
Yeah, I think it definitely changed. There’s a lot of elements that really, like I said, made it easy for me. And like the costume and the hair and the makeup and the props and the sets, and then working out and getting in good shape, like, I would just like get out of hair and makeup and have my costume on and look at myself in the mirror and I would just not even see myself staring back. I would see like Peter Quill or like this kind of Star-Lord character (laughs). I was like “this is fucking cool, man. (laughter) So yeah, that… It’s a third of what I do, I think as an actor, is just what I look like, you know? I’m a prop. And I talk and I listen and I feel things and I have a certain rhythm to my spirit, all of which, all of those things I can manipulate, but the way I look is also something you can manipulate, but it probably takes a third of the performance, you know. That’s why there are people that are just like completely dull and have like nothing going on the inside, but when you look at ‘em, they look look compelling. There’s like great symmetry or something, and you’re kind of captivated by them, even though on the inside there’s nothing going on! (laughter) Know what I mean? There are people like that, and as long as they sound good, and can link sentences together without stumbling …But yeah, the physical transformation is a big part of it, like, you know, it’s my vehicle. It’s my body that I’m inside of, and it can’t not affect the way that people perceive you and the way that you perceive yourself. Yeah.
As much respect as I have for the Christian Bales and the Daniel Day Lewises of the film industry, it’s really nice to hear this level of unpretentious honesty, of the “say your lines and don’t bump into the furniture” (while being really ridiculously good-looking) variety. While it doesn’t work for every actor, the practical view of the job is refreshing. For most of the interview, Pratt comes off as a very appreciative, wide-eyed kid in a space-candy shop. You know, something like: