It’s a good time to be Chris Pratt. Within just a couple of years, the actor has been propelled from a fan-favorite supporting player on the TV comedy “Parks and Recreation” to the roguish lead of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” to, with the premiere next week of “Jurassic World,” bona fide action star.
That rise in profile has been accompanied by plenty of rumors – starring roles in “Indiana Jones” and “Ghostbusters,” among them – and years-long franchise commitments that might give other actors pause. However, you won’t hear the 35-year-old Pratt complain.
“I’m signed up for some franchises, but I haven’t done any sequels yet,” he told SPINOFF ONLINE during a conversation about “Jurassic World.” “We’ll see how that goes. From what I can see now, it’s going to be great. We’re surrounded by amazing crews, the studio has been amazing and every actor they’ve hired has been cool. So far, so good. Talk to me in five years when I’m a total a-hole and I’ll give you all the reasons why life is miserable. Right now, it’s fucking awesome.”
Spinoff Online: You are a huge fan of the “Jurassic Park” movies. What’s so special about the franchise for you?
Chris Pratt: So much of my personal connection to “Jurassic Park” is sentimental. I was 13 years old when I saw the first one. I saw it in the movie theater. At that time in your life, you are very impressionable. It was kind of the movie that defined my childhood. I loved “Star Wars,” but I didn’t really see it until later, and I didn’t see it right when it came out. It was just a little bit before my time. “Jurassic” was one of those movies that hit just as I was developing who I would eventually be.
How do you feel this take captured the same magic as when you were younger?
That was my concern going into it. I’m such a hyper-fan of the franchise, especially the original movie. I felt they kind of slipped a little bit in part 2 and 3. They had a contrived reason to bring the characters back to the island. The sequels didn’t hold up to me as much as the first one. The others are great, too, but not quite the same.
There’s a new hybrid dinosaur terrorizing the island. Before filming, what was your impression of the concept art and storyboards?
A big part of meeting with [director] Colin Trevorrow was going into the production office and seeing all the storyboards. It was so fun and exciting. That feeling was infectious. Everybody was giggling in a positive way at these new concepts. We were just dying for anyone to come in so we could share them. They showed me around and there was this contagious enthusiasm for these amazing designs and incredible new concepts, as well as honoring the old. It was really cool and unforgettable.
In the trailer, Owen drives alongside a stampede of raptors. It’s almost like the cavalry is coming. What is his relationship with the raptors?
It’s so exciting and juicy that I don’t want to give anything away. He’s doing some cutting-edge animal research, some behavioral research on animals we never had the opportunity to work with before. His history is he’s worked with dangerous animals. That’s all I can say, except that it is pretty freaking badass.
How physical was this role for you? Were you tired of sprinting by the end?
It was really physical, and I loved every minute of it. There’s a lot of running and sprinting and diving. I did a lot of my own stunts, I rode my own motorcycle. I just did a lot of ducking and dodging. That part for me is exciting. I like that intense physical challenge a lot. It’s also great to break up what can be the monotony of a movie. You can exhaust yourself mentally one day and exhaust yourself physically on the other. If you were forced to do all of that on one day, it would be too exhausting.
What “Jurassic World” scene made the fanboy inside you giddy?
Oh, my God, there are so many. Obviously, the technology is so much different now than when the original “Jurassic Park” came out. The original serviced more animatronics than we have now, but it doesn’t mean we’re not using it. There’s some really great throwback stuff with the original dinosaurs in our movie.
Honestly, once the shit hits the fan, it just ratchets up every five minutes until the end of the movie. There are many more than just one good scene. There is one in particular, and once the movie comes out you’ll know which one I’m talking about, that’s going to scare the shit out of people. This movie is truly going to be scary. There is serious, serious suspense and once the movie kicks off, it’s a roller coaster that doesn’t stop.
We have some really beautiful and iconic imagery. Colin is a fan of Spielberg’s work. With Steven overseeing everything, all the stuff that was precious about the original movie, you are going to feel in this one. It also ratcheted up a little bit, so it’s relevant to right now.
The persistent rumor is that you could be the next Indiana Jones. Is that something you are interested in and have been taking meetings about?
It’s the rumor mill. I’ve heard about it for the first time the same way everyone else did. I was one of the last people to know, in fact, because I was out of service for four days. My reps got a hold of me and were like, “Jesus, Chris, pick up your phone.” It’s a very exciting and very thrilling prospect, but, truly, up to this point nobody has contacted me or called me up and made me the offer. I would probably approach this like I did with “Jurassic,” which is it’s really exciting, but I care so much about the original source material, I’d have to know it was perfect.
Earlier this year, you and Chris Evans did some football trash-talking. Comic book fans love good superhero rumbles. How would a fight between Star-Lord and Captain America go down?
Oh, man. Hopefully, you’ll find out one day. Steve Rogers would kick the shit out of Peter Quill in a fair fight, but I don’t think Quill and the Guardians fight fair. I would put my money on Quill. If it was a straight UFC match, Captain America wins 100 out of 100 times. But, when you have Rocket Raccoon, who has your back, and he can take apart an air conditioner and turn it into a nuclear weapon, you have an ace in the hole.
”Jurassic World” opens June 12 nationwide.