Los Angeles – Chris Pratt, 38, has gone a long way from his “Parks and Recreation” days as Andy Dwyer on the hit comedy sitcom.
Now, the former homeless guy in Maui, Hawaii is a much in-demand leading man from the box-office hits “Jurassic World” to the “Avengers: Infinity War.”
We were able to catch the funny actor at the Caesars’ Palace in Las Vegas during CinemaCon where he was promoting his latest film, the sci-fi adventure “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” where he portrays Navy veteran and former dinosaur trainer Owen Grady again.
He recalled the first time he saw the Steven Spielberg movie, “Jurassic Park.”
“My childhood was filled with Spielberg-directed and produced movies like ‘Gremlins’ and ‘Goonies’ when I was young,” he said. “The first movie that I saw that was something directed by him was ‘E.T.’ and I remember the first time I ever saw ‘Jurassic Park,’ the original movie. I was 13 and he’s the king of suspense.
“He really knows how to draw out a suspenseful moment and he does an amazing job. In fact, I just watched that documentary on Spielberg just recently and I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It was so amazing. It’s just an honor to be working with him and with the ‘Jurassic Park’ franchise and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ coming out, we have an opportunity to pay respects to the people who love the franchise and give a film that’s worthy of the franchise. We also hope to reach out and grab a new generation of people and bring them into this world.”
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” which is helmed by J.A. Bayona, also features again Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, the former operations manager of Jurassic World and is now a dinosaur rights activist and the girlfriend of Owen Grady.
So does Chris think it is much harder to scare the new generation?
“I think so,” he replied. ”The appetites of audiences are constantly changing and it’s no different with the new generation. It requires more teeth than before like my son, Jack. I had shown my five-year-old son who’s only 5, ‘Jaws’ and it didn’t scare him. You’re on the edge of your seat when you watch ‘Jaws’ even though they don’t really show the shark much. That’s the genius of Steven Spielberg. It’s not what you see. It’s what you don’t see, what’s lurking just beneath the surface. And my son was like where’s the shark dad? I want to see the shark! So with the new generations, you got to start with the shark.”
Formerly married to actress Anna Faris with whom he had his son, Chris admitted that being a dad really excites him.
“It really gets me excited that no matter what films I have under my belt, my son can see his dad playing characters or like even ‘The Lego Movie’ to play a character in the Lego movie,” he pointed out. “I do feel as though I’ve been able to do some roles that are really fun for kids his age and young boys to watch and so that part’s pretty cool.
“He doesn’t seem to be very impressed with it when I show him movies but he’s learning too. He has come to every film set and so he knows that we’re playing pretend and dressing up. He’s now on the other side of the curtain where he’s somehow not impressed by it unfortunately.”
Chris admitted that his kid used to get confused when he sees his mom or dad on TV but now, “he understands that we’re actors and that’s what happens when we’re watching movies. It didn’t really make sense to him when he was younger. He’s over that now. He understands the difference between real life mom or TV mom or real life dad or TV dad.”
So how does he keep in shape after jumping from one movie to another, we asked.
“You just have to practice consistency in diet and it’s made easier when you have a deadline,” he disclosed. “When there is a day that you’re going to have to be on camera without a shirt on, it definitely is helpful and just becomes part of the gig. I try to avoid things that I really like beer and also cooking for a kid is sometimes hard because they don’t always finish their food. You find yourself mindlessly finishing up their pancakes or something like that and so I have to be mindful of that.”
Now that he has a very successful career, does he feel he still has things to do or aspire for?
“A lot,” he confessed. “I think there’s a lot left to do mean, I’m only 38. Luckily, this job is not like professional football or something where I’d be aging out right now. I can hopefully work for a very long time.”