Chris Pratt talks Making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 sees the return of the universe’s favorite band of intergalactic misfits. Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, the movie’s thrilling storyline follows the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians – Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket – must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
To celebrate the in-home release of the blockbuster sequel digitally on HD, 4K Ultra HD™ and Disney Movies Anywhere this week, and physically on 4K Ultra HD™ Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 22, we catch up with Chris Pratt – who plays Peter Quill/Star-Lord – to find out more on the making of the action-packed Marvel movie…
The in-home release of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is packed with exclusive bonus material, including four deleted scenes. What do you think of the deleted action?
Whenever I watch deleted scenes, I think they are really interesting – but it’s always abundantly clear why the scene is not in the movie. Very rarely have I seen a deleted scene where I’ve thought, ‘You know what? If this scene was in the movie, the movie would be better.’ It’s always fun to see them, though. As a collaborator – as one of the guys who worked on this movie – you certainly feel these phantom limb pains for scenes that you expected to see that have been cut. You think, ‘Oh, man… I really would have liked to have seen that scene.’
Which of the deleted scenes from Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 stands out the most for you?
There’s a scene with a statue that was cut from the movie, and I know exactly why the scene doesn’t work in the movie. Originally, Quill was going to be really excited to go and see Ego. That was in the script – but it wasn’t until we did additional photography that we determined Quill would be a little cynical about it and that Gamora would have to change his mind. We adjusted a few things to deepen the story in additional photography, and the scene with the statue didn’t work.
What can you tease about the deleted scene with the statue?
What can I tease? Well, Ego built the statue for us. It was essentially of Peter Quill as Star-Lord; he is larger than life and all the other Guardians are really, really small. Quill looks at it and says, “It’s perfect!” It’s a fun, funny scene – but then we developed the story and it didn’t work. It’s exciting to know that audiences will finally be able to see it now.
Peter Quill is an iconic Marvel superhero. What makes a good hero?
A good hero is unselfish. A good hero has a willingness to sacrifice one’s own self, own health and own happiness for the benefit of others. A good hero is somebody who, without complaint, puts on a uniform and goes to work to protect a country, to protect a street, to coach kids.
Directing Chris Pratt
Who is your biggest hero?
Man, I’ve got a lot of heroes. My biggest hero is probably my brother, Cully. He’s a law enforcement officer and he was a big part of raising me in my household. He always protected me and nurtured me. He always made me feel really confident in myself. I credit so much of my life to his nurturing as a brother.
It’s true. I got really lucky. I have a great family. I have a great sister, a great mom and a great dad – but specifically my brother. He’s a big hero to me.
What other heroes are in your life?
I also love the men and women in the armed services. I have a couple of friends who are spec operators [in the special operations forces] who have been through hell and back – but they would never brag about it. They are quiet professionals who have made countless sacrifices for a cause they believe in.
Sylvester Stallone was my idol back then. I loved Rambo. I had a Rambo knife. I had his survival kit. I loved Rambo, man. I loved First Blood. I told him that behind the stage of the theater at the premiere in Los Angeles. I got that fan moment out of the way.
Didn’t you get to work with Sylvester Stallone on the set of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2?
Personally, I didn’t have any scenes with Sly – but it’s been a real pleasure to meet him. I had a really surreal moment backstage at the premiere, which is where I met him for the very first time. I did that thing that everyone inevitably does, which is you have a fan moment with somebody. You swear you’re never going to do that – but I think the only way to be really authentic is to address the fact that you’re a fan. Immediately afterwards, you try to quickly move beyond that. You try to swiftly move into a working relationship of two peers, two collaborators, two artists or two actors; two people who can look at each other as equals. Not that I look at myself as Sly’s equal.
How difficult is it to work with your idols?
When you have an interaction with somebody as a fan, you put them into a category – but I don’t want to be considered somebody’s fan when I’m working with them. I can be a fan of their work – but it’s important to me to get that out of the way as quickly as possible in order to try and build an authentic relationship based on mutual respect. That’s how I deal with it.
Another icon in the movie is David Hasselhoff. What was it like to have ‘The Hoff’ on the set of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2?
Man, it was awesome. It was really cool! To be honest, it was pretty surreal to have him on set – but he was really gracious and nice. He was happy to be there, but we were all just as thrilled that it all worked out. It was great.
How does David Hasselhoff compare to Ego as a father?
It turns out that Ego is not Quill’s Hasselhoff – but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think anyone can ever really be the Hasselhoff. It’s really hard for anyone to live up to the expectations we build around people when we long for them. Whether it’s a girlfriend, an absent father or an idol, we often build up these people in our heads and it becomes impossible for anyone to live up to them – let alone an egocentric planet hell-bent on the destruction of the universe.
Music is integral to the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies. What does music mean to you?
You’re right… Music is a huge part of this movie. It’s funny because I feel like music and light are two things that have a profound effect on me – but I often fail to manipulate either to make a situation better. My wife will come home and she will adjust the lighting – and I’ll look around and say, “This room is so much better. Why didn’t I think to do that?” For me, it’s the same with music. I sometimes forget to play music. Someone will play a song and I’ll go, “I love this song. Why wasn’t I playing anything?”
What music do you rate?
My go-to is country music – and I like it, but I’m not a great DJ or anything like that. I’m a fan of music and I love music, but I’m not somebody who has an intimate connection with music in that way.
If you could add any song to the Awesome Mixtape #2, what would it be?
I really like the idea of adding [Kenny Loggins’] Highway To The Danger Zone to the Mixtape. I feel like Peter Quill would’ve been a fan of Top Gun. And as a pilot, I feel like he’d pump himself up to that song. I’ve pictured the scene a couple times – but I think it’s perhaps too ‘movie iconic’. Maybe it will make it into the third movie? I think that could be cool.
At the end of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, there is a fun scene with Teen Groot. Take us behind the scenes and explain what that was like to shoot?
I thought that scene was really cool. It was very different and original. I love the idea of adolescent Groot being a little jerk. I don’t remember if it was written into the script as a post-credits scene or if it was something we improvised together, but it was interesting to work on. There was an actor on set playing out Groot’s movements; I believe it was Sean Gunn, but I’m not sure. That scene felt like a glimpse into the future. Possibly.