A lot of people think EW writers spend their days boozing it up with stars. In the case of this week’s cover profile of actor Chris Pratt, that’s 100 percent accurate. The Parks and Recreation star already has one box office hit under his belt this year thanks to The LEGO Movie, and he might well have another when the latest Marvel spectacular, Guardians of the Galaxy, arrives in theaters Aug. 1. On a break from shooting next summer’s dinosaur fourquel Jurassic World, Pratt hoisted some beers with EW’s Clark Collis in New Orleans while recounting his unlikely career trajectory.
The 35-year-old was discovered by Commando actress Rae Dawn Chong while working at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Hawaii. Since landing various TV gigs, he’s gained and lost a combined 300 pounds for his roles in Moneyball, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Five-Year Engagement. And he recounted his awkward meeting with Guardians director James Gunn about playing thief-turned-hero Peter Quill in the wild, space-set adventure whose other lead characters include a raccoon-like creature and a walking tree voiced, respectively, by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel. “James said, ‘Do you have any questions?’” the actor explained. “I said, ‘Do I have any questions? Of course, I have questions! Marvel’s not going to let me read the script, I have no f—ing idea of what I’m doing, I don’t know this character, I don’t have any goddamn sides. Do I have any questions? How long do you have?’ And he was like, ‘That’s what Peter Quill would say.’”
And if you’re curious about Pratt’s Guardians co-star Zoe Saldana, who plays a green-skinned assassin named Gamora in Guardians, here’s an exclusive sneak peek at her shady character.