In recent years, a certain male actor has risen to prominence with a ludicrously exponential increase in popularity. His name is Chris Pratt. Yes, this once plucky and comedic American has taken Hollywood, and the world, by storm. I mean, it’s not hard to see why - even I can see that he’s hot. However, it’s not just his chiseled good looks and bulging biceps that have given him such a boost into the world of film; he has owned each and every one of the roles he has taken on. It’s admirable to watch an actor who has clearly grafted to get where he is now. In watching Mr. Pratt, you can see that he’s taken time to understand each role and connect a part of the character with himself to such an extent that the intention and drive brought to the role he’s playing feels nothing but natural.
I mean, yeah, he’s funny as well - but that goes without saying. If you’ve seen anything Chris Pratt has done then you’ll know the man is hilarious…
So, onto the list. The exciting part with this dude, for me, is that he has so many years of acting and film ahead of him that he’s only set to get better. On top of which, is his personality. From what I’ve seen of him in public, he’s just such a nice bloke. I am determined, one day, to become a drinking buddy of his – despite the fact he’s given up. Watch this space, we’ll be sharing a pint before you know it…
I could be wrong, although I’m pretty sure I’m not, but being cast in a film with acting giants such as Brad Pitt and Philip Seymour-Hoffman and hold your own, can’t be easy. Well, he may not be the starring role and he may not be the youngest of the core cast, but he’s most definitely one of the main focuses of the film.
2011 saw Pratt play washed-up baseball player, Scott Hatteberg - a character from Michael Lewis’s novel Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. His performance is not the biggest, but is memorable, heart-felt, and above all, credible. For me, this is the performance that set Pratt on the road to drama greatness. His talent was on show and his ability to bring an audience in and engage with his emotion-fuelled interpretation of the character was brought to light. I think, this was the start of the great things that were to follow.
5. Owen Grady - Jurassic World
Sat at number 5 is Pratt’s endeavour into the prehistoric. In 2015, he had already made a name for himself on the big-screen (more on this later) but his performance as tanned, raptor-hunk, Owen Grady, sealed the deal for him and Hollywood.
As steely-eyed as he is muscled, Pratt brings us a performance that oozes virility - a strong and commanding presence in the first of the latest sequels following on from the original Jurassic Park movies. I know when I was a kid, I used to be obsessed with dinosaurs … In fact, I still love them. They’re just awesome; what with all their teeth, power, size, strength and ‘ancientness’ - they’re so cool. Now, coupled with a rock-hard, cool ‘uncle-type’ character, almost single-handedly saving the day (not without the daring bravery of Bryce Dallas-Howard’s Claire) - it’s hard not to respect Pratt’s die-hard performance.
4. Andy Dwyer - Parks and Recreation
Andy Dwyer is funny, warm and an all-round ‘labradorable’ (new word. Big fan) human. Pratt made this character his own after being cast as a secondary that would not see the first series through to the end. What resulted in this casting choice was a recurring and very popular character being kept on until the end.
This performance is a delight to watch. The programme itself struggled for quite some time to ground itself with an identity of its own and win over viewers but, needless to say, it got there eventually – and Dwyer, is hilarious. He’s not all too bright, but he is full of heart and wears his on his sleeve. Pratt plays him so well that it is hard not forget that his name’s actually Chris - Andy becomes just as much of a household name. So, it is safe to say that Moneyball may have been the big break into film, but Parks and Rec. was paving the road to greatness before and after for him.
3. Josh Faraday - Magnificent Seven
I took far too long to watch this film. In fact, I only managed to watch it almost 11 months since it was released. It was always one of those films that was sat in the ‘to watch’ pile but I just never got around to it. Until one day, I bit the bullet and stuck it on - and how glad I was. The film itself is a remake of the 1960’s movie which is subsequently a remake of the Japanese film, Seven Samurai, which we’ve mentioned before.
I mean, I don’t think it got rated too highly, which is a shame considering the core cast weren’t exactly B-listers. Whilst the film maybe lacking on the plot side of things and tries to be something that it doesn’t quite achieve, I think, Pratt is the best performance in the film (and that is saying something considering he’s working alongside Denzel Washington). Come to think of it, Pratt does a lot of work alongside big actors in big films but he never fails to shine as well.
2. Jim Preston - Passengers
After breaking into Hollywood with a pair of rocket-boots, a smart mouth and a triumph scrambler that races velociraptors, Pratt turned his sights to a more intimate lead role. Obviously, the setting is hugely sci-fi and almost pure CGI but the themes addressed in the film are some that I had not seen Pratt tackle before. He’s almost unrecognisable (possibly something to do with all that hair…).
Lost in space, the humanity of this film is inspiring and more than admirable. With a facade of any other sci-fi film, it is pleasantly different to those we’re so used to seeing. In many ways, it is much darker. Pratt successfully encompasses some of the biggest human psychological fears like loneliness, desperation, depression and coming to terms with one's own demise. He still keeps his trademark humour but gives a wonderful acting masterclass together with Jennifer Lawrence. It’s a shame the film got panned by the critics as I think the calibre of acting in this film is brilliant.
1. Peter Quill ‘Starlord’ - Guardians of The Galaxy
Well, I wasn’t going to put anything else first was I? If any of his roles had to define him, it would be Quill. 2014 saw Pratt become ‘Starlord’. A pretty much unknown addition to the world of superheroes. From what I’ve read, he had to fight to get it. James Gunn wasn’t entirely convinced about the casting choice until the first 30 seconds of his audition.
Thank God Gunn saw his talent and potential…
Pratt made this role his own. Between the first and second film, he proved that he can not only lead a film but he can lead an entire franchise and I, for one, have not been so excited for each film in a franchise to be released since The Lord of the Rings - fact. The 3rd movie, I’m positive, will be of epic proportions. I have no doubt that Chris Pratt will nail it and show us a further level of his acting ability as Quill’s story, journey, and legacy is unraveled to us.
And there it is. Chris Pratt’s top 6 performances, so far. Like I said earlier, this actor has a long road ahead of him and I’m 100% convinced there will be some mind-blowing films and performances to come.
If you disagree or have more to add then feel free to contact us on Twitter @MugwumpBlog.
Also, Chris, if you want to go and get that beer then also, @MugwumpBlog (I can dream can’t I?).