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article imageChris Pratt gets ripped for his role in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Special

By Earl Dittman     Dec 24, 2014 in Entertainment
This Sexiest Man Alive shed a whole lot of blood, sweat and pounds to portray the heroic leader of a band of extraterrestrial misfits. Pratt talks about his physical transformation for 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and how his pals keep him down-to-earth.
Chris Pratt hasn't always looked Peter Quill, the hunky hero he portrayed in 2014's box office phenomenon Guardians of the Galaxy. When the 35-year-old actor played the portly and lovably dimwitted Andy Dwyer on the television sitcom Parks and Recreation, he was quite a few pounds heavier. To prepare for his role in Marvel's big screen adaptation of the legendary Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series, Pratt would spend several arduous (and often excruciatingly painful) months in intense physical training in order to shed over 60 pounds and to posses the physique of one "super-ripped dude."
"The first five months of my involvement on Guardians were spent transforming myself physically," explains Pratt, the star of The Lego Movie and the upcoming Jurassic World sequel. "I was in LA working with personal trainers and nutritionists every single day. It became my job. The thing I loved most about comic books as a kid was the imagery: The covers and these super-ripped dudes and mega-sexy women. It was fantasy to me. It’s what I appreciated most as a kid and it was what was most important to me in approaching this role – so I tried to get my body to look as much like those guys as I could. I enjoyed it but it was pain."
When he wasn't in the gym pumping iron, Pratt usually found himself in the kitchen counting calories – while learning his lines for the epic cinematic adventure (now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download). "I was on a really strict diet – it was like chicken, broccoli and rice. Then, I would have more chicken, broccoli and rice. And, I'd end the day with a little more chicken, broccoli and rice," he laughingly recalls.
Chris Pratt in a scene from  Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt in a scene from 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvel
People Magazine's second Sexiest Man Alive of 2014 (that other Chris, from Down Under, snagged the #1 spot) felt a great deal of elation when he looked into the mirror and saw an incredibly buff Chris in place of a once pudgy Pratt. According to the Minnesota-born actor, while his physical transformation was akin to a Herculean feat, despite reports to the contrary, it didn't exactly happen overnight.
"It wasn’t that short of a process, by any stretch of the imagination," he emphasizes. "Maybe to the media it seemed quick, going from Parks and Recreation and Delivery Man to Guardians, but it was about seven months in total, working hard every single day. I saw the process slowly and I was documenting it as I went. I was taking photos.
Chris Pratt documented his muscle-building and weight-loss progress on Instagram
Chris Pratt documented his muscle-building and weight-loss progress on Instagram
Chris Pratt
"For the first three months there was almost no change," Pratt remembers. "I was gaining muscle but my body weight stayed the same, although my body composition changed. I would lose fat and gain muscle, lose fat and gain muscle, but I stayed around 270 lbs. for the longest time. I couldn’t break below 270 and then I couldn’t break below 260. I kept hitting these plateaus where I couldn’t lose any weight, then all of a sudden I’d drop 7 lbs., then there was another plateau. I just kept pushing through. It feels from the outside looking in that it was an instant transformation but it did take a pretty long time. I was probably training for three hours a day and I put in something like 400 or 500 hours in the gym. But, it was all worth it."
Chris Pratt  before  on  Parks and Recreation
Chris Pratt, before, on 'Parks and Recreation'
NBC
Pratt jokes that his wife of five years, actress Anna Faris (Scary Movie, 22 Jump Street), harbored mixed emotions about her hubby's pursuit for a hot bod. "She would vacillate between being turned on and happy and like ‘Oh my God honey, look at your body, that’s crazy!’ That was one side, but the other side was ‘Oh, will you just eat something, you grumpy bastard."
CHRIS PRATT ON GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY:
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill in  Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvel
You’ve said that your spirit was right for the character of Peter Quill. Can you explain that further? "I didn’t have to change all that much. If anyone else had done the movie it would be a different movie. I didn’t pull a Daniel Day-Lewis or anything like that. I just threw on a space jacket and pretended it was me, and I think it works. That’s what I meant by that."
You’ve mentioned that Peter is a mix of Han Solo and Marty McFly. Why those two iconic characters in particular? "They were two of my favorites growing up. I imagined that for this kid who would have seen Star Wars and Back To The Future they’d be some of his favorite characters too. I wasn’t necessarily aiming for that so as I’ve talked about the movie since it probably seems it was more intentional than it actually was. But it’s a good way to describe Peter Quill… If you’re looking at the taxonomy of it he’s one part that, he’s one part this. (laughs) But, really I didn’t know what I was doing, I was just trying not to get fired every day."
Chris Pratt in a scene from  Guardians of the Galaxy
Chris Pratt in a scene from 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Marvel
Your two-year-old son Jack is going to love you when he’s a bit older and he realizes his dad was in The Lego Movie and Guardians Of The Galaxy. "He’s too young now, but there’ll be a moment when he figures it out. (laughs) He’s gonna be completely screwed up."
Is working on a Marvel movie like a dream come true for you? "It is, yeah. Of all the roles that are out there, anything that could potentially be a franchise, something that’s different and something that caters to my strengths in a nice way – anything like that would be a dream role. But the fact that it’s commercially successful, that’s an extra bonus. It’s like the full house and I’m feeling pretty good about it."
For a kid, seeing Guardians for the first time must be as exciting as getting to watch Star Wars for the first time. "Oh yeah. I just missed seeing Star Wars in the theater but I remember it being this all-consuming thing. I’d be playing in the back yard with a fake light saber and I was either Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or my brother was like Luke Skywalker and I was Darth Vader. I had Chewbacca toys too. So, Star Wars was a big part of my childhood and Guardians does feel like that. Having read about it or seen documentaries about it, I now know what Star Wars was at the time. There was all this mythology around it. The actors had seen it and kind of thought it sucked. Then there was the first screening, after George Lucas had put in the score and added the effects, and it was amazing. There were moments on this film where I was, like, dancing in front of 200 alien extras and they were going ‘Oh my God, this is the movie they’re making?’ There were moments where I too wasn’t fully able to see (director) James Gunn's vision, just as all those guys weren’t able to see George Lucas’s vision. With Star Wars nothing like it had ever come out before and it had pushed technology to its absolute limits. It was an epic space adventure with fabulous music. There were a lot of similarities, so yeah, I think this is going to be something that will last."
How does it feel to think that, just as you pretended to be Luke Skywalker when you were a kid, there are now kids who will pretend to be Peter Quill? "I guess it’s a bit surreal. There’s not an appropriate feeling to process so I guess I don’t feel anything quite yet. I feel fortunate, I guess. Fortunate and kind of weirded-out. I know it’s a good thing. I don’t want to over-think it but down the line I could have Peter Quill’s wardrobe at home and there is something that Russell Wilson, the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, does. I’m from Seattle and I’m a big fan of the Seahawks and he’s a great quarterback. Anyway, every Tuesday he goes to the Seattle Children’s Hospital and he hangs out with the kids. You see these pictures on Twitter and he’s there with these kids who are in various stages of terminal illness or who are really injured or hurt. They have this huge smile on their face and they feel so special because the winner of the Superbowl has come to their room to say hi to them. I’ve thought about that a lot, you know? There’s a possibility that this character could become so iconic that all I’d have to do is throw on this wardrobe, drive down to some hospital or set it up with them, and I could give a kid a memory and a picture that they would never forget. That would be really cool."
Chris with cast mates Zoe Saldana as Gamora  Dave Bautista as Drax  Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot...
Chris with cast mates Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket
Marvel
Do your friends react differently to you now you’re a big movie star? "They make fun of me. (laughs) Have you ever heard of Flat Stanley? It’s this cultural phenomenon where there’s this little paper doll named Stanley and people take him places and have a picture with him. You take Flat Stanley to the Grand Canyon or you take Flat Stanley to the ocean. Well, my friends are doing that with my Star-Lord doll. They’re going ‘Hey, I’m having lunch with Star-Lord.' The weirdest one? My friend somehow snapped a picture of himself in the toilet with Star-Lord watching. That wasn’t very respectful." (laughs)
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill
Marvel
Does it feel like your time has finally come? "Yes, it does feel like that. But ,is it overwhelming? Not really. I have the benefit of not over-thinking much in my life. I’m kind of just along for the ride. Also, I learned at a very early stage in my career to always lower my expectations, no matter what. If you don’t, you just get your heart broken. (laughs) So, I’m just expecting that something is going to go horribly wrong."
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Marvel/Disney
Guardians Of The Galaxy Bonus (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + UltraViolet) Features: "Guide To The Galaxy with James Gunn"; "The Intergalactic Visual Effects For Guardians Of The Galaxy - learn how Rocket and Groot went from blue screen to big screen; Exclusive Look At Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron; Gag Reel - experience cosmic shenanigans and celestial goofs in this hilarious gag reel. Deleted Scenes with Commentary by James Gunn and Audio Commentary with James Gunn.
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Comedy Central
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Wild Eye Releasing
Hi-8
The eight-part anthology brings together some of the most recognizable names in home video horror of the past 30 years, capturing the creative essence of low budget, shot-on-video filmmaking. Called "The Expendables of shot on video horror" by Horror Hound Magazine, the directors for Hi-8 are Tim Ritter (Killing Spree), Brad Sykes (Camp Blood), Marcus Koch (100 Tears), Ron Bonk (The Vicious Sweet), Donald Farmer (Demon Queen), Todd Sheets (Zombie Bloodbath), Chris Seaver (Mulva), and Tony Masiello (SOV: The True Independents), who have returned to 80s and 90s style, gore-laced storytelling. All eight segments feature only practical effects and all directors were forbidden to use any post-Internet technology, including HD cameras, green screen, CGI or found footage. Like the V/H/S series, Hi-8 brings together independent genre filmmakers to spin tales of terror on tape. Bonus Features: Commentary with producers Brad Sykes and Josephine Sykes; "The Making of Hi-8"; Teasers and Trailers and behind-the-scenes images.
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