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Why Chris Pratt and Taylor Kitsch were perfectly cast as best buds in conspiracy-thriller The Terminal List

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In Prime Video's eight-part conspiracy-thriller series The Terminal List (premieres July 1), Chris Pratt plays James Reece, a Navy SEAL attempting to unravel a conspiracy that resulted in the death of his entire platoon during a covert overseas mission. Or did it?

"He comes home with conflicting memories of what has happened and what went down on that op," the Guardians of the Galaxy star tells EW. "We realize he's a bit of an unreliable narrator, his own recollection is foggy and at some points incorrect, and we're forced to question whether or not he's losing his mind or actually at the center of a conspiracy."

The Terminal List
The Terminal List

Prime Video Chris Pratt and Taylor Kitsch in The Terminal List

Pratt's character is helped in his quest by Ben Edwards, a former SEAL portrayed by Friday Night Lights and Lone Survivor actor Taylor Kitsch.

"I play Reeces' best friend, confidante," Kitsch tells EW. "These guys went through BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training together, went overseas, and fought together, so there's that brotherhood that really drives this series."

Pratt is an executive producer on the series and always planned on playing Reece. The show's core creative team (Pratt, writer David DiGilio, and filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, who directed the first episode) knew it was crucial to cast an actor for the role of Edwards who could believably portray someone who would do anything to help his pal.

"The casting of Ben Edwards was going to be as important as any role in the show," says DiGilio. "We had one name on our list: Taylor Kitsch. We set up a Zoom, and it was myself, Antoine, Chris, and Taylor. One of the most amazing moments was, I had this vision for Ben [as a] surf man, you know, #vanlife. We loved the idea of Ben as a nomad who had one of these [vans] and Taylor actually has one of those vans. So that was a great moment."

The Terminal List
The Terminal List

Prime Video Taylor Kitsch in The Terminal List

Pratt and Kitsch swiftly bonded over the course of the Zoom call.

"We didn't know each other before the show," Pratt says. "I knew of his work, of course, big fan, and have been for a long time, was desperate to get him to play this role. We had a Zoom session to discuss the possibility, he was asking all of the right questions."

By the end of the call, Fuqua was convinced that Kitsch would sign on to the project.

"We get off this Zoom and Antoine texted me right away and said, 'He's in. He's Ben and he's going to say yes,'" DiGilio says. "I was like, 'Wow, Antoine, how do you know?' He was like, 'Because he and Chris genuinely love each other, you can see it, just from that meeting.'"

Kitsch, of course, did say yes, and the friendship between the actor and Pratt would deepen during the show's long shoot.

"Obviously, the relationship [between the characters] is predicated on a true trust and a love for one another," Pratt says. "So in an effort to create authenticity we let our guard down immediately, so we could create the illusion that we were lifelong friends. Through the course of the crucible of the amount of work we did together I think we actually forged a very genuine friendship. At the beginning, obviously, we had just met, but now we've been through a lot together so we had to act less and less as the show went on, because we got to know each other better and better."

But what does Kitsch really think about his new pal?

"He's a dick, I think everyone knows that," the actor jokes. "It became evident on that Zoom the first moment I saw him. No, seriously, that brotherhood is really the crutch of this whole show, so it's imperative to have that and for me it was quite seamless. He's a lot of fun to work with, he's game, there's not a curveball this guy can't catch, and believe me I tried."

All eight episodes of The Terminal List are out on Prime Video July 1. Watch the trailer for the series below.

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