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The Internet had a collective emotional meltdown when Chris Pratt‘s wife, Anna Faris, shared a photo of the megastar giving his 4-year-old son, Jack, a “tie-tying tutorial” before his Walk of Fame ceremony back in April.
“Those are those little snapshots into our life. It’s really cool. Those types of moments are the most meaningful. It’s the little tiny life things. Being able to see that moment forces me to remember that that is the moment I’m teaching my son to tie his tie. So much of this stuff that we do, you’re never really present. You’re focusing on the next thing,” Pratt tells Yahoo Style.
But for those who know Pratt, that soft side is integral to who he is. It’s why, in the midst of a megawatt promotional push for his new Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Pratt actually wants to talk about something other than the film: namely, a kid named Makenna Schwab.
The little girl suffers from a developmental bone disorder called Larsen syndrome. “We met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She’s very rare and very special,” Pratt says. “I just fell in love with her.”
Now, at her behest, Pratt is auctioning off a visit to the set of Jurassic World 2 to raise money for the orthopedic center at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Pratt seems to radiate goodness and geniality; he makes visits with sick kids a priority during all his press tours. Maybe he’s born with it. Maybe it’s because he’s a dad, whose son was a preemie.
“Anna and I went through a lot with our guy and spent a lot of time in the NICU,” he says of his son. “I can’t imagine a world where I don’t have [Jack] in my life.”
Pratt’s role model is new dad Russell Wilson, a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks. The two men, both at the top of their respective fields, share their wealth, in every sense. Wilson is a regular visitor to Seattle Children’s, and through his Why Not You foundation he has raised more than a million dollars for it.
“I wouldn’t call it an obligation. It’s an opportunity. I can only speak to my experience. Sometimes you want to justify why you’re given the gifts you’re given in life. I believe there’s a reason all this has happened in my life. I don’t know how well it would sit with me to accept these gifts and not use this platform,” says Pratt, a native of Washington state. “It’s the best I feel. You can do a big premiere. You get your star on the Walk of Fame. You can do all those things and none of them make me feel anything remotely close to what it feels like to go to Seattle Children’s Hospital and be with these kids and their families.”
So it’s fitting that parental dynamics are at the heart of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. His character, space pirate Peter Quill, explores paternal connections with his dad, played by Kurt Russell.
“Peter Quill has daddy issues. He had an absentee father,” says Pratt. “He’s always had a longing to find out who his father is, and we explore that. Kurt Russell is the coolest movie dad I could imagine. We’re exploring the origin of Peter Quill. It’s a very evenly distributed ensemble.”
Speaking of cool, Pratt has launched what could be the must-see bit of entertainment currently available on social media: the series known as What’s My Snack, which he posts on Instagram. They’re pithy and self-mocking videos documenting what Pratt eats while following a very strict, specific diet. None of it was preplanned, he says — it was the byproduct of his Jurassic World 2 shoot. He plays a buff, ultra-fit dinosaur wrangler in the sequel, slated for June 2018.
“I’ve got these snacks. They’re very little. I do this macro thing where I’m very specific about the amount of protein, carbohydrates, fat and the number of calories I have during the course of the day. Each little meal is prepackaged. I know exactly what’s in it. I never touch craft service. It’s very measured. I’m hungry and going a little delirious and often bored. So I make these nerdy videos. That’s how it started. Each one, I wanted to evolve it into something different.”
He gives himself a cheat meal once a week or so, but this press tour has been his undoing. He’s been traveling with Faris and their son, and he says his wife is a foodie. “She orders way more than she can eat, and what ends up happening is that I finish up all of the food. I’m trying to keep it tight, but it’s been hard. I’ve put on a couple of pounds,” he says.
Pratt, a total guy’s guy, fishes and hunts, but is also an aficionado of face masks, especially the sheet variety, which he gets from his groomer — although he doesn’t know the exact brand. And he’s not averse to a bit of pampering.
“I got a facial at the hotel yesterday, yes I did. I was going to get a massage and a facial. Anna set me up. At one point they were asking me if I wanted caviar rubbed on my face. Just when you think I’m a superhumble, normal guy, just remember that I got caviar rubbed on my face yesterday,” he says. “It felt so good. Popped all the zits on my nose. My blackheads were gone.”
As he headlines multiple franchises, Pratt is the first to admit that his life has changed — he’s now recognized wherever he goes. It’s partly because he’s tall, partly because he’s outgoing by nature. If you approach him, he won’t ever blow you off. But as he says, there’s a time and place for everything.
“When we go outside, it’s different now,” says Pratt. “I still take a ton of photos, especially with kids. I don’t want to let people down. I’m appreciative. I wouldn’t be where I was without people being fans. If I wasn’t a dad and a husband, it would be different. If I’m with my wife or my son or my mom, I have to prioritize my time with them…
“And have caviar facials, because I’m just your average guy.”
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