Ready for liftoff: Chris Pratt is the next big blockbuster king due, in equal parts, to his talent and seemingly endless well of charm.
At the end of a very long day of press for his latest film, "Delivery Man," the 34-year-old actor starts things off with a bang: "Should we just get drunk for the next half-hour?" he asks Yahoo Movies.
This special brand of disarming humor is just one reason to love the guy.
Here's why he's the Hollywood leading man we've all been waiting for:
Pratt is more than just that goofy guy (Andy Dwyer) on "Parks and Rec." While he has been stealing scenes for the last decade or so (yes, decade! See his heartwarming work on the WB show "Everwood."), blockbuster-styled movie-makers have only recently taken notice. Pratt has that effortless "everyman" likability that makes him accessible. It's no wonder Marvel enlisted him to anchor their next potential franchise, "Guardians of the Galaxy." He's also the leading voice in the "Lego Movie," and Universal is rumored to be pursuing him to star in "Jurassic World."
2. Scene-stealing and selfies.
That leading man likability has always been there, see any of his performances in the following for proof: "Moneyball," "The Five-Year Engagement," "Zero Dark Thirty," "The O.C.," even his appearance with wife Anna Faris on "Top Chef." That relatable quality gets sharper the more we see and hear from Pratt. Case in point: The now-infamous selfie he took showing off the hard work he put into getting in shape for "Guardians," followed by the admitted harassment he received from his friends for releasing the photo in the first place.
3. Self-deprecating dedication to weight management.
Speaking of that toned physique, those who go to see Pratt this weekend in "Delivery Man" will notice it absent from the movie — in which he plays an overworked, slightly overweight single father of four. When asked about his recent physical transformations, Pratt is unconventionally candid about the experience: "I'm glad that I had something like 'Guardians' [to shoot] after ['Delivery Man']," he explains. Because for the comedy, also starring Vince Vaughn, Pratt went big ... on purpose. "I'm like, 'I'm just gonna see how fat I can get, I'm just going to blow it out. ... I drank sodas, not diet, thick dark beer, I ate bread, donuts, cakes, candies, burgers, ice cream, if there was something there I ate it, that was my rule, eat as much as I could until I was sick, till I was sore," he recalls. "If you want to be in good shape you have to make yourself sore at the gym, your muscles ache. If you want to get fat you have to make your stomach ache, every day. It was great."
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4. Family ties.
Yet another example of Pratt's down-to-earth attitude about his rising star is how he recognizes his good fortune and enjoys it with his family. He tells the story of taking his brother to see a finished cut of "Delivery Man." "I saw it with my brother at DreamWorks, eating popcorn, surrounded by executives — so it was full-on surreal," Pratt tells us. "Any time a part of my real life or my family intersects with my business life and my sort-of fake crazy life, I get to experience my life in a way that I wouldn't otherwise. If I went to DreamWorks and sat down with all the executives I'd shake their hands and say [a formal] 'Hello, let's watch this movie,' but because I'm with my brother I get to experience it from the point of view of the kid who grew up in Lake Stevens, Washington. It's crazy that I'm even in Hollywood at all, let alone working, so that was really cool."
5. A mostly level head.
No matter how things play out, Pratt will be the last person to believe or even entertain his own hype."It's weird, it's good," he says of wrapping his head around the increased amount of attention. "I'm trying not to take it for granted, I'm trying to be grateful and I am. I'm not a jaded person but I want to protect myself from the heartbreak that comes when what you expect and what you hope for aren't fulfilled," he says. "You can feel something happening but you don't want to acknowledge it, you don't want to tempt fate and if it doesn't happen it's like, 'Keep your head in the clouds but have your feet on the ground.'"
6. A sense of adventure.
And there it is again, all this likeable humility when he could easily go off the rails and be getting drunk on the excitement of it all. Which brings us back to Pratt's initial proposal that we enhance this last interview obligation of the day with a couple adult beverages (a proposal that was accepted). Who wouldn't want to have happy hour with Chris Pratt!? "I'm trying not to drink beer," Pratt says mid-walk across the room to the mini bar, referencing his still-strict health and fitness regimen to maintain his superhero shape. "It's locked! Those bastards didn't trust me," he says, smiling, shaking his head at this unforeseen road block. "I'm trying to steal alcohol I can't believe those bastards didn't trust me."
Cue the jokes about holding the keys to the galaxy but not the mini bar.
"Delivery Man" opens everywhere Friday.
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