LOS ANGELES — There's not much time for daydreaming when your life is as mapped out as Chris Pratt's. In less than three years, Pratt has gone from underdog to full-fledged movie star, with fortuitously timed leading roles in three of Hollywood's most promising franchises, "Guardians of the Galaxy," ''Jurassic World" and "The Lego Movie." With global box office receipts for the three films approaching around $2.9 billion, all wildly surpassed expectations and birthed plans for sequels.
Pratt is currently busy promoting "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," out May 5, finishing up his scenes in "Avengers: Infinity War," gearing up for the "Jurassic World" sequel and eyeing "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" on the horizon.
For the 37-year-old actor, it couldn't have come at a better time. It wasn't too long ago that Pratt and his wife, "Mom" actress Anna Faris, could be freer with their choices.
"For the first part of our relationship, we put our careers at the top," Pratt said. "We were like, 'Honey, if you get a job and you have to go to Istanbul for 6 months, you're going. I'll help you pack. I'll Skype with you every day. You're living your dream, I'm living my dream. That's what we do.'"
Now, they've got their 4-year-old son Jack to consider and having a handle on the next few years is helpful. They can actually plan where they will be from month to month and strategize which jobs make sense — a luxury not often afforded in the capricious world of acting. It also means saying no to a lot.
"There is no big role that Chris doesn't pass on because there's no one that doesn't want Chris in their movie because he truly is the biggest movie star in the world right now," said "Guardians" franchise director James Gunn. "He's not going to say that but that's the truth. He gets to do what he wants."
Pratt does have ambitions outside of the blockbuster genre. He's written a script (but not necessarily for public consumption) and would like to eventually direct something he's written. One of his goals, to tell the stories of blue collar America, got him into a bit of trouble recently after he told Men's Fitness magazine that he thinks that segment is underrepresented in Hollywood movies. A barrage of snarky headlines and tweets followed quickly from many wondering why a white man might think that.
Soon after, the social media savvy Pratt tweeted that it was a "pretty stupid thing to say." Pratt is someone who just wants to make the people around him happy and comfortable, whether it's on set, or through a tweet.
Before the controversy erupted, the always genial Pratt said that one of his strengths is being able to come into a situation with "a contagious attitude worth catching."
Pratt has the easy coolness of someone who is proud of his latest work and is comfortable in the spotlight. The film about Marvel's intergalactic misfits was also once an underdog that not only exceeded hopes when the first one was released in 2014, but then, instead of lazily coasting on goodwill, hit its stride in the sequel, which might surprise audiences with its touching emotional core.
For Pratt's character, the roguish Star Lord/Peter Quill, it means meeting his real father for the first time, Ego (Kurt Russell), while considering the tough-love upbringing of his de-facto father figure, Yondu (Michael Rooker) — someone who actually reminded him of his own dad.
In his 17-year career in film and television, Pratt has dipped into a lot of genres that has allowed him room to hone his craft in different corners of storytelling. He's done sitcoms, rom-coms, sports dramas, futuristic indie breakup stories, nail-biting war films, twisted high school horrors, Westerns, space romances, space actioners and dinosaur adventures. He's worked with a murderers' row of directors and writers from Kathryn Bigelow and Spike Jonze to Aaron Sorkin and Diablo Cody. Even "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," which could be easily dismissed as just another superhero film, checks off a number of boxes: adventure, space opera, comedy and family melodrama.
And while this particular moment means Pratt is having to say no more than yes, he hasn't regretted any of his choices thus far.
"I just miss fishing," Pratt said, laughing.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press