PASSENGERS - INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS PRATT AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE
Chris Pratt has come a long way from working at a Bumba Gump Shrimp Company. It was at that job he met Rae Don Chong. She saw him waiting tables at the Maui restaurant, and when she saw him, she immediately cast him in her movie that she was directing. That job landed Pratt who grew up in Washington state right in the middle of Hollywood. The movie wasn’t successful, but it gave casting directors an introduction to this soon to be next level movie star.
Early on, he was best known as the kinda chubby guy from the television series “Parks and Recreation.” But then Pratt landed the opportunity to read for the Marvel franchise “Guardians of The Galaxy.” The casting director wasn’t too keen on the idea of hiring him for the part until he heard him read for it. Immediately he knew he’d found his Star-Lord. His handsome good looks and comedic timing are endearing and seem to charm both men and women alike.
Pratt’s latest film Passengers is a science fiction action adventure sure to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. We sat down with Pratt to ask this comedic action hero about working on the film and what it was like to work on a project of this scale.
STRIPLV: Who is traveling on the Avalon?
PRATT: There are about 5,000 passengers on the Avalon traveling to this new planet called “Homestead Two.” The travel in hibernation pods; essentially, exactly what it sounds like; a cocoon, which each of these passengers has kept in a state of suspended animation where they don’t age, where they don’t grow, they just stop all metabolic function. His pod malfunctions and he wakes up, you know, 90 years early.
STRIPLV: What are your thoughts on the Arthur?
PRATT: It was a tricky dynamic, I think, to figure out how “human” Arthur should be because we are far into the future, at least far enough to create a fusion drive; to be able to travel at light-speed and have suspended animation. I mean these are technologies that are available to us, so you have to assume we’ve made some pretty great leaps in artificial intelligence. So, it was, I think Michael did a incredible job with the help of Morten, determined just how “human” he’d make this android character, and just enough so that Jim would often forget that Arthur isn’t a human.
STRIPLV: What was it like reading the script the first time?
PRATT: When I read the script, I couldn’t believe that I was given the opportunity to be in this movie. Sometimes, you read a script and it just grabs hold of you and does not let go. I was not going to let anyone else play Jim; that part was mine. The minute I read it, I wanted it and that was going to be how it was. I’m so fortunate that it came together like it did.
STRIPLV: Were you impressed by the set?
PRATT: I’m a huge fan of talent and when I see the sets that the people on this crew have built. You can’t help but be in awe. There’s a lot of really talented artists working on this movie; hundreds and hundreds of people so far and that’s not even counting the post-production process, which itself could be another beast. Yeah, I’ll be forever impressed by the magnitude of this type of a movie.
STRIPLV: What can audiences expect?
PRATT: This is the kind of movie that is going to blow you away. I think that’s what you like in movies. Movies can be entertaining, movies can be scary, they’re entertainment, and that’s okay, but sometimes a movie will blow you away, and I think that’s this movie.
STRIPLV: What do you think about the lighting in the film?
PRATT: You’re able to create a lighting scheme and design on a movie like this like you never could without LED technology. With the amount of light and the beautiful ambient light that looks nice to the eye; you would have burnt the stage to the ground if you had to all of that with old, tungsten style light bulbs and because it’s all LED, every single shot is going to be amazing in its beauty.
STRIPLV: How was it to work with Laurence Fishburne?
PRATT: It was thrilling to get to work with him. It’s another great example of working with someone that you can learn a lot from. He’s been in the business forever, he’s got a booming voice and a strong presence, knows exactly what he wants and he’s a terrific actor and a terrific guy. It was nice to get to work with him and also nice to get to know him.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE is one of the highest paid actresses in the entire world, and the second-youngest actress to have won an academy award.
JLaw first caught the attention of the critical world when she starred as a poverty-stricken teenager in the drama “Winter’s Bone.” Lawrence’s Oscar-winning performance in “Silver Lining Playbook” grabbed our hearts and made us tear up. Her turn as the title character in the wildly successful The Hunger Games franchise catapulted her to worldwide monster fame. It also didn’t hurt that she had multiple turns as the character Mystique in the X-Men movie series.
In Passengers Jennifer and her co-stars immerse themselves in this futuristic dilemma about a ship in which they wake up from suspended animation 90 years too soon.
STRIPLV: Tell us what do you think about the characters in Passengers?
LAWRENCE: I found the characters who would be involved with the story intriguing because it’s such a huge decision to make a 120-year journey. When you arrive, everyone you know is going to be dead, so you have to start a brand-new life, on a brand new planet you’ve never been to. So, of course, there are going to be interesting characters involved in a decision like that.
STRIPLV: Why does Aurora make the journey?
LAWRENCE: Aurora’s very smart and very driven, and curious. She’s also the daughter of a very famous author, which I think always keeps her wanting more and wanting to have her own name. I think all of these combined with an adventurous spirit sent her off.
STRIPLV: Visually the film is stunning. What are your thoughts on the cinematic aspect of it?
LAWRENCE: The movie’s very visually interesting because these two people are trapped, but it’s the space and the visuals are so much larger. They’re so lost in this giant space that’s so much bigger than them. I thought that was interesting. The dynamics between how they feel and what their characters are going through emotionally versus this giant, gapping space that they’re stuck in.
STRIPLV: How about the script?
LAWRENCE: I thought it was such an interesting concept and I hadn’t seen anything like it. I loved the world, I loved the two characters, and I loved just the sheer idea of the whole thing. I just thought it was so creative. I hope people will walk away from seeing it with a million different opinions, and that’s what I liked about the film, is that nobody’s telling you what to feel, it’s what would you do. It’s a conversation starter.
STRIPLV: How was it working with Chris?
LAWRENCE: Chris Pratt was the hardest working person on the movie, including the crew, including everybody. He is the hardest working person I’ve ever met in my life and has such an amazing attitude.
STRIPLV: What was it like working with Director Morten Tyldum?
LAWRENCE: We all love the movie so much. We all love the script, so that once we all got on the same page, it was a beautiful experience because we all were so passionate about it. I mean, Chris and I were always so thirsty to hear what Morten was thinking and what his vision was for each set, and his opinion on our characters. We were all really dialed in together.
STRIPLV: What do you think about the action in the film and how it builds?
LAWRENCE: In the third act, it becomes really clear that there’s something wrong with the ship and the gravity starts to go out, the robots are all failing, and, Jim and I are at a race against the clock to figure out what is wrong with the ship and how we can fix it, not just to save our lives but the lives of the 5,000 people who are on the ship.