Chris Pratt becomes a comic book hero in Guardians of the Galaxy.

If you’ve seen the commercials for Guardians of the Galaxy that have played nonstop for the last month, you know Chris Pratt is the face of Marvel’s latest superhero epic. (Tip: He’s the guy who isn’t green.) What you may not know is that the Lake Stevens native shares a birth year with the character he plays, Peter Quill. “It kind of works out perfectly,” Pratt says.

The bulk of Guardians follows Pratt’s grown-up, swashbuckling anti-hero (who has nicknamed himself Star-Lord) as he teams up with two green aliens, a talking raccoon, and a walking tree to stop a threat to the universe. But when we meet Quill, he’s a 9-year-old—who’s subsequently abducted by aliens. (Relax. It’s not a spoiler.) So what was Pratt doing at that age? “Catching frogs out in the woods, catching snakes,” he says. “Shooting birds, shooting squirrels. Building forts, hanging with my friends, riding bikes. Kind of just living outside, you know? Staying outside until it got dark.”

Staying out after dark is a good way to get yourself beamed up (isn’t that always when little green men strike?), but Pratt says he would have welcomed the interstellar ride. After he stopped freaking out, anyway. So in approaching the part, he asked himself, If I got whisked away and could remake myself in the image of my pop culture heroes, who would I emulate? “All [Quill] knows about Earth is everything he learned until he was 9 years old,” Pratt says. “So he’s a bit stunted and gets to create this character who’s part Han Solo, part Karate Kid, and part Kevin Bacon from Footloose.”

In that case, we can only hope Quill takes time out from saving the universe to show off his dance moves.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Opens Aug 1

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