Back in February, a GQ article by Mark Harris laid out the current state of male movie stardom and delineated which of today's current leading men are the real deal and what it takes to be one. Harris used Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling as the best examples of what makes an actor a star, and based on certain recent developments, it might be safe to add Chris Pratt to that list soon.
Pratt scoring the starring role of Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy" may have seemed like a single fun and unexpected choice, but now that The Wrap is reporting that he's wanted for the lead in "Jurassic World," the upcoming fourth "Jurassic Park" movie, we're thinking that the Marvel gig was just the start of a trend.
Before "Guardians" director James Gunn and Marvel Studios made the inspired choice to give a lead role to Pratt, an actor known primarily for his role on the beloved, but low-rated show "Parks & Recreation," he wasn't a likely candidate for leading man material. Most moviegoers aren't familiar with either the Guardians of the Galaxy or Pratt, but may recognize him from smaller roles in awards contenders "Moneyball" and "Zero Dark Thirty." He's (usually) a little chubby and primarily sticks to comedies, but that could all change within the next could of years, especially considering the latest additions to his résumé.
Harris' article about male stardom outlines six points that a celebrity personality must include to make it on that level. The actor must be both relatable and mysterious, have sex appeal, a sense of humor, be able to surprise people, understand when it's your time, and have no one else like him going for the same roles. Taking a quick look over Pratt's recent roles, it's not hard to start checking off boxes.
Pratt became a favorite on "Parks and Rec" because of how his character, the lovably dim Andy Dwyer, could believably surprise viewers with his stupidity and his sincerity in the same moment. For "Zero Dark Thirty" — the role that may have convinced Marvel he could pull off the physical aspects of being an action hero — that persona played into his character as a SEAL Team 6 member and subverted it. Once Maya (Jessica Chastain) has finally found Osama bin Laden after 10 years of searching, she has to entrust all of that work with someone else, a group of soldiers that she doesn't believe have the brains to match their muscles. But then, the team begins spouting off jargon and tactical strategies that suggests she may have made a bad presumption about them.
It's that kind of dynamism that could spell big things for Pratt, regardless of whether he can fit "Jurassic World" into his schedule. People familiar with him from "Parks and Recreation" may make assumptions about Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy" based on Andy Dwyer, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Marvel hero may not be quite as dumb, but you're going to root for him. And that's something that every movie could use.