The audition process for the role of Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord in “Guardians of the Galaxy” was one of the longest drawn-out castings for Marvel yet. Names of some of the hottest actors, including James Marsden, Garrett Hedlund and Joel Edgerton, popped up on early testing lists, but when Marvel officially cast Chris Pratt, it was the first time his name had been associated with the role.
The pleasant surprise was shared by both fans and Pratt himself, as he revealed to us in a recent interview. The actor, currently promoting “The LEGO Movie,” recalled his decision to go out for Star-Lord, even though he had doubts about his chance.
“I remember originally they were like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this “Guardians of the Galaxy” idea.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know. I feel fat. I don’t want to go embarrass myself and have them say “no” to me.’ Then I would go online and see this list. They were like ‘The Dream List,’ and it would be 25 actors, all of whom have beaten me out for roles. I wasn’t even on the list,” Pratt said. “I was like, ‘No way. That’s a bad idea.’ I was circling around it for a long time, and they kept testing people and testing people, and no one was right for it.”
When Pratt did eventually go in to meet with director James Gunn, it was the filmmaker’s explanation of what he wanted out of Star-Lord that convinced the actor that there was no one else for the role but him.
“I went in and met the director, James, and something happened in that room. He gave me a sense of what he wanted. I, of course, wasn’t able to read a script until essentially after signing up to do the movie. I could tell from what he wanted that it was something I close to what I could give,” he said. “It started just becoming real. Then it did. I had a screen test for it. Even during the screen test, I was like, ‘Oh, I got this. This is mine. This is mine now.’ I knew going in.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy” opens in theaters on August 1.