Chris Pratt proves his star power in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 star Chris Pratt wants to 'honour' fans' expectations
Hollywood leading man Chris Pratt has no plans to reinvent himself and move away from the action genre.
After all, the 2014 Marvel hit Guardians Of The Galaxy made him a household name, and 2015's creature feature Jurassic World secured his A-list status.
Just last week, the 37-year-old US actor was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which he received in the presence of his US actress-wife, Anna Faris, and their four-year-old son, Jack.
The ever grateful and humble Pratt reprises his role as good-hearted human bandit Peter Quill aka Star-Lord in the sequel Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.
He told The New Paper at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, during the Asia Pacific leg of the movie's promotional tour: "I am starting to realise that with the successes of the Guardians or Jurassic movies, there are expectations from the audience.
"People know who I am now, so I definitely want to honour them."
But the person he has to please most is Jack, Pratt said with a laugh.
He said: "I do not know if he thinks dad is cool because he is a superhero. Maybe because I am not Spider-Man or Batman.
"The cool part is that dad is going to work with Spider-Man and Iron Man (for 2018 superhero film Avengers: Infinity War). Both were his favourite superheroes for a long time."
Sighing with disappointment, Pratt added: "And now, it is Batman... I think (his heroes) will all be DC characters soon."
Vol. 2, which opens here tomorrow, focuses on the first movie's titular ragtag team of anti-heroes "being a family".
Led by Quill, the posse includes lethal green-skinned assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana), colossal and filter-less warrior Drax (Dave Bautista) and foul-mouthed tech guru Rocket the raccoon (Bradley Cooper).
There is also twig-like creature Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), a reborn version of the adult who was destroyed in the first movie.
Quill's daddy issues takes centre stage in the sequel, as we see him finding his real father Ego (Kurt Russell) while engaging in some emotional moments with his adoptive dad, space pirate Yondu (Michael Rooker).
Gamora also struggles with her share of family problems, as she and aggrieved stepsister Nebula (Karen Gillan) clash over their deep-seated sibling rivalry.
Meanwhile, Drax develops a mentor-like bond with Ego's empathic assistant, Mantis (Pom Klementieff).
Vol. 2 features its characters sharing a slightly different dynamic - one that evolves into a strong partnership that is not dissimilar to that of being in a relationship, said Pratt.
"Falling in love is the easy part, and that is the part we always talk about in the movies...
"The truth is, love is not all about arriving at a destination. It is about the journey," he said.
Pratt goes on to claim credit for suggesting to director James Gunn that he cast Russell as Ego, an all-powerful Celestial and a creator of worlds.
"I cannot imagine anyone else doing that. He is great as Ego. It makes sense too. I feel like we are both made up of the same stuff.
"We enjoy doing the same things, and we have similarities with the characters we play... He is perfectly cast," Pratt said.
Pratt does not mind being upstaged by the adorable Baby Groot - because if people love him, "then our movie is working", he said, laughing.
"It was the same in the first movie with Rocket. If we could get people to believe that this animated character was a living and breathing character who could feel real emotions, then it has worked.
"The concern I had was, 'Is Baby Groot going to work?' It is a tiny little tree after all.
"The first Groot was amazing, but Baby Groot certainly has its limitations. We need every element to work in order for the movie to be great.
"So when Baby Groot is stealing scenes and getting positive responses, it is nothing but good news for me and everyone involved," Pratt said.
Sequels always have it tough, especially when the original has set the bar sky high.
Based on a series about Marvel Comics' second-tier characters, Guardians Of The Galaxy earned over US$773 million (S$1.07 billion) at box offices worldwide.
Its humour was irreverent, its characters were appealing and it came with a rocking soundtrack aptly titled Awesome Mix Vol. 1.
Music contributed a large portion to the movie's success, and Gunn has put together a follow-up.
"I did not feel pressure making Vol. 2, but I certainly felt pressure in getting the soundtrack right," Gunn, 46, told TNP in a separate interview.
"I have been making movies for 20 years, so I know what I am doing. But making the soundtrack... well, I lucked out.
"I was just putting in songs that I thought fit the movie, and then the soundtrack went platinum, which was a total surprise. I did not expect that to happen.
"I did the same here, which is to try and put the best song that fits the moment and the scene."
There is no question which superhero team will win the music battle in Avengers: Infinity War, which is currently being filmed, according to Pratt.
He beamed and said with a smirk: "Well, the Guardians are going to be with the Avengers, and they usually come with some awesome music."