Cape Town – Chris Pratt, who plays Owen Grady, sat down for a quick Q&A regarding his new movie.
Can you describe your character in Jurassic World?
I play Owen Grady in Jurassic World. He is as merciless in his repartee as he is with his decisive action. He is a hero. He is on the cutting edge of some really exciting science and is working closely with raptors, attempting, essentially, to get them to follow commands. He works on the outskirts of the island and doesn’t necessarily like the way the Jurassic World Corporation treats their animals. He has a strong respect for the natural order and relishes those opportunities when people need him. And nobody has ever needed him more than when this big dinosaur flips out and starts killing people.
How would you describe his relationship with Claire (played by Bryce Dallas Howard)?
This is the first time there has been a real romance in a Jurassic movie. Claire, played by the incomparable Bryce Dallas Howard, is beautiful, stunning but also very Type A. She’s a corporate, C-level executive, like a CEO or CFO. She rose to the top and she wears power suits with power heels. She is all about the bottom line and taking care of the shareholder. She engages everything based on the metrics of testing audiences and whether or not they like the dinosaurs. She doesn’t really care about the well-being of these animals. She looks at them as assets and we have a contentious relationship similar to the relationship in the Indiana Jones movies, Romancing the Stone or The African Queen. There’s a banter that happens between us, and a history that we allude to and one date that didn’t end well. We couldn’t be more opposite, but the audience gets the sense that they are really attracted to one another.
Could you share your memories of when you first saw Jurassic Park back in the 1990s?
The first time I saw Jurassic Park was 22 years ago. I can’t believe it has been 22 years. I was 13 years old and I saw it at the theatre on opening night. It was my first 'event movie'. I remember really wanting to see the movie having seen the trailer. And being a fan of Stephen Spielberg and The Goonies, even at that young age, I knew he was a director that I liked. It just captured my imagination, like it did the entire generation, and I will never forget it.
You have a number of great action sequences in this film, but are there any in particular which stand out for you?
There are some incredible, tense action sequences in this movie. It will be hard for me to pick one as my favorite because there are so many. One in particular is so good, but I would hate to spoil it for you, but what I can say is that once you have seen it, you will know which one I am talking about. It has to do with a character named Zara. That’s all I’ll say.
Can you describe the process of acting in film like this which is a mix of live action and visual effects?
When you are creating a movie that is part live-action and part animation like this, the process of interacting between a live-action character and what is essentially a CG character, really varies in terms of process. Sometimes you are acting opposite nothing, which can be hard, and sometimes you are acting opposite actors who are dressed as dinosaurs, which can also be hard. And then sometimes you have animatronics, which is really my favorite thing because you have this beautiful dinosaur right there. It is there, it is physical and it is breathing and you can react to it. It really depends on what the set up is, which in turn depends on how wide the lens is, whether it is a moving shot or a played shot and it varies take by take.
Do you have a favourite dinosaur?
My favourite dinosaurs even before I knew I would be an actor training them in the movie are the Velociraptors, the pack hunters. They are wildly intelligent and ever since Sam Neill’s first monologue to that kid with that raptor claw [in Jurassic Park], saying 'It’ll cut you here and it’ll cut you here, eat your guts when you're still alive,' they became my favourite.
Catch Jurassic World in cinemas nationwide on Friday, 12 June.
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