But why does he annoy me? In the recent Hollywood Chris ranking, Pratt’s name comes up and we’re expected to giddly smile when comparing him to hunky Hemsworth or kindly and squinty Pine or the undeniably beautiful piece of American pie Evans. Pratt is an unlikely movie star who is as much about roles as he is being a leading man. Something about it I’m not buying though and, in reflecting on this distaste, I think I might have landed on the reason why.
To understand, let’s start with a little snippet from his Vanity Fair cover story from January. This little bit related to how his doing odd jobs selling coupons on the street helped him cope with Hollywood rejection.
“That’s why I believe in God and the divine,” he told me. “I feel like it was perfectly planned. People talk about rejection in Hollywood. I’m like, ‘You’re outta your fuckin’ mind. Did you ever have someone sic their dog on you at an audition?” ’
Oh. OK? Sure. I can buy that! I get it. I think? Sure.
Then this comes up, regarding when he lived on a beach, lost, searching for something to guide him.
“I was sitting outside a grocery store—we’d convinced someone to go in and buy us beer. This is Maui. And a guy named Henry came up and recognized something in me that needed to be saved. He asked what I was doing that night, and I was honest. I said, ‘My friend’s inside buying me alcohol.’ ‘You going to go party?’ he asked. ‘Yeah.’ ‘Drink and do drugs? Meet girls, fornication?’ I was like, ‘I hope so.’ I was charmed by this guy, don’t know why. He was an Asian dude, maybe Hawaiian, in his 40s. It should’ve made me nervous but didn’t. I said, ‘Why are you asking?’ He said, ‘Jesus told me to talk to you . . .’ At that moment I was like, I think I have to go with this guy. He took me to church. Over the next few days I surprised my friends by declaring that I was going to change my life.”
Um, OK. Great?
This—his religion—is not what annoys me. In fact, I am in awe of people who can be so spiritually aware and enlightened and in touch and so publicly devout in 2017: that is remarkable. What I do not like is that his vocal Jesus loving is followed by a slurry of very strange support coupled with equally as strange proclamations that make the religiosity a marketing campaign of the bizarre.
While he occasionally makes a few high profile Christ round-ups, much of his saintliness lands him with praise from websites like World Religion News, Christian Post, Belief Net, and more. What he embodies can be summed up by a story on “Qpolitical”—short for “Question politics,” a site whose “goal is to share Conservative and Christian values with the world”—titled “They Told Chris Pratt ‘Keep Jesus Off The Set’, His Response Left Me Cheering.”
The article vaguely lives up to the title and is instead a listicle of eight reasons why “America needs more men like Chris Pratt.” Uhhhh…OK? Those reasons are—
1. He’s An Outdoors Man… (“He’s not your typical Hollywood pretty boy that’s too scared to get rough and dirty with the wilderness.”)
2. He’s A Godly Man… (“His success reflects his Godly heart.”)
3. He’s a hard-working man… (“It is so refreshing to see a famous father and husband step up and take pride in conservative values like working hard and providing for your family. Take notes, guys!”)
4. He’s a humble man… (“Being the humble man he is, Pratt even apologized on Facebook prior to the long-awaited debut of Jurassic World for how much media coverage he would be getting in the upcoming weeks.”)
5. He’s a talented man… (“Did you know Chris Pratt was the highest grossing actor of 2014?”)
6. He’s a family man… (“Despite the Hollywood trend of divorce, infidelity, and broken families.. Chris adores his wife and two-year-old son, Jack!”)
7. He’s a patriotic man… (“Chris is a true patriot and is raising his son with conservative values.”)
8. He’s A Giving Man… (“This man of God is giving the males of America an epic wake up call.”)
I “love” that they refer to Anna Faris only as “his wife.”
As you can assume, with these points of view—or projected points of view—come other things. Like what? Guns. Pratt loves guns and this too has been co-opted as a call to arms to support him. His love of weapons was revealed in a 2014 Esquire cover story where Pratt noted he had a “thirty- or forty-gun arsenal.”
It’s not all so primal—Pratt believes in firearm regulation, background checks, and preventing guns from falling into the hands of the mentally ill. He explains population control and hunting licenses and tags and the virtues of eating what you kill. It all makes sense, but it also feels kind of like when Dexter explains that he’s a good serial killer because his victims are rapists and murderers. Really, this guy just likes to kill shit.
Yes, just likes to kill shit.
And people support that! Sites like Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller, Guns.com, and Bearing Arms, a pro-gun website from Townhall Media, “a political publisher leading national discussion with commentary and analysis from a right-of-center perspective.” They also publish Red State, “the most influential right of center blog,” which loves him. And, of course, he’s a favorite of Breitbart.
No, it doesn’t end there! He’s a staunch talker about the importance of blue-collar life. This mostly comes by way of his still-Safeway-working mother which is pops up as a throwaway line with a huge impact in cover stories like this 2014 Entertainment Weekly article. It even recurs in more liberal places like Buzzfeed, who claimed Pratt is the only star we can all agree on. Indiewire used this blue-collar life to pin him against pretty, rich boy, Chris Pine.
This has gotten him into trouble too: his Men’s Fitness April 2017 cover story proclaimed that there need to be more films that “voice the average, blue-collar American” because he doesn’t see “personal stories that necessarily resonate” with his life on screen. The opposition to this fucking ridiculous notion was killed quickly sa critics swooped in to call him out. He apologized but, pair this with his offending deaf people around the same time, his façade of pretty and perfect yet approachable and awe-filled began to crumble.
So what does this all mean? Why does Chris Pratt make me fucking crazy? Because he’s a Trojan horse, a supposed “cool dude,” former chubbo turned hunky leading man whose quirky yuks paired with action brawn combined with his god, gun, and gear loving ways make him a gift for those who—I don’t know.—still support Donald Trump. None of these things individually, in public or private, are bad (Except maybe guns.) but he has become a strange bastion of “American values” in the worst way possible. His right wing fandom isn’t just piping up with support for him but also piping up with support of Kamala Harris getting a “well-deserved smackdown,” of Shaun King getting a DNA test, and of Trump “restoring law and order” in the United States. He is a mask for old school white ways, for people who say it’s “heritage not hate.” He is a walking “all lives matter” sticker. He wants to speak with the manager. He is not one of us. He is riding on the wings of a Twitter egg.
Unfortunately, his cool, weed loving funny person wife Anna Faris has been very silent on these subjects, reinforcing the Pratt agenda as a marketing tool to reach “real people.” Her interviews over the years don’t mention the same things. Even when discussing her long held virginity, it had nothing to do with religion: it was a joke about her being fat. While I have not combed every word she has said, the only subjects similar to Pratt’s come out of her mouth in reference to how their premature son almost died. They made it through by praying “a lot.” Fair.
That’s why Chris Pratt kind of, very much is bad for us: although he might not project this himself, his fame runs in parallel to a pro-life billboard on the side of a rural highway. He’s more than just recently handsome and starring in all white movies: he’s a pawn in the fight for “traditional values.”
I don’t like it, I do not buy it, I do not subscribe. Chris Pratt sucks.