Chris Pratt: (Middle) American Hero
Chris Pratt is currently promoting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and as such is on the cover of Men’s Fitness. I have begun to feel like the more we hear from Pratt the less we like him, and I don’t think this interview is going to help much. There are several points to get through but let’s start here:
“I really feel there’s common ground out there that’s missed because we focus on the things that separate us. You’re either the red state or the blue state, the left or the right. Not everything is politics. And maybe that’s something I’d want to help bridge, because I don’t feel represented by either side.”
“Not everything is politics” is the most privileged thing a person can possibly say. There is only one type of person for whom “not everything is politics” and that is the straight, white, American male, because he is the center and everything is for him. Not everything is politics because politics defer to his point of view. But for the rest of us, yes, everything IS politics. Our skin is politics, our voices are politics, our bodies are politics, our marriages are politics, the way we do or don’t pray is politics, our right to flee violence and/or poverty to make a better life is politics.
It is true that here in the US, and a lot of other places, things are getting very contentious, and pretty much everyone would like a break from it (which is why Guardians is about to do hella business). But “not everything is politics” dismisses that so many people’s lives are ENTIRELY politics. Good for you, Chris Pratt, that not everything is politics. There are a whole lotta people who wish for the same luxury. And it IS a luxury.
And then there’s this:
“I don’t see personal stories that necessarily resonate with me, because they’re not my stories. I think there’s room for me to tell mine, and probably an audience that would be hungry for them. The voice of the average, blue-collar American isn’t necessarily represented in Hollywood.”
Here’s a list of Hollywood stories about the “average, blue-collar American”:
All the “Chicago” TV shows
Every Michael Bay movie
Every Peter Berg movie
Every Clint Eastwood movie
An entire genre of wildly popular “blue-collar comedy”
Parks & Recreation, which covered seven seasons of life in small-town Middle-America
And to quote Lainey: “He must have missed it when Casey Affleck won an Oscar for playing a blue-collar guy in Manchester by the Sea.”
It’s just a matter of perspective. Being the center is so ingrained in Chris Pratt he can’t even see it, and any deviation, no matter how minute, from HIS central focus seems like exclusion because it so unusual. “They’re not telling my story,” says the guy about which 90% of all media is for and about.
Those stories are out there, dude. There’s quite a few of them. And if Chris Pratt wants to add to the pile—he says he’s written a script based on his own life—then he will have ABSOLUTELY NO TROUBLE getting that movie made. You think he’ll get a budget like Barry Jenkins’ peanuts budget for Moonlight? Hell no. Pratt would get thirty times Barry Jenkins’ budget, AT LEAST. “I want to tell the story of a hard-working white American male” is the easiest pitch in Hollywood.