Most of us have loved Chris Pratt since we first met him as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Rec. Then he made his dramatic debuts in Academy Award Best Picture nominees Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty. The latter revealed that he could be an action star, so it came as no surprise when he helmed two of the biggest worldwide action blockbuster films, Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World.
I’ve been a huge fan of Chris Pratt’s from the beginning. He’s funny, he’s down to earth, and he doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.
But I’ve also admired him for several years now because of what I’ve seen from him as a family man. Watching this video of him teaching his son the Pledge of Allegiance and respect for the American flag around Independence Day really got me.
Then, I’ve also heard him casually mention the importance his Christian faith at other times as well, including the picture above that he posted to social media of him and his friends erecting a huge cross to commemorate Easter.
So when the new Vanity Fair cover story came out about his rise to becoming one of the biggest stars in the world, I was excited to learn even more about his faith.
“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.”
The Vanity Fair writer can hardly grapple with this level of Christian faith from a star. He immediately follows up the story with this commentary:
O.K. Let’s stop for a moment. Because this is strange and so distant from what we expect of a movie star, especially of the clever, slapdash, wise-guy variety. But everyone needs a story to make sense of their life. Even the most successful. The extreme demands explanation. For Pratt, success, so extreme it scared him, is explained by metaphysical intervention. Which caused him to take control. In that moment, he yielded. His path has been clear ever since.
It’s fascinating that even this writer understands a basic tenet of the Christian faith found in Christ’s own words in Matthew 16:24-26, even if he doesn’t quite have the Biblical language to cite:
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25For whoever wants to save their lifef will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Then, at the conclusion of the piece, there’s one final poignant mention of his ardent faith:
Pratt turned the TV to the World Series—he did this for me. I live and die with the Chicago Cubs. Just before we sat to eat, he got on his knees and had the rest of us get on our knees, and we held hands, and he thanked God for the food and the life, and he even put in a word for the Cubs.