Chris Pratt received a special kind of recognition on Monday night, and the perfect person was there to bestow it upon him. Aubrey Plaza presented Chris Pratt with his MTV Generation Award, and in doing so created a mini Parks & Recreation reunion. The two starred in the beloved NBC comedy together as iconic husband and wife duo Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate, otherwise known as two halves of the purest love story of all time, and that connection obviously wasn't lost on Plaza.
As she and Bryce Dallas Howard, Pratt's co-star in the Jurassic World films, announced Pratt's honor, the affection Plaza has for her former co-star and their shared onscreen relationship was palpable. "[Pratt is] so very loved that his films have grossed nearly 3 billion dollars," she said, throwing on an insidious Dr. Evil-esque voice at the end, before forcefully adding: "Nobody loves him more than April Ludgate. No one."
Viewers were obviously not lost on the nostalgia brought on by the pair appearing onstage together, and Twitter was buzzing with Parks & Rec fans swooning over the encounter.
According to MTV News, the Generation Award is always "reserved for actors who have impressively conveyed a wide variety of roles with their unique personal flair," so it makes sense that Pratt was the one honored this year. According to Deadline, past recipients of MTV's Generation Award include Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock, Jamie Foxx, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Robert Downey Jr. So, yeah, Pratt is in good company with this one.
Though he's been a bona fide action star for a few years now after starring in the Jurassic World movies, the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, and Passengers, viewers still remember when Pratt first stole their hearts as Andy Dwyer on NBC's Parks & Recreation. Since then, he's evolved into a kind of unlikely movie star — unlikely in the sense that his current work is a far cry from the fart jokes he was known for on Parks. But he still maintains his humor, which is what helps to set him apart. "I said before we ever started shooting Guardians that Chris Pratt’s the biggest movie star in the world, it’s just that people don’t know it yet," Guardians director James Gunn told GQ in 2015. "And that’s the case."
Pratt's versatility is something that people can appreciate in him, and is something that likely made him the frontrunner for the Generation Award. "There's a modern vulnerability to who he is. There's a part of him you want to take care of, and people see that. Not to mention that he's very good with comedy," Gunn said in a separate interview with Elle magazine.
Though his talents are undeniable, Pratt has mentioned in the past that he hasn't always been 100 percent confident in everything he's done, but when he's cut himself some slack and given himself a chance, he's been able to appreciate the work that's been put in.
"When [Guardians of the Galaxy] started, I was like, This is f*ckin’ awesome! Then I saw the first scene of myself dancing and kicking rats, and I was like, 'Oh, my God, disaster. This movie is gonna suck,'" Pratt told Vanity Fair last year. "I was just so hypercritical of myself. Then the next scene comes on and you see Rocket and Groot, and I was like, Wait a minute—this movie might be really f*ckin’ good."
Whether or not the actor himself always realizes the quality of the performances he's putting forward, plenty of other people do, including former co-stars like Plaza — and this award is just more proof of that.