Chris Pratt is many things. He's an increasingly successful actor, a Parks and Recs alumni, a husband, a father, and according to his Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 co-star Elizabeth Debecki, he may possess a superpower. I sat down with the 26-year-old Aussie actor to talk about the intergalactic sequel, who divulged a silly secret about her costar. Though the often-serious actor claims to never "corpse" (break into laughter unintentionally) on screen, Chris Pratt caused her to on set of Vol. 2 — for the first time in her life. Now that's a superpower.
Known for her roles in The Great Gatsby, The Night Manager, MacBeth, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the young actor has a seriously impressive resume. Even so, when joining the cast of Guardians Vol. 2, Debecki admits she was nervous to jump into the "well oiled machine" that is the Disney franchise.
"It's always a bit intimidating as an actor when you're coming to do a sequel of a film... you're stepping into this universe. But I have to say, in terms of the set itself and everybody on it, it's the nicest set I've ever been on," she says.
The actor plays Ayesha, a no-nonsense, regal, and utterly self-obsessed ruler who attempts to discipline (i.e. kill) the Guardians for stealing from her kingdom. We first meet her while she's sitting on her throne, cloaked head to toe in gold. But what audiences may not know is that this is the first scene the actor filmed — and she hadn't even met her cast mates yet.
"It was so funny because the first day was the scene in the throne room, when all the Guardians are in front of me," she says. "I'll never forget, they all sort of crept up in this line, and I was like, 'Hi, guys. It's so nice to meet you,' because we hadn't gotten to chat. But I looked like this evil queen, it wasn't particularly approachable. But inside, I was thinking, 'I wish someone would say 'hi' to me, I'm just human.'"
And one Guardian did more than say "hello" — he made her totally lose it and start laughing on camera. During the scene, Pratt and Debecki's characters have a strange flirtation. Her character claims not to know how humans (like Pratt's Peter Quill) procreate, and then she suggests that perhaps he could "show her" sometime. (No one can resist the allure of Star Lord, amiright?) But apparently, that day, Pratt was on his A-game. Though Debecki stuck to the script, the 37-year-old actor decided to improvise during the scene, and the results were, well, pretty damn funny.
"I'm usually very proud of the fact that I never corpse. I never laugh on camera, but that was really difficult not to do with Chris," she says. "It was genuinely hilarious. I mean, there were so many outtakes from that moment that maybe one day people will see. But the things that he was throwing into the mix were hilarious. I did actually openly — for the first ever in my life — just openly laugh."
Pratt has been known to go off-book in the past. Like the time he gave Amy Poehler an improvised line during a talking head segment of Parks and Recreation. "I was a master debater," she says — a clever play on words that allegedly came from Pratt's brain. He also improvised some of the most memorable Parks & Recreation quips —douché, anyone?
Fingers crossed the Blu-ray extras include some of these Guardians of the Galaxy 2 outtakes. Did you hear that, Disney? The people need more Pratt.