After recently being spotted hanging with Hollywood's smartest new Girl Squad, along with Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer - I have a confession to make: there was once a time when I didn’t get the hype surrounding Chris Pratt.
During the summer of 2014, as the entertainment world clamoured for a piece of this chubby, mid-30’s frat bro and his incessant cheerfulness, I couldn’t help but be baffled.
Here was a guy who looked like he might work in a garden centre or a train station cafe; merrily burning coffee or forgetting where the chrysanthemums are. He looked a bit like that friend you once had at school, Alex? Or Tom? Or your sister’s ex boyfriend. He was a nice bloke, but definitely not a movie star.
After growing up in a generation that googled Brad Pitt’s Fight Club ab workout and Christian Bale’s Batman diet, Chris Pratt’s apparent averageness confused me.
He didn’t have Leo’s smirking allure or Jake Gylenhall’s outrageously good hairline, he just looked normal; completely unlike the movie stars I had been conditioned to worship. He didn’t even have a great beard.
But therein lies the beauty of Chris Pratt, his genuine normality. A man who was discovered waiting tables at a seafood chain restaurant and didn’t break the big time until he was 35, in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, where he teamed up with the impossibly badass Zoe Saldana to deliver one of the slickest and most amusing performances of the year and proved that action heroes can be funny and flawed.
A bit like his pal Jennifer Lawrence, Pratt seems to be equally popular with both men and women: Attractive, but not vain, funny, but not overbearing and with the ability to speak his mind - a diminishing rarity in the hyper-reactive world of modern show business.
So I’m sorry for doubting you Chris, it was me, not you.
Words by Finlay Renwick