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Chris Pratt Shares His ‘Awesome’ Creative Acting Techniques

June 8, 2015

Have you ever created your own acting technique? Rather than rely solely on the tools you learned in your Method acting or improv class, perhaps you came up with a helpful technique that was specifically well-suited to the way you do things. Well, that’s what Guardians of the Galaxy actor, Chris Pratt seems to relish doing. Pratt recently shared with GQ Magazine that although he might appear like he’s often playing the funny man and not be taking things seriously, that he actually is quite cerebral when it comes to his work.

When discussing his role of failed-lawyer Brett in the Vince Vaughn movie Delivery Man, Pratt revealed, “I came up with some awesome techniques on that movie that I still use.” Using color associations to impact his emotions, he explains, “In that movie, I used bright orange, like a blaze of orange, as a reminder that my [character’s] mother doesn’t seem to believe in me and that she believes I’m a failure.” So, while on set, Chris strategically stuck Post-it notes off camera and within his line of vision to catch his attention during the scene. “And it would affect me emotionally underneath,” he said.

Additionally, it’s pretty common for actors to use music to tune into the various moods their characters are experiencing, but here’s how Pratt makes the most out of his music in order to affect the “rhythm of [his] spirit.” He stores a hundred-plus songs on his phone under the category of “Acting Music,” and then files them into further groupings like “Love,” “Sadness,” “Wonderment,” and “Action.” From there, he renames each musical piece with specific imagery that arouses strong, distinctive feelings. For example, under the “Sadness” file are choices to listen to like “Leaving Home,” “Brother’s Funeral,” and “European Town in Ruins.”

Another technique Chris talked about was one he admitted to finding while searching on the internet. He imagines which animal his character most resembles, and lets that inform the posture he’ll use as he moves. For instance, while playing Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady in the upcoming Jurassic World, Pratt likened him to a dolphin, explaining, “They lead with their forehead.”

They say inventions are born out of necessity, and sometimes actors need something to pull them through a scene or gig. What kind of creative tools do you use when challenged to take your performances to the next level?