If you haven't fallen in love with Chris Pratt already, today might just be the day.
Pratt has won plenty of hearts over the past few years as the adorably dumb Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, but this year he became a full-blown movie star, first with The LEGO Movie and then with Marvel's blockbuster hit, Guardians of the Galaxy. Pratt's the man of the moment in Hollywood, and with starring roles in upcoming flicks like Jurassic World and the Guardians sequel, it doesn't look like he'll fade away from the spotlight anytime soon.
While making the press rounds to promote Guardians, Pratt seemed to sense the shift, and he understood that if the film did well, he'd be more than just an actor. To a lot of kids, he'd be a superhero. He decided that, if he did reach superhero status, he'd use it to brighten children's lives, and he even snagged a few items from the Guardians set to do it.
“I stole the jacket and some of the wardrobe so that, if this movie comes out and does what everyone hopes it can, I can follow the example of someone — say, like, a Russell Wilson, you know — and go visit kids,” Pratt said during a Guardians of the Galaxy promotional interview. “If it was a big enough movie, to where it would mean something to a kid who's sick in the hospital — for Peter Quill or Star-Lord to come visit them — I'll do that. I think that's awesome, man. That would give me real meaning for this movie, you know?”
Well, Pratt was true to his word. Earlier this week he attended a Guardians of the Galaxy screening for the kids at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which he helped arrange with Marvel, and while the children were watching the movie, Pratt got into his Star-Lord costume. When the film ended, he spent more than three hours with the kids, handing out toys, signing autographs, taking photos and even taking time to visit the children who were too ill to attend to the screening. Among the children he visited was Dylan Prunty, known as "LEGO Kid" online. Prunty is a major fan of LEGOs and, of course, The LEGO Movie Pratt starred in, so they had a lot to talk about. A photo of Pratt with Prunty (who's sporting LEGO Movie sheets on his bed) popped up on Reddit Wednesday and has been making the rounds ever since.
We spend a lot of time around here talking about superhero movies, analyzing their box-office success and their overarching themes, arguing about which ones are good or bad, but to kids these characters are often just very pure, very real embodiments of heroism. To them, Star-Lord's just cool, and when an actor like Pratt, who could've been doing anything else that day, takes time out of his life to use that cool status to bring joy to some kids who really need it, we can't help but get a little misty. So, thanks, Star-Lord.