Childhood Garfield fan Chris Pratt says being picked to star in film ‘surreal’

childhood garfield fan chris pratt says being picked to star in film ‘surreal’

LA Premiere of “The Garfield Movie”

US actor Chris Pratt said as a fan of the original Garfield comic, it was “surreal” to have been handpicked by director Mark Dindal to star as the Monday-hating, lasagne-loving orange cat in the upcoming animation.

Guardians Of The Galaxy star Pratt arrived at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood for the film’s world premiere, standing on the top deck of a double decker bus dedicated to The Garfield Movie – set for release in the UK on May 24.

Pratt stars as the cantankerous cat – who began life in a comic series in 1978 by creator Jim Davis – alongside Samuel L Jackson who plays Garfield’s long-lost father Vic, and Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham who voices villain Jinx.

Filmmaker Dindal told the PA news agency they started the process “finding clips of Chris (Pratt) from interviews and other films and cut them to images of Garfield that we had from the movie and his voice fit”, before approaching the Hollywood star for the role.

“It’s really incredible, it’s kind of surreal actually,” Pratt told PA of being handpicked to play Garfield.

“As a kid I used to get the newspaper, there would be a comic strip and a movie section right next to each other, I’d pull it out – this was up in Alaska – and I’d look at what movies were coming and I’d read the comics.

“I think probably before I could even read I just looked at the pictures.

“To think now I’m doing something incorporating both of those things (movies and Garfield) is pretty surreal.”

The 44-year-old later said “I don’t know what he saw in me” but that they just wanted him to bring his “spirit” to the role.

“They’ve been working on this for years, they brought it to me and he (Dindal) said ‘listen, this is the first call I’ve made, I’ve been imagining your voice coming out of Garfield’s mouth for years now’,” Pratt said on the orange carpet.

Pratt posed with his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, alongside British star Waddingham, who confirmed it was the first time she had met the US actor.

The 49-year-old, who plays a theatrical and flamboyant cat out for revenge and has an original song in the film titled I’m Back, spoke of having Ted Lasso co-star Brett Goldstein appear as her character’s canine henchman named Roland in the film.

“It was really lovely for Brett and I to talk about it and we were hoping to be here together but he’s away doing his stand up,” Waddingham told PA.

“But I love the fact that now we are such a family on Ted (Lasso), it’s like we circle around each other all the time and that’s how it’s always going to be.

“And he is brilliant in this movie.”

Ted Lasso, which follows a US football coach who moves to the UK to manage a struggling London football team in the top flight of English football, won 13 Emmys during its three-season run.

Pratt and Waddingham later joined the character Garfield as he put his paw prints in cement outside the TCL Chinese Theatre forecourt while creator and cartoonist Davis signed his and Garfield’s name.

“I was hoping to be able to have a comic strip that was a wide enough circulation so I didn’t have to do something else to support my cartooning habit – but that was it and I thought some day down the road maybe a book,” 78-year-old Davis told PA.

“Feeling proud is the thought that Garfield is making someone laugh or even feel a little better each day – that’s what gets me out of bed every morning.”

The premiere also saw star Cecily Strong, who voices dedicated animal control officer Marge in the film, arrive with dogs from shelters to shine a light on adoption in association with PetSmart Adoption Centres and Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

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