His dream has finally come true.
An Oscar? Not exactly.
Ever since Hollywood heart-throb Chris Pratt watched the first Jurassic Park movie 22 years ago, when he was just 13, he has always wanted to be a part of the action-adventure franchise.
The new film Jurassic World, which opens here on June 11, is the latest instalment in the successful blockbuster series that was a vision of director Steven Spielberg.
It takes place 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park and it is about a functioning theme park centred on dinosaur attractions, including one that involves a genetic hybrid dinosaur known as the Indominus Rex.
When Pratt, 35, finally got the call, it was an understatement to say that he was beyond thrilled.
"It's so weird to think that I'm in this movie and that I'm actually a movie star," said Pratt, who looked every bit the part in a dapper grey suit that showed off his ripped body.
He said during a press junket at the Park Hyatt Beijing hotel, in China yesterday, that his character Owen Grady, is basically a dream come true.
Grady is a dinosaur researcher who is the "alpha" to the velociraptors.
Said the US actor: "The franchise shaped who I was as a kid. And I'm so excited to see a new instalment as a fan.
"The fact that I'm a part of this is generally astounding," continued Pratt, who clearly had the most fans among the Chinese press.
Reporters whipped out their cameras every time he spoke and appeared charmed by every word and joke.
His co-star, 34-year-old US actress Bryce Dallas Howard, when answering a question about why one should watch Jurassic World, said: "See Jurassic World. Chris Pratt is hot."
Pratt's reply? "Hey! That was what I was going to say". That sent the whole room into peals of laughter.
Howard plays a high-level executive at Jurassic World and Pratt's romantic interest.
When asked about their working relationship, she said that Pratt is dedicated to work. Similarly, Pratt had kind words for Howard.
Said the actor, who is married to US actress Anna Faris, 38, with whom he has a two-year-old son, Jack: "Bryce is the best and is very professional and incredibly collaborative.
"I admire that she was trying to finish up her college degree in between shooting scenes. And she also had time to come up with a list of things for me and my family to do."
In a way, Howard is like the business-minded, logical power-woman she plays in Jurassic World, said Pratt.
DEFT ON HEELS
A true sign of Howard's power? Running away from dinosaurs while on heels for the duration of the movie.
Howard said: "I'm not one for heels. So naturally there was some trepidation. But it was actually empowering to do that as a woman."
Director Colin Trevorrow said that the film has its share of scares and emotional, poignant moments amid intense action sequences - which took a toll on its leading man.
"There was absolutely no acting on some days. It was just sprinting, running, sliding. But it was fun," said Pratt, who also starred in last year's surprise hit Guardians Of The Galaxy.
When asked if he dreamt about dinosaurs at night, Pratt said with a chuckle: "I kept having anxious dreams about forgetting my lines. That's my fear."
It was Howard's daughter, who was 2½ years old during filming, who kept having dinosaur nightmares.
Said Howard: "I'm not going to let her watch the movie for quite a while."
But Trevorrow, 38, hopes that other people will bring their children, wives, husbands and friends along for the new ride.
"You will be needing someone to hold on, too," said Trevorrow, who was hand-picked by executive producer Spielberg to helm the new instalment, which is his first big gig.
His last flick was the 2012 indie film Safety Not Guaranteed.
Knowing that the original movies reinvented cinema, he said: "I just hope this film reaches a fraction of what Spielberg accomplished with his movie.
"I want this movie to be the representation of what millions of people hope an instalment like this is.
"I don't feel like I directed it. It feels like it's directed by a whole generation."
This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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