Pratt’s father Daniel died in 2014, while the Guardians star was filming Jurassic World, due to complications arising from multiple sclerosis. Pratt mostly held his emotions inside as he finished filming on Jurassic World before opening up during the filming of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. He described his father in a previous interview with GQ as a tough, “ornery” old-school kind of parent, whose illness – and subsequent refusal to fight it in his later years – put some strain on their relationship and the family as a whole.
It appears that Pratt was able to effectively channel those complex emotions into his on-screen performance as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Any time an actor can draw upon real, raw emotions and translate them to a performance can help elevate the material beyond what it may become if the actor was just pretending. For a movie that director James Gunn has described as “a story about fathers,” Pratt’s real-life issues with his own dad should only serve to make the sequel a better story.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will, of course, still need to tell a coherent story with a compelling script for Pratt’s performance to make as big an impact as possible. Even the best actors in the world with the most real-life experience to draw from couldn’t save a weak script. Fortunately, Gunn’s script for the first Guardians of the Galaxy is arguably among the sharpest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so there’s reason to believe that he will again deliver top-notch writing in the sequel – and that Pratt’s emotional performance will flourish as a result.