Chris Pratt has gone from being a lovable Everyman on Parks & Recreation to a chiseled movie star at the center of regular swirls of internet controversy. One of these controversies stems from an Instagram post Pratt made praising his current wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger, for, among other things, giving him “a gorgeous healthy daughter” with their child, Lyla, now 2 years old.
All of this sounds like typical thankful dad verbiage. He plays the useless man dolt, quipping that all he has to offer is the ability to open pickle jars, and that he’ll probably forget his wife’s upcoming birthday. If anything, it’s cliché.
People are always wishing hard and thanking God for a healthy baby, so it’s not that his word choice was uncommon, but it was noteworthy, given that Pratt and his first wife, Anna Farris, welcomed their son, Jack, now 9, prematurely. Jack, who is now 9, suffered a brain bleed — a complication among preemies — and has visual impairments and a heart problem.
The word healthy is loaded, in this context, and then seemingly fired in the direction of his ex-wife. The internet, including many parents of special needs children, came to Farris’ defense.
Pratt, 43, who stars in this summer’s Thor: Love & Thunder and Jurassic World: Dominion, has a new baby, daughter Eloise, with Schwarzenegger, and in an interview with Men’s Health, he defends himself from his critics.
Summarizing the controversial post, Pratt explains, “I said something like, ‘Find someone who looks at you the way my wife looks at me.’ And then I gave her some shit in the thing and said, ‘But I love you. I’m so thankful for my wife—she gave me a beautiful, healthy daughter.’ And then a bunch of articles came out and said, ‘That’s so cringeworthy. I can’t believe Chris Pratt would thank her for a healthy daughter when his first child was born premature. That’s such a dig at his ex-wife.’ And I’m like, That is f—ked up. My son’s gonna read that one day. He’s nine. And it’s etched in digital stone. It really fucking bothered me, dude. I cried about it. I was like, I hate that these blessings in my life are — to the people close to me — a real burden.”
Aware that he was in dangerous territory, Pratt joked that his publicist would be “sweating.”
The Men’s Health interview spent a big chunk of time exploring exactly why Chris Pratt is the butt of internet jokes and memes, often comparing the actor to Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth, and Chris Evans as “the worst Chris” — despite his squeaky-clean reputation in Hollywood as a family man and all-around good guy.
Other controversies have swirled around Pratt’s religiousness, which has sometimes rubbed elbows with organizations and people who are associated with anti-LGBT rhetoric. Like the “healthy baby” controversy, Pratt says it’s built on misunderstanding of what he thinks and feels.
After being accused, he released a statement defending himself and his views — but not mentioning that he’d never been to the church mentioned. He didn’t want to specifically call out a church he didn’t know much about.
“It has recently been suggested that I belong to a church which ‘hates a certain group of people’ and is ‘infamously anti-LGBTQ.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a man who believes that everyone is entitled to love who they want free from the judgment of their fellow man.”
Pratt’s new movie, The Terminal List, was a release for the actor.
“It was an opportunity for me to play a character who takes vengeance against the people who took his family, because—as a man and a dad—I feel out of control around being able to protect my family when it comes to the press or Twitter or whatever.”