Chris Pratt honed the clown persona he’s played in Parks and Recreation all his life as a “self-defense mechanism.”
Outside of his blockbuster movie franchises, Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, Pratt is best known for playing the goofy, goofy Andy Dwyer on the TV sitcom between 2009 and 2015.
In an interview with Men’s Health magazine, Pratt explained that he’s been creating the Andy-style clown persona all his life because he wasn’t as tough as his dad wanted him to be.
“He was from the old school. He was a boxer and a bouncer. He used to kick people,” he explained. “I’m a sensitive person. My dad knew that when I was young, and it kind of made him not like me. Or not hate me but act like he didn’t like me – because he probably grew up in a world where a guy like that could be eaten alive, so he wanted to put some calluses on me.
“In the beginning, I developed humor as a self-defense mechanism – I developed Andy, really. Andy on Parks and Rec was my clown that I had perfected all my life, a guy who is affable, who is a smart person playing an idiot.”
Pratt, whose father died in 2014, has continued to leverage this silly image for a joke in his film franchises and he’s admitted he uses the character as “a tactic” to “lower people’s expectations of me”.