By Sandy Cohen / Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Chris Pratt always declined previous offers to do commercials, but he made an exception for an upcoming Super Bowl spot — mostly because he likes beer.
Pratt will make his advertising debut Sunday in a pair of commercials for Michelob Ultra.
“I’ve watched every single Super Bowl since 1985,” he said. “I’m a Super Bowl guy, and I definitely feel really connected not only to football and to the NFL and the Super Bowl, but also to the commercials … That’s always the most exciting part for me, and it feels good to be part of that, like I’m a little tile in the mosaic of American culture.”
The star of the “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” film franchises, who went to Lake Stevens High School, also joked that being in a Super Bowl ad could “open things up” for him professionally.
“The Super Bowl launches people’s careers — like Whitney Houston,” Pratt said from his trailer on the set of the Michelob spot. “She sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl and it was like the highlight of the whole day, and then it launched her career … And I’m really hoping this is my Whitney Houston national anthem moment.”
Houston was already a Grammy-winning star when she performed at the game in 1991. Pratt was among the world’s highest-paid actors last year, according to Forbes.
He joins this year’s crop of celebrities starring in Super Bowl ads, including Tiffany Haddish, Cindy Crawford and her son and Morgan Freeman. The airtime alone for a 30-second spot this year costs more than $5 million this year.
Pratt, 38, said he approached the job just as he would a big-screen gig. He even bumped up his training for his next film, “Cowboy Ninja Viking,” so he would be in peak condition for the commercial shoot.
“If I’m going to be having my shirt off … in front of 100 million people, I want to look good,” he said, “so we worked really hard.”
The commercial, dubbed “The Perfect Fit,” is about balancing a healthy lifestyle with beer-fueled fun.
Pratt famously dropped 60 pounds before playing Star-Lord in the first “Guardians” film. Incorporating fitness into his life “changed everything,” he said.
“It’s not just an aesthetic thing,” he said. “I sleep better. I feel better.”
His favorite is exercising outdoors. Pratt said spending time in the woods near the farm he owns in Washington state doesn’t just keep him fit, it keeps him grounded. He particularly loves a trail there that passes through the woods and down to the beach.
“I feel the very best when I am running on that, and I feel very dialed in and close to nature and close to God,” he said. “I think anytime you can just stop and worship this creation, it makes you feel good.”