So here’s something you don’t see everyday: It’s 90-plus degrees on a June afternoon in New Orleans, and Chris Pratt is wrestling a little person named Marty in the parking lot of an abandoned Six Flags. The scuffle is part of a scene for Universal’s megabudget Jurassic World (out June 12), the fourth installment in the dinos-gone-wild franchise.
This time around, the ill-fated theme park of the title has finally become a fully realized tourist attraction: a prehistoric Disneyland. As you might expect, the bioscientific capitalist fantasy turns dark pretty fast. So today, here in this empty parking lot that the filmmakers have transformed into the main street of Jurassic World—complete with a Margaritaville and a Starbucks—all hell is breaking loose as swooping pteranodons begin dive-bombing tourists. This is where Marty comes in.
Pratt’s character, Owen, a behavioral researcher studying raptors on the island, is tackled by one of the flying CG mammals and has to fight the creature off while Claire, the park’s operations manager (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), looks on in horror. Marty, a professional stuntman, is standing in for said dinosaur, which is how he ends up being roughed up by a hunky Star-Lord.
“People in the press have asked me about some of the most surreal moments shooting,” says Pratt. “There’s been so many of them that you draw a blank. But being reminded of it I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s right, I did manhandle a little person and throw him on his head because he was a pretend pteranodon.”
And he did a little more than manhandle him. “I launched him and he hit his head and he started bleeding all over the place,” Pratt recalls 10 months later. “What a nightmare, Marty!” Pratt laughs and offers a tip for audiences when they watch the final film. “When you cut to my eyes and the terror you see? It’s real!”
It sounds like Marty was pretty tough though. Says Pratt, “I remember Marty was kind of a sh-t-talker. He like made fun of my friend’s tight khakis he had to wear as a background actor. He was like, ‘Yeah were you smuggling grapes?'”
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