Chris Pratt Shares the Emotional Story of His Son's Premature Birth
Chris Pratt’s had a year for the ages. He starred in two hit movies (Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie), showed off a ridiculously ripped body after months of hard gym time, and continued to play one of the funniest characters on TV as Parks and Recreation’s Andy Dwyer. He’s amassed such a following this year that his fans were outraged when “the wrong Chris”—that is, Chris Hemsworth—was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive.
As if you didn't already have a giant crush on Pratt, get ready to swoon over another one of his roles: sensitive father. He gave a touching speech at Friday’s March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, sharing the story of his son Jack’s premature birth, according to Variety.
Pratt and wife Anna Faris welcomed Jack a whopping nine weeks early, and he weighed just 3 pounds, 12 ounces. “That’s a decent-sized bass,” he said to laughter from the crowd. “Very small for a human.”
While Jack spent his first month of life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Pratt and Faris learned that he may have special needs and would require cosmetic surgery to correct his eyes. During that month, Pratt said he treasured the times when he could take Jack out of the incubator and hold his son against him. “I made promises in that moment about what kind of dad I wanted to be and I just prayed that he’d live long enough that I could keep them.”
“I’ve done all kinds of cool things as an actor—I’ve jumped out of helicopters and done some daring stunts and played baseball in a professional stadium, but none of it means anything compared to being somebody’s daddy,” Pratt said.
Jack, now two years old, is thriving at home. “Our Jack went from a small, helpless squirt to a strong, smart, happy, funny, beautiful boy who loves monster trucks and ‘Daniel Tiger,’ and, believe it or not, loves vegetables,” he said. “Broccoli and cherry tomatoes are his favorite foods.”
Pratt lauded March of Dimes, a nonprofit dedicated to the health of mothers and babies, for their work with premature births, adding, “None of what we went through would be as easy even 10 years ago.” He explained that babies in the NICU face a balance between life or death—“a balance that’s tipping towards life by cutting-edge medicines, much of which is the direct result of this wonderful organization, the March of Dimes.”