Chris Pratt and Tom Holland relate to each other's 'Onward' characters

Chris Pratt, seen here with wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, is the voice of Barley in Pixar's Onward. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Chris Pratt, seen here with wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, is the voice of Barley in Pixar's "Onward." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, March 6 (UPI) -- Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, who lend their voices to Pixar's latest animated film, Onward, say the film cast them in roles that are opposite to how they interact with their real-life families.

Holland voices Ian, younger brother to Pratt's Barley. In real life, Pratt is the younger brother.


"I was Ian and my brother was Barley," Pratt said at a press conference. "My brother, for instance, always wanted to be an actor. He did plays. I was like, 'Wow, that's amazing. Being an actor is awesome. I want to be an actor.'"

Now, Pratt is the star of three franchises: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and The Lego Movie. His brother, Cully Pratt, enlisted in the Army and now serves as a law enforcement officer in Solano County, Calif.

Cully was never jealous of Chris' show business success. Likewise, Barley is a magic enthusiast in the world of Onward, but has no powers of his own. When his younger brother develops the ability to cast spells, Barley never resents him.

"He loves his brother so much that he's just so proud of him that he has this gift," Pratt said. "It really made me appreciate how my brother was with me. [For] my whole life, he's always only been super encouraging and positive about what I've been able to do as an actor."


In the Holland family, Tom is the oldest of four siblings. He joked that his younger brothers learn from his mistakes.

"How to be gracious losers when they lose at golf -- that's what I've taught them," Holland said. "I'm a terrible loser, so they've learned what not to do from their big brother."

Ian and Barley go on an adventure when Ian casts a spell to bring back their late father. The spell only works halfway, so they seek a magical artifact that can help them complete it. Pratt appreciated that Onward avoided sibling rivalry.

"What you see [in other movies] is the older brother who doesn't let the younger brother hang out with him, who doesn't take him to school," Pratt said. "It's kind of a caricature of what real relationships are. The truth is brothers love each other."

Pratt and Holland crossed paths before in the Avengers movies, where Holland's Spider-Man teams up with Pratt's Star-Lord and all the other superheroes. Holland said they have become like brothers themselves.

"Because Chris and I are obviously so close already, before we even came onto this film, it was almost like we were just playing ourselves," Holland said.


Animated films record each voice individually and piece the dialogue together during editing. Watching Onward, Pratt said director Dan Scanlon still captured his chemistry with Holland.

"There were moments where we were brought together [before recording]," Pratt said. "I think maybe part of that had to do with just getting a model of what our relationship would be like, how we interact with one another and goof around. Some of that was probably expressed in the movie."

Although he plays the younger sibling, Holland said he also could relate to Ian. Ian is a shy teenager celebrating his 16th birthday. Ian reminded Holland of himself before he joined the West End production of Billy Elliot in the title role.

"The similarities between Ian and myself go back to more when I was sort of in my early teens, 12, 13," Holland said. "I was a little bit of an introvert. I was a very nervous kid, and I had a hard time at school.

"It wasn't until I went on this adventure that was Billy Elliot when I sort of came out of my shell. I became more confident in myself and believed in myself," he said.

Onward made the actors reflect on their own families, including those family members who have died. Asked if they could cast a spell to bring someone back, Holland chose his great-grandfather as that person.


"My granddad, Bob, he never actually met his dad," Holland said. "His dad passed away when he was 18 months old, so I would bring back my great-grandfather so my granddad would have the opportunity to meet his dad."

Pratt said he'd choose his father, to share with him his accomplishments.

"I would show him Guardians of the Galaxy," Pratt joked. "Then if he didn't like it, I'd bring back a known criminal to beat him up on Instagram live. Because if my dad didn't like Guardians, I would be like, 'All right, you can go back to heaven.'"

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