The world has changed a lot over the past decade or so. Things that used to be acceptable aren't any longer. In the case of a particular bit of improv in the NBC series "Parks and Recreation," this is a good thing. Cast your mind back to season 2, episode 6 of the show. "Parks and Rec" was filmed with a lot of improvisation, and sometimes things went a little too far. The person involved this time was Chris Pratt, aka the man who is seemingly able to tame raptors with a mere hand gesture in "Jurassic World," aka it's a-me, Mario.
You may recall a particular scene from that episode where Pratt's character Andy Dwyer has been kicked out by his girlfriend, Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones). She invites him back over, and he thinks they'll hook up. That's when things took a turn. Pratt visited "The Graham Norton Show" (via YouTube) several years ago and spoke about shooting this scene, his wildly inappropriate improv decision, and the repercussions from NBC, which he clearly didn't read well enough.
'We Don't Want You Going Around And Talking About This Letter Like It Was ... Some Kind Of Joke'
In the clip, Pratt says that Andy was supposed to show up to the house naked and that for filming purposes, they give you skin-colored underwear that they later pixelate out so the audience can't see your bits and pieces. When Andy gets to the door in his birthday suit, Amy Pohler's character Leslie Knope opens the door instead, sees him naked, and yells, "Andy!" According to the interview, Pratt didn't think "she was really reacting to seeing my d***." There are too many jokes to make here. I'm overwhelmed, so I'll let you insert your own. Pratt explains that he thought it would be a good idea to "drop my trou as an improv!" He figured that would make them use the take ... which he says they did.
How did Pratt decide that this would be the right move? He asked a crew member who apparently nodded at him in support (though in an interview with Seth Meyers via People, Pratt said the crew member responded, "Oh gosh, I don't know.") Great. Official permission, I guess? NBC didn't think so. Pratt says:
"Dropped trou, and then I got a letter from NBC saying basically never, ever do that again. There is a protocol to being naked, you must give everyone the option to not see it. I forgot, yes there's not that many people in the room, but there's a camera and behind the camera is a ton of people watching, you know?"
Yup. Shows have a crew. They have camera people and makeup people, and lighting people ... many of whom probably didn't wake up that day thinking there would be a naked actor on set. Silly crew.
Maybe We Don't Show Our Junk At Work?
But wait, there's more. Pratt continues:
"So I got naked and then they sent me a letter and I framed it, I got it right next to – I've got it in my office, I love it. It said, 'First of all, this is not a joke. You're being reprimanded. This is the last warning, it can't happen again, and also we don't want you going around and talking about this letter like it was something, some kind of a joke.'"
Improv is about being open enough to take risks. If you and a scene partner are comfortable enough with each other and have discussed boundaries beforehand, that's one thing. If you, as a crew member, know that the production is shooting a nude scene, you can make a choice about whether or not to be there. The nude body isn't inherently a bad thing, and we're definitely not as comfortable with it as we probably should be. However, this is the world we live in, and just whipping out your penis while shooting a scene with people (and lots of non-actors) who didn't consent to see it absolutely warrants a letter.
Obviously, there was someone who wasn't okay with it. Say what you will about having a safe space to perform or a prank being silly, but acting is still a job with protocols, including boundaries. Sure, it makes a great chat show story, but I don't know that telling people you not only pissed off your co-workers and got reprimanded for it but then framed that reprimand and hung it in your office as a joke is a great look.
"Parks and Recreation" is currently streaming on Peacock with a premium membership.
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The post Chris Pratt's Cavalier Attitude Towards Nude Scenes Got Him In Trouble On The Parks And Recreation Set appeared first on /Film.