One of Chris Pratt’s best known roles is well-meaning idiot Andy Dwyer from Parks & Recreation.
For those unfamiliar with the show, Parks & Recreation is a sitcom about the Parks & Recreation department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana. Andy starts the show as the lazy boyfriend of Ann Perkins, a nurse who wants to see the large pit behind her house filled in because Andy fell in and broke both his legs. After he and Ann break up, he starts working at City Hall as a shoe shine, starting a relationship with the Parks department intern (whom he eventually marries) and goes through a number of different jobs before starting his own children’s television show. Andy is the show’s main comic relief, and can be relied upon to do something stupid, insane or both. Despite this, he is also a sweet and caring individual who just wants to everyone to be happy and having fun at the end of the day.
However, it recently occurred to me that Chris Pratt, while a good actor, does seem to fall back on Andy Dwyer mannerisms when performing other roles, which is why I present my theory that his major roles since the show ended in 2015 are actually simply versions of Andy Dwyer in non-Pawnee scenarios.
Exhibit A- Owen Grady (Jurassic World/Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)
Pratt led the cast of the 2015 reboot of the Jurassic Park franchise, portraying Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady. Grady, in line with the tone of the films, is a much more serious and straight-faced character than Andy Dwyer. However, Andy often adopted a more serious persona, that of rogue FBI agent Burt Macklin, if a situation at the Parks department required a law enforcement aspect. There is also Johnathan Karate, the older brother of his television persona, Johnny Karate. Johnathan is more mature and serious than both Andy and Johnnie.
Both characters care strongly about animals- Owen with his pack of raptors and Andy with his three-legged dog, Champion and both are surprisingly innovative thinkers, notably in Andy’s case when he suggests that a charity run by Pawnee’s local confectionery manufacturer, Sweetums, can optimise its giving by forgoing the decadence enjoyed by those who run it.
Furthermore, in the trailer for the upcoming sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Owen says something to former Jurassic World executive Claire Dearing (who was the other major character from the first film) that is almost painfully Andy Dwyer-esque:
“If I don’t make it back…remember you’re the one who made me come here”
The last piece of evidence for this exhibit that I would like to present is that Burt Macklin’s middle name is Tyrannosaurus.
Exhibit B- Star Lord/Peter Quill (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War)
I will admit that my links between Owen Grady and Andy Dwyer aren’t as strong as they could be. However, Star Lord is undeniably a deep space Andy Dwyer. Firstly, there is Quill’s decision to challenge Ronan the Accuser to a dance-off at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, which is totally a stunt that Andy would pull, right down to the use of “bro”.
Secondly, they both share a love of 1980s pop culture. Quill has his signature cassette tapes of classic rock, and a love of Footloose. Meanwhile, Andy lovingly recreates scenes from Roadhouse while entertaining guests at an election party. In addition to this, Quill responds to Iron Man stating that he is from Earth by saying “I’m not from Earth, I’m from Missouri”. Andy Dwyer has shown a similar lack of geographical knowledge, asking his wife where the “mountain with all the faces on it” [Mount Rushmore] was after they take a road trip to the Grand Canyon.
Furthermore, both Quill and Andy have an interesting reaction to jealousy. In Avengers: Infinity War, Quill deepens his voice to mimic Thor and goes toe-to-toe with him when comparing how tough their families are in terms of dealing with them after the Asgardian makes him feel a little self-conscious. Andy, on the other hand, camps out in a pit to spy on his ex-girlfriend and spends a good portion of the show’s second season trying to win her back in various ways.
In conclusion, I believe there is sufficient evidence to state that Chris Pratt actually and very simply plays different versions of Andy Dwyer in his post-Parks and Recreation career.