'It was like magnets. Our personalities meshed, she was a goofball, she liked to have fun, it was impossible to offend her. We were friends first.'
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris announced their separation this morning, bringing to an end an eight-year relationship that made them (almost unarguably) Hollywood’s most likeable couple.
It was a relationship that appeared to drill deeper than most celebrity pair-ups, one founded on (among other things) a love of comedy and overlapping backgrounds. ‘Anna and I are meant to be together,’ said Chris in an interview two years ago. ‘Our relationship has made me believe in divine intervention and destiny, just as much as my crazy career and the way I fell into this life. She and I grew up 20 minutes away from each other but never met until we met in LA.’
Faris and Pratt met in 2007 while playing love interests in the movie Take Me Home Tonight. At the time Faris was married to the actor Ben Indra but divorce proceedings were under way. According to an interview she gave in 2011, Faris’s relationship with Indra came under strain as her career took off. ‘Fame destroyed my marriage’, she said, ‘the divide [became] too great.’
Pratt said his attraction to Faris was instant and overwhelming. ‘It was like magnets’ he said, ‘Our personalities meshed, she was a goofball, she liked to have fun, it was impossible to offend her. We were friends first.’
‘We both got our start in horror spoofs,’ he said, ‘We both did an animated movie for Phil Lord and Chris Miller. We both made our careers playing guileless nitwits for laughs. We both have parents that have suffered with MS. The similarities go on and on. Anna is a great wife. Very patient and understanding. Very supportive. So kind and genuine always. And she gave me a wonderful son and family of in-laws that I truly love.’
Faris says she realised Pratt was the one when he invited her to see his dead bug collection. ‘I had a bug collection’ she told James Corden on The Late Late Show, ‘Dead bugs, humanely harvested. When Chris and I first started dating, he invited me over to his apartment and he had, also, a dead bug collection . . . I started to cry.’
The two got married in 2009 in a small ceremony in Bali.
At that point Faris had established herself with roles in Friends, Brokeback Mountain and Entourage, but Pratt was still relatively unknown. All that changed thanks to cult comedy Parks and Recreation, and Guardians of the Galaxy, for which Pratt had to lose 60lbs. ‘I’ve had those moments where I was like the guy holding the purse at events and people just looked right through me’ he said in an interview in 2015. ‘I was like a great pet fat guy. I think outwardly I was having more fun. I was more fun to be around, probably. That image that I was casting, to convince people that I was OK, was a really fun person to hang around. Now I have less fun.’
‘I think Anna is hedging her bets that one day I’ll be fat again’ he added, ‘and she’ll say, “Remember, honey, I always told you I preferred you this way.”‘
In August 2012 Faris and Pratt had a son together, Jack, who Faris recently brought to the premiere of the Emoji Movie.
‘Anna and I are sad to announce we are legally separating’ Pratt said in a statement on Twitter and Facebook on Sunday night. ‘We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed. Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another.’
The post prompted thousands of responses from fans of the couple. ‘I know it’s ridiculous to care about a relationship involving two people you’ve never met’ wrote Facebook user Brandon Katz, ‘I know it’s crazy how much society today value celebrities and their lives. But I honestly am saddened to hear this just because they seemed so perfect for each other.’
Faris has an upcoming memoir planned – Unqualified – which will detail her ‘candid, sympathetic and entertaining stories of love lost and won.’ The book, which is described as ‘part memoir, part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast Anna Faris Is Unqualified‘ was set to include a foreword from Pratt. Faris is also preparing to star in a remake of the 1987 comedy Overboard, slated for a 2018 release. Pratt recently reprised his role as Peter Quill for the second instalment of Guardians of the Galaxy and is also set to star in a sequel to Jurassic World, out next year.