Chris Pratt talks ‘The Lego Movie 2’ and his desire to see Dubai

Chris Pratt has taken on a number of roles in blockbuster films since his ascent to stardom. (Image supplied)
Updated 10 February 2019

Chris Pratt talks ‘The Lego Movie 2’ and his desire to see Dubai

DUBAI: Chris Pratt has taken on a number of roles in blockbuster films since his ascent from scene-stealing sitcom cast-member to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but none may have been a better fit than Emmet in “The Lego Movie” series. After all, no other star has the boyish enthusiasm that Pratt has— and no star is easier to imagine playing with Lego on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
“Is there a Lego store in Dubai?” Pratt asks Arab News. “I want to go! I want to go to Dubai so bad! I heard it’s amazing and I want to see it.”
In the sequel to the acclaimed 2015 hit, Emmet remains as happy-go-lucky as ever — similar to the persona Pratt has built for himself. When Arab News compliments the watch Pratt his wearing, Pratt bashfully inspects it.
“Oh thanks, it’s from a company called ‘Cartler’,” Pratt says, seemingly unfamiliar with his own Cartier watch.
Pratt works double duty this time around, also taking on the role of Rex Dangervest — a scruffy chiseled action hero who rides a spaceship populated with dinosaurs. The character, a lampoon of Pratt’s own big-screen transformation over the years in such films as “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic World,” is an idea Pratt supported from the start.
“That wasn’t a thing that I read and was surprised by. They called and told me what some of their intentions were and I told them to go forward and do as much of that as they wanted to. I was happy to have that portion of my career be a muse for Rex Dangervest and I thought that it really works and is really funny,” Pratt says.
While the first film focuses mainly on a young boy and his relationship with his favorite toys, the sequel puts its focus much more on the boy’s younger sister and her Lego toys, dubbed “The Systar System” in the film, and the difficulty the two have in playing together.
“I think they put in a lot of extensive research into how kids play with Lego, and they found some data that says that girls do play slightly differently than boys. They explore that without making it too on the nose. I thought it was really nuanced and thoughtful,” Pratt says.

‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

Updated 19 April 2019

‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

  • National Museum in Riyadh hosts digital show that tells the story of Mosul, Palmyra, Aleppo and Leptis Magna

JEDDAH: An exhibition that uses digital technology to revive the region’s ancient sites and civilizations that have been destroyed or are under threat due to conflict and terrorism opened at the National Museum in Riyadh on April 18.

“Age-Old Cities” tells the story of four historically significant cities that have been devastated by violence: Mosul in Iraq, Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria, and Leptis Magna in Libya. 

Using stunning giant-screen projections, virtual reality, archival documents and images, and video testimonials from inhabitants of the affected sites, the immersive exhibition transports visitors back in time and presents the cities as they were in their prime. 

It charts their journey from the origins of their ancient civilizations to their modern-day state, and presents plans for their restoration and repair. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Riyadh is the first stop outside the French capital on the exhibition’s global tour. 

The exhibition follows last month’s unveiling of the Kingdom’s new cultural vision, which included the announcement of several initiatives, including a new residency scheme for international artists to practice in the Kingdom and the establishment of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, said: “I am delighted to welcome the ‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition to Riyadh. 

“It highlights the importance of heritage preservation, particularly here in the Middle East, and the vulnerability of some of our historic sites. 

“It must be the responsibility of governments to put an end to this damage and neglect, and to put heritage at the heart of action, investment, and policy.

“I will be encouraging my fellow members of government to attend this eye-opening exhibition in our National Museum, and hope to work in the future with partners, governments and experts to do what we can to secure our region’s heritage.”

The exhibition carries a significant message about the importance of preserving and protecting these precious but fragile sites — one which resonates strongly in the week when one of the world’s most-famous heritage sites, Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, went up in flames.