10 THINGS with Carlos Pratts
You’re originally from Texas. What made you decide to take on acting as your career path?
As a kid, I think I kind of knew what I wanted to do, but the older I got, that changed. During my senior year of High School, I took theatre and I immediately fell in love with acting. I went to college and the way movies affected me, really sealed the deal for me. I knew that this was it. So, I left and moved to Los Angeles and the rest, is history.
When you finally made your decision with what you were going to do in life, what reaction did you receive from your friends and family?
It was hit or miss. The idea of coming out here to chase a “dream” isn’t exactly something people who care for you, want for you. Because they care, they just wanted me to be successful in a more realistic line of work. However, the people close to me, even through difficult moments, never gave up on me. They just threw out the possibility of going back to college every other time we spoke, LOL.
You’ve done a fair amount of independent films which has become quite the trend in Hollywood, as of late. What kind of opportunity does this afford you, as a young actor?
I’ve done a few and they all lead to the next. Even if it didn’t feel like it. You learn from each job and each character that you play, and then, 30 auditions later, you get an audition for something similar and you go “Hey, I can do that. I already have”. Every new project is a learning experience.
We enjoyed the role you had on television as well, most notably the FX series, The Bridge. How does your experience on this platform differ from what you’ve had on film sets?
TV is really fast. You do sixty pages in 6-8 days, where as in film, it could take you a month to do the same amount. You learn to trust yourself more. In my case with The Bridge, I discovered this and so much more. Being surrounded by such a talented cast and playing the son of Demian Bichir, you can only listen and learn.
Every actor has that defining moment in their career. The project that gives them notoriety, a historical reference of sorts, when we look back at your body of work. We’re referring to your work on McFarland, USA. How did this opportunity come about and what made you decide to take on this project?
Taking it on was easy. It’s a beautiful script and an even more beautiful movie. I remember reading and just knowing, it was gonna be special. How I got involved? I auditioned a lot and eventually Nikki Caro (our amazing director) gave me shot.
The film stars Kevin Costner, who was perfect for the role of the track coach. How was it, getting to play alongside him and what were some things you learned from him?
It was amazing. Kevin is such a cool, down to earth guy. He was just so open and knowledgeable and he really made an effort to connect with me and build chemistry. I learned from him every day I was on set. He’s a legend. He taught that me so much about using the set and so many things, that it’s hard to narrow it down to one. All I can say is, I feel much stronger in my craft after having spent that time with him. The same goes for everyone on The Bridge. I’m just thankful to have learned from these amazing people.
You play the role of Thomas, who wasn’t the easiest to get along with. Nonetheless, his talent level was never in question. What did you enjoy about bringing this character to life?
It was actually pretty cool because, while I (Carlos) was trying to figure Thomas out, he (in the script), was doing the same. I’ve had ups and downs in my life and Thomas has sure seen has share. I just felt like I could relate to him.
This film is based on a true story and is truly inspiring. What do you hope the audience learns from these actual events and how it’s portrayed on the big screen?
To keep going and to push through. I was at church the other day and the sermon was about the moments when your back is against the wall and you don’t know what to do and how it’s so easy to give up. It’s so easy to sit there and say “with what?”. What else can I do to make this work? The answer was WITH yourself. WITH Your family. With Your community. These seven runners from McFarland did that. They put there egos aside. They stopped listening to that inner voice in their heads that told them, that this was all they could have. That it can never get better. Instead, they started listening to the other voice that told them they could not just have more, but BE more. I hope all audiences (regardless of color) see that. This is an American story and that nothing separates any of us. Whatever we want, if we work hard enough for it, we can achieve it.
When you’re not working on set, or when you get some down time, what does a typical day look like for you?
I have 4 roomates and we all stick together. In the mornings we go to the gym and play Mario Kart 8. Its a ritual..lol…don’t judge 🙂 Then, just go on through the day. Read scripts, play basketball. I’m a huge fan of the show “Friends”. So, there’s always a chance I could be watching that. I just try to enjoy what I have, because tomorrow is never promised.
We look forward to seeing how things develop on MacFarland, USA. What other projects do you have coming up in the near future?
Nothing official yet. So, I’m not gonna say anything. But, whatever it is, will just be the next part of my journey and I’m ready for it.
Photo Credits: (Images 2,3,4) Courtesy of MacFarland, USA/ Walt Disney Studios
(Images 1,5) Courtesy of Bobby Quillard