Exclusive interview: Chris Pratt and Taylor Kitsch talk ‘The Terminal List’

chris pratt taylor kitsch
via Prime Video

Chris Pratt experienced huge success on Prime Video last summer with The Tomorrow War, Chris McKay’s bombastic sci-fi actioner that also marked the actor’s first executive producing credit through his Indivisible Productions banner. Looking to make it two-for-two, the actor is pulling double duty once again on this Friday’s debutant The Terminal List.

Adapted from the novel of the same name by Jack Carr, Pratt stars as James Reece, the sole survivor of an ambush that left his entire platoon of Navy SEALs dead. Seeking answers upon his return home, the decorated soldier’s memories of the event have been left fractured, while a conspiracy slowly starts to reveal itself, one that affects everyone and everything he knows.

It’s a big year for Pratt, with The Terminal List premiering on either side of Jurassic World Dominion and Thor: Love and Thunder, so it’s shaping up to be a banner annum for the star. Ahead of the show’s premiere this coming Friday, We Got This Covered had the chance to speak to the leading man and co-star Taylor Kitsch, who plays Reece’s longtime friend Ben Edwards.

The duo discuss the intensity of the action sequences, the injuries they shrugged off to keep working, and much more in our chat, which you can check out below.

Were there any close calls, near-misses, or mishaps during training or production? Because there’s so much action, and such a variety of action, that it’s exhausting just watching it.

Chris Pratt: Well, you know… Thankfully, no. We have a very, very dedicated props and armory team, and they take their job very, very seriously, as they should. And we were firing firing real weapons, using real explosions. You know, we had blank rounds, obviously, but their protocols were incredibly strict. And we followed them to a tee with the utmost respect, because we were using real firearms and so thankfully, there were no close calls or mishaps when it comes to firing weapons or explosions.

I mean, obviously, you know, people get hurt, but no, no injuries. But a lot of people getting hurt! I think there’s a difference between being hurt and being injured, you know? If it stops you from coming to work the next day, it’s an injury. But there was a lot of showing up with bumps and bruises. And I think that’s just the nature of the beast, when you have a show that’s so physical.

For example, Taylor smashed his foot pretty hard and bruised his… he hit the bone on his foot. His foot looked like a Nerf football the next day, but he showed up. And his boot didn’t fit! But he took the laces out, and he duct taped it shut or something like that. So, you know, I got bloodied up a couple of times. But I think that’s just kind of the nature of the beast.

the terminal list

You’ve both done a lot of similar projects, not in terms of style, but with lots of effects and green screen. Was it a refreshing or different type of challenge to merge the action scenes with the character-driven drama, which is really the driving force of the series?

Taylor Kitsch: Thank you for noticing! Truly, it’s story-driven action, you know? So that’s imperative, it’s not action for the sake of action, or violence for the sake of violence. I’ve seen how big of an explosion or blood splat could be, [but] it’s to root it, and to be authentic, and to have SEALs around us at all times, and train us. And that’s imperative, especially for a story like this that is very emotionally driven, especially for his character. So we were always conscious of that.

Chris Pratt: Yeah, a lot of the times the people who are in charge of the creative discernment in films like this are people who learn this type of action by watching movies. And so, we had at our disposal people who learn this type of reality by being there, really being in combat, seeing people who succumb to mortal wounds, and seeing explosions, and combat; hearing gunfire in combat, hearing the impact of gunfire in combat.

So from the pre-production, production, and post-production process, we always had people, you know; Navy SEALs, tech advisors, and people who could call bullshit if they if they sense it. So like, you have a visual effect of a big blood splat, but for example, behind one of the things in opening tunnels sequence, there was all this blood.

And Jared [Shaw, co-producer and former SEAL] was on the call, and he’s like; “Forgive me for saying, but that’s not what it looks like”. And the guy’s like, “Yeah, but you can’t really tell who got hit”. He goes, “Okay, have you been there? We can’t tell who got hit”.

So, there’s a chilling reality to the way that we shot this, that I think the the layperson might not even pick up on. But I think the people who have been there, I hope that they’ll appreciate how important it was for us to put in that authenticity, so that this felt real, you know, and it feels like we honor the reality of these types of scenarios.

I ended up watching the show in two sittings, so fingers crossed for season 2 because a lot of people will be feeling the same way.

Taylor Kitsch: Nice!

Chris Pratt: You did? Oh, brother, thank you! That’s so nice. Thank you so much.

The Terminal List premieres on Prime Video this Friday, July 1. Be sure to check back throughout the rest of the week for We Got This Covered’s exclusive chats with stars JD Pardo, Constance Wu, LaMonica Garrett, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and Tyner Rushing, along with executive producer Antoine Fuqua, showrunner David DiGilio, and author Jack Carr, while you can check out our review of the series here.