As good as many of the Marvel movies have been  —  and they’ve been very, very good  —  perhaps my favorite part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its complicated web of secrecy and lies. Each cast member has to be prepared to talk about Marvel movies at a moment’s notice, to speak to the entire design of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, without giving away proprietary information or giving entertainment reporters the wrong kind of soundbite. If Disney were smart, they would launch an Aaron Sorkin-produced television series about the politics of press junkets. I would watch the heck out of that.

So when Chris Pratt sat down this weekend to talk about The Magnificent Seven, he knew he was going to get questions about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but it still seems that We Got This Covered (via Heroic Hollywood) caught him by surprise. When asked which Marvel character Pratt would like to see Star-Lord team up with the most, Pratt floundered for a moment before finally giving the perfect answer.

I don’t even know the right answer to that, because if I say the wrong thing, I’ll get in trouble by Marvel or by the fans. (pauses) I would like Peter Quill to meet the Punisher. He’s not in the Avengers, but … Punisher was my favorite growing up.

In my eyes, we should view this less as a rumor about who might appear in Avengers: Infinity War and more as a moment to appreciate how finely Marvel’s PR department has tuned Pratt’s ability to answer these questions. It’s obvious that Pratt hadn’t considered the question before  —  and, off the top of his head, could not remember who was and wasn’t confirmed for Infinity War  —  but the answer he gave was the perfect soundbite. The Punisher would never appear in a Disney-produced Avengers movie, so it’s a perfectly safe answer that will still generate some headlines; meanwhile, it has the added benefit of allowing Pratt to share one of his favorite Marvel characters from when he was a kid.

Chris Pratt may be the perfect actor for Peter Quill, but that performance will never compare to the one he delivers every day as a Disney spokesperson. And with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set to hit theaters on May 5, 2017, Pratt still has plenty of time to polish his interview patter. Good luck, buddy. You’re going to need it.

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