'Guardians of the Galaxy': Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel Salute Their Own Heroes at NYC Screening

Lee Pace, Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel

Lee Pace and a visibly pregnant Zoe Saldana celebrated the Marvel film alongside Paul Rudd, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza and Ian Ziering in SoHo on Tuesday night.

Chris Pratt might play an intergalactic superhero on the big screen, but while at SoHo's Crosby Street Hotel on Monday, the Guardians of the Galaxy star was quick to acknowledge who the real heroes are on planet Earth.

"The men and women in the armed forces, special forces, military people," Pratt told The Hollywood Reporter at a special New York City screening of Guardians, presented by the Cinema Society with Men's Fitness and Fiji Water. "They sacrifice themselves on a daily basis for our freedom and to keep us safe, and that's pretty damn heroic."

PHOTOS 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel Hit New York

The Parks and Recreation star underwent a dramatic body metamorphosis to suit up as the wisecracking Marvel protagonist and was forced to give up his favorite foods during his months of training. His says the first thing he ate when he wrapped production was pancakes.

Before Vin Diesel gave a shout-out to his personal heroes — his parents — in the audience, fellow star Zoe Saldana, who was visibly pregnant, noted that she would make a lousy guardian of any galaxy. "I don't know how I would guard the galaxy," she joked with reporters on the red carpet. "I don't even know how to guard my house! My dog wouldn't even know how to guard my house."

Lee Pace, who plays the film's villainous Ronan, said his character simply lacks diplomacy. "He's really just someone who is at odds with the heroes," Pace said. "With differences, if you're not able to solve them through politics, you'll end up solving them through a war."

Meanwhile, novelist Salman Rushdie made a rare red-carpet appearance at his son's behest. "My 17-year-old is visiting from London, and he wanted to see the movie, so here I am," said the Satanic Verses author, who famously had a fatwa placed on his head. As for which villains are more scary, Rushdie didn't hesitate to answer: "The real-life ones are worse than the comic-book ones."

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Seth Meyers, Nick Offerman, Oscar Isaac, Ian Ziering, Russell Simmons, Chris Cuomo and Dan Abrams, among others, stepped out for the packed screening, after which revelers trekked to the Jimmy at the James Hotel rooftop for an afterparty that featured Grey Goose cocktails dubbed "Guardian Galactic" and "Marvel Royal." After being seated in a booth overlooking the Freedom Tower, Pratt chatted with Pace and Judy Greer and Caroline Rhea, while guests noshed on cheeseburgers and chocolate mousse bites. Amy Poehler and her The Nest co-star Ike Barinholtz were spotted leaving the bash just before 1 a.m., as were Aubrey Plaza and Natasha Lyonne. And fellow Marvel superhero Paul Rudd (who is about to begin production on Ant-Man) made a surprise afterparty appearance.

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