Inside Maria Shriver's Relationship With Her Son In Law, Chris Pratt

Romance in Hollywood is complicated, but sometimes it's the unexpected matchmakers that set the stage for enduring love stories. Such is the case with Maria Shriver, who played a pivotal role in bringing together her daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, and actor Chris Pratt. As a source told E! News back in 2018, Shriver and Pratt knew each other first thanks to some mutual friends. Shriver's daughter connected with Pratt at church. 

Pratt is known for his roles in blockbuster franchises such as "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Jurassic World." His romance with Schwarzenegger was a whirlwind, from meeting in 2018 to marriage in 2019. They have formed a tight-knit family unit that extends to the in-laws, especially between Pratt and Shriver.

Evidently, that bond was there from the start. "You can tell Chris knows Katherine's family really well," a source dished to People just months after the couple began their relationship. "Chris always seems very comfortable around [Schwarzenegger's] family." Having a positive relationship with your in-laws isn't something to take for granted, and it sure sounds like Chris Pratt and Maria Shriver get on like gangbusters.

Chris Pratt was invited to Maria Shriver's Thanksgiving early on

Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger's relationship moved swiftly from the initial stages to a heartwarming Thanksgiving celebration at Maria Shriver's home. The couple, first spotted on a date in June 2018, found themselves at the family Thanksgiving table within six months. An insider revealed to People that Pratt seamlessly integrated into the Shriver-Schwarzenegger family dynamics. "It's like he is part of the family," the source noted. The actor's familiarity was not limited to casual interactions; even in front of Shriver, Pratt and Katherine held hands and shared kisses.

The Thanksgiving gathering, organized by Shriver, became a special occasion where Pratt spent quality time with Katherine's mother and brothers. The family spent the morning playing football and having fun, followed by a festive Thanksgiving dinner. This early integration into family traditions speaks volumes about the genuine connection between Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger, emphasizing the warmth and acceptance that marked the beginning of their journey as a couple.

Maria Shriver thinks that Chris Pratt is an amazing dad

In 2020, Maria Shriver stepped into a new role: she became a grandmother. Katherine Schwarzenegger and Chris Pratt welcomed their first daughter, Lyla Maria, in August of that year. On a 2021 episode of "Today," Shriver couldn't contain her admiration for the couple, describing them as "incredible parents." Expressing her joy about being a grandmother, Shriver said in another interview with Fox 11, "I just am beside myself about it." The Pratt-Schwarzenegger family, with the desire of protecting their children's privacy, has been cautious about sharing images of their children's faces.

Because Lyla was born during the initial Covid lockdown, Schwarzenegger and Pratt were extremely careful about their daughters' health, limiting visits even from "Mama G," as they call Shriver. When Shriver received her vaccination, she was allowed more visits and her connection with her beloved granddaughter deepened.

On May 21, 2022, the family grew as Schwarzenegger and Pratt welcomed their second daughter, Eloise Christina. Pratt has fully embraced being a "girl dad." In August of 2023, the actor shared on Instagram that he got a makeover from his two daughters, who were 16 months and 3 years old at the time. This delightful family moment showcases the actor's hands-on and playful approach to fatherhood, reinforcing the image of a loving and engaged dad in the eyes of Maria Shriver and the entire family.

Chris Pratt is a big fan of his mother-in-law

The warm feelings between Chris Pratt and his mother-in-law, Maria Shriver, are mutual. In a 2022 "Today" interview, Pratt told Hoda Kotb that he has nothing but love for Shriver. "I don't know how anyone could not be crazy about her," "The Guardians of the Galaxy" star gushed. "First of all, she's like a living saint ... She's fantastic, she's so engaged, thoughtful, and caring. Her house ... is like a welcoming retreat."

In the initial stages of his relationship with Schwarzenegger, Pratt found himself nervously anticipating his first official meeting with Shriver. Of course, Shriver knew Pratt before he began dating Schwarzenegger — she was matchmaker, remember? — but throwing a romantic relationship in the mix can change things. Luckily for everyone involved, it was smooth sailing right away. Describing the moment to Kotb, he quipped, "She raked me across the coals for about five minutes, but then it was good." Pratt and Shriver quickly forged a strong bond that has since blossomed into a cherished friendship.

Family time is important to Chris Pratt and Maria Shriver

For Chris Pratt and his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, family time is a priority, and this sentiment extends to include Schwarzenegger's mother, Maria Shriver. Frequently spotted in public together, whether out for dinners or embarking on family vacations, the trio sure seems to enjoy hanging out when they can. 

In September 2023, for example, the Pratt-Schwarzenegger crew was captured leaving the Italian restaurant Giorgio Baldi in Santa Monica, California, per People. The year before that, Just Jared reported that the three were spotted out running errands and grabbing a quick slice in Santa Barbara. The familial connection goes beyond going out for a quick bite: Chris Pratt has worked out with his father-in-law, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And evidently, Pratt's work in the gym was enough to convince Arnold that he was right for Katherine. As the "Terminator" star joked on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Pumping iron was the decision-making factor." 

In July 2023, Katherine shared glimpses of a special vacation with her daughters and Shriver. The Instagram highlights showcased the trio's delightful moments, from cuddles during a scenic boat ride to playful walks in colorful swimsuits. These images capture the essence of a family that not only prioritizes quality time but revels in the joy and love shared across generations.

Maria Shriver has always had Chris Pratt's back

In 2021, Chris Pratt found himself in some virtual hot water after one of his Instagram posts was thought to be a dig at his ex-wife, Anna Faris. Pratt's mother-in-law, Maria Shriver, took to Instagram to staunchly defend the actor. The controversy stemmed from a post where Pratt celebrated his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, writing, "She's given me an amazing life, a gorgeous healthy daughter." However, some interpreted it as a slight toward Faris, especially considering the health challenges Faris and Pratt's son faced after his premature birth.

Shriver praised Pratt in the comments for being a good man, a wonderful father, a great husband to Katherine, and a fantastic son-in-law. Shriver emphasized Pratt's positive qualities, including his sense of humor, as reported by People. Shriver wrote, "I love you Chris, keep being your wonderful self, rise above the noise. Your kids love you, your family loves you, your wife loves you. What a beautiful life. I'm proud of you xo." This incident showcased not only Shriver's unwavering support for Pratt but also her willingness to publicly stand up for him. 

On top of that, Shriver more or less broke her own "rule." As Schwarzenegger told The New York Times in 2023, her mother has long urged her to ignore the noise and the rumors that pop up about their family. 

Maria Shriver has a special bond with Chris Pratt's children

Maria Shriver has developed a special connection with her grandchildren, particularly with Lyla, the older daughter of Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger. As Pratt said in his aforementioned chat with Hoda Kotb, Lyla loves to visit her grandmother. "It's the one thing in her life that makes [Lyla] the most excited," he said. The affectionate relationship between Lyla and Shriver is evident, with Lyla lighting up just at the mention of going to "Mama G's" house. In a separate interview with Fox 11, Shriver noted that she and Lyla have their "own language." "I have my own little private thing going on with my granddaughter," she said.

What's more, Schwarzenegger has found a new dimension to her own relationship with Shriver, fueled by a deep understanding of each other's motherhood journeys. "I'm in awe of you always. You do it all for us kids, your grandkids and everyone else you mother," Schwarzenegger wrote to Shriver in a 2023 Instagram post. 

And as for Shriver's nickname? Lyla's to thank. "Lyla, when I walk in a room, she's like, 'Mom! Mom!'" Shriver shared on "Today" in 2022. "I don't know why she calls me Mom. But Katherine keeps saying, 'No, G.'"

Chris Pratt and Maria Shriver share a dedication to philanthropy

For Maria Shriver, the niece of President John F. Kennedy, philanthropy is a vital means of upholding her family legacy. This commitment is shared by actor Chris Pratt, her son-in-law, who is driven by his Christian faith and a deep desire to give back to the community. Despite being recognized as the former first lady of California due to her former marriage to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shriver's political ties extend to the Kennedy family. As noted in Town & Country, Shriver channels her passion for philanthropy through Architects of Change, an online series highlighting inspiring stories of individuals making a difference. Her great passion, however, is backing research on the female brain and Alzheimer's disease, as her late father was diagnosed with the disease.

Pratt, known for his roles in blockbuster movies like "Jurassic World," also aligns himself with charitable causes, as detailed by E! News. In 2017, he and costar Bryce Dallas Howard visited child patients at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, expressing deep admiration for how resilient children's spirits are. In 2016, Pratt made a surprise visit to Seattle Children's Hospital. In 2018, he visited a Ronald McDonald House, offering support to families of ill children. Pratt and Shriver exemplify the transformative power of philanthropy, using their platforms to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need and echoing the spirit of service instilled in the Kennedy legacy.

Chris Pratt always supports Maria Shriver's business ventures

The connection between Chris Pratt and his in-laws stands out as an inspiring example of mutual support. Pratt, along with wife Katherine Schwarzenegger, attended the launch event of Maria Shriver's brain-healthy food company in September of 2023, demonstrating the family's commitment to each other's endeavors.

Shriver, known for her dedication to Alzheimer's research, embarked on a mission close to her heart. Her late father's Alzheimer's diagnosis inspired her to co-found MOSH with her son Patrick Schwarzenegger, a protein bar company focused on brain-healthy food. This venture is a result of Shriver's broader goal of raising awareness about the impact of diet on brain health from a young age. The MOSH Plant Powered protein bars were unveiled on the eve of World Alzheimer's Day. Shriver aims not only to provide nutritious snacks but also to contribute to Alzheimer's research through a partnership with The Women's Alzheimer's Movement, a nonprofit she initiated in 2003.

As the Daily Mail recapped, Chris Pratt proudly joined his mother-in-law and brother-in-law Patrick Schwarzenegger at the launch party. Pratt's enthusiastic involvement, captured in playful photos with the protein bars, underscores the family's united front in supporting each other's meaningful initiatives. As the Schwarzenegger-Pratt clan continues to champion the causes that matter to them, their collective power is a great awareness-raising tool.

Maria Shriver and Chris Pratt share a bond over their spirituality

Chris Pratt and his mother-in-law, Maria Shriver, also happen to be spiritual people. Pratt, known as a blockbuster film star, is also renowned for his openness about his faith. Pratt, a non-denominational Christian, turned to his spirituality during challenging times, notably after his divorce from Anna Faris. As he shared on a 2023 episode of "The Drew Barrymore Show," "There was a moment in my life that I was struggling and felt really broken. ... Finding a higher power and leaning on that and ... feeling saved, and then shortly later meeting the woman of my dreams. ... It's all about timing."

Shriver echoes these sentiments in her journey towards Christianity. In her weekly newsletter, the Maria Shriver Sunday Paper, Shriver reflects on the evolving nature of her faith. Having once associated Christianity with judgment and disdain, Shriver now views it as a source of open-mindedness, love, and spirituality. 

On an episode of "Making Space with Hoda Kotb," Shriver shared that she went to a convent after her marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger fell apart. During her visit, the reverend mother of the convent said something that would stay with her: "She says, 'You can't come live here, but you do have permission to go out and become Maria.' I was like, sobbing." Empowered and inspired, Shriver embraced a journey of self-discovery, feeling closer to God and seeking personal growth through the experience of her divorce. 

Maria Shriver's sweet anniversary message

Love and warmth filled the air as Maria Shriver, renowned author and philanthropist, expressed her heartfelt congratulations to  Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger on their fourth wedding anniversary in the summer of 2023. Taking to the comment section of her son-in-law's anniversary Instagram post, Shriver wrote, "Thank you both for lighting up my life."

In celebration of their special day, Pratt shared a touching anniversary post dedicated to his beloved wife. The actor wrote, "Happy Anniversary!! Mom and dads first night away in three years. Back to the spot where we said 'I do!' Love you, honey!" Accompanying the message was a selfie in which Pratt and Schwarzenegger are dressed up and smiling for a selfie in front of a lush green background. While Pratt and Schwarzenegger cherish their domestic family life, this anniversary marked a rare opportunity for a romantic getaway, returning to the very place where they exchanged vows: San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. 

Shriver, ever the supportive mother-in-law, extended her warm wishes in the aforementioned Instagram comment. "Bravo to you both! I'm so happy for you, for your children, for all who know and love you. Your love inspires, your kindness elevates others, and your compassion moves us all," she wrote. "I'm so happy you have one another; love looks good on you both. Shine on." The exchange captured the essence of a family united by love and shared joy.

Rob Lowe is good friends with both Chris Pratt and Maria Shriver

In addition to a close-knit family, Chris Pratt and Maria Shriver also share a very close mutual friend in actor Rob Lowe. Pratt and Lowe's friendship found its roots on the set of the sitcom "Parks and Recreation," where their chemistry shone through their performances. Turns out, it wasn't just for the cameras. They're such good friends, before Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger got married in 2019, Lowe went golfing with the groom-to-be. As People reported at the time, the former costars hit the links with a small group hours before the ceremony.

Lowe's friendship with Pratt's mother-in-law, author and journalist Maria Shriver, goes even further back. As Lowe noted on an episode of his podcast, "Literally! With Rob Lowe," he and Shriver have been pals since the early 2000s. And they play major roles in each other's lives: Shriver is a godmother to one of Lowe's kids, and Lowe's wife is a godmother to one of Shriver's kids. Lowe and Arnold Schwarzenegger are chummy, too, but their friendship can't quite hold a candle to Lowe and Shriver's friendship. As Schwarzenegger told Lowe on a separate episode of "Literally! With Rob Lowe," the Brat Pack member seemed to have taken "Maria's side" in the divorce. 

As they navigate the complexities of life, Pratt and Shriver continue to cherish and celebrate the faith, family, and friends that connect them.