IT'S the surprise Hollywood split that's shocked millions of fans worldwide - funnyman action hero Chris Pratt and his sitcom star wife Anna Faris announced their separation yesterday.

For years, the adorable pair have been one of Hollywood's golden couples - goofy, loved-up and relatable. But in a heartbreaking joint statement, the couple alluded to the marital problems they were experiencing behind the scenes, admitting that they "tried hard for a long time."

While her day job is as an actor on the sitcom Mom, Faris also hosts her own podcast, Anna Faris is Unqualified. In her most recent episode, released exactly a week before the split announcement, Faris had a candid discussion with guest musician Josh Ostrander in which she talked about the "loneliness" she feels in keeping up a "public character."

"I play a character on Mom, I play a character in movies, but I also play a public character. There's definitely a loneliness and, like, an internal element to being a performer. I feel like I have to laugh …" she said.

Her guest said it "broke his heart" to see how Faris handles herself in public - and she conceded she was in a difficult situation.

"I play a public character. I laugh loud sometimes - maybe too loud but it is a public character sometimes. Like, if I have a red carpet thing or whatever, which I'm never comfortable, but I'm always like, 'I'm fine!' And it never feels like me."

In this week's joint public statement, Faris and her husband of eight years say they "tried hard for a long time, and [are] really disappointed."

"We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another," they write.

Pratt, 40 and Faris, 40, met in 2007 on the set of the film Take Me Home Tonight, getting engaged a year later and marrying in Bali in July 2009. They have one son, Jack, born in 2012.

In a 2015 interview, Faris responded to persistent rumours Pratt was cheating on her, calling the tabloid speculation "stinging".

The cheating rumours had him hooking up with his Passengers co-star Jennifer Lawrence.

"[That] stung a little bit harder than I thought it would," Faris told Us Weekly. "I had always kind of believed that part of the rumours of celebrity couples were sort of true because they had never been part of my life. I was like, 'Oh, maybe there's a kernel of truth to that.'

"It's been a little devastating because for us, it's like, 'What the heck?'. This has been blindsiding to us. We have an incredible relationship. It has been weirdly stinging."

News Corp Australia

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