On the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, A-lister Chris Pratt launched his rise to fame. Pratt came from very modest beginnings before making it big in Hollywood, becoming a household name thanks to his action-hero appearances in the Jurassic World and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises.
Before being hired into acting, Pratt worked as a waiter to make ends meet. He was willing to go to great lengths to avoid resuming his job as a food runner, the Guardians of the Galaxy star revealed. Born in Virginia, Minn., Pratt recently remembered how his family often suffered financially and got support from their local resources. The actor urged others to use such outreach agencies that are facing economic difficulties due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“I grew up in a small town, we had 7,000 people in our town,” Pratt said in an Instagram Live conversation with Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “We had some economic hard times, and we had a food bank nearby and I’m not ashamed to say that there were moments when my family would need to eat from a food bank … There is help out there… and there’s nothing wrong with needing that help.”
Prompted by a friend’s offer of a one-way airline ticket, Pratt moved to Maui, Hawaii when he was 19. Working just part-time, the Passengers star slept in his van and on the beach yet didn’t have any complaints.“It’s a pretty awesome place to be homeless,” he told the Independent in 2014. “It would be different if I lived on the streets of Chicago and ate garbage from a dumpster.”
Chris Pratt got his lucky break
In 2000, Pratt was waiting tables at Maui’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and had the good fortune of taking the order of actor-director Rae Dawn Chong. Pratt expressed his interest in acting, and Chong cast him in her short movie Cursed Part 3. Soon, the Avengers star was on his way.
“Originally the dream was to pay my bills doing nothing other than acting,” he explained. “I got there, but the dream is constantly evolving. Then my dream was to do roles that are more than just the bad guy, or the douche. Then it was to do sidekick roles, then comedy.”
Now the superstar gets to pick and choose, though he remembers when he would’ve taken on any role to avoid another food service gig.
“It’s like I’ve crossed over this line where I actually say no to stuff,” Pratt revealed. “I could never have fathomed that. Before I would have done commercials for herpes medication if you wanted me to. Gladly, just as long as I didn’t have to wait tables again.”
‘Avengers’ actor prepped for action roles
Dramatically getting into shape for his lead roles in Jurassic World and the Marvel franchise, Pratt went all in to do what was required.
“You have to do what you can,” he remarked. “If I was playing James Bond, I would learn how to do a British accent. Of all the preparation I did, you prep your voice, you prep your soul, and you prep your body. I focused most of my preparation on my body.”
The actor explained that health and wellness often comes down to common sense, and encourages an all-encompassing approach.
“If you cut the crap out of your diet and spend an hour a day doing something physical, you’ll feel better mentally, physically and spiritually, because it’s all tied together,” Pratt said in 2011. “Honestly, there’s no trick or secret to it. It’s about getting after it and being patient and consistent.”