Chris Pratt’s First Big Audition Was Served to Him at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Restaurant
Chris Pratt’s success story is just as out of the ordinary as he is.
In a cover story interview for Vanity Fair’s February issue, Pratt unravels his winding journey to fame that began in Washington, where he was his high school’s football captain, to his gig selling coupons for oil changes. The Passengers actor credits his brother, Cully Pratt, as his main source of moral support from the beginning.
“He was hands down the best big brother anyone could ask for, super-supportive and always helped me, and loved me, and took care of me,” Pratt tells Vanity Fair. “We spent our entire childhood, eight hours a day, wrestling. One Christmas, he was in a play, a musical, and sang, and it knocked everyone’s socks off. My mom was crying. And I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
From then on, Pratt divided his time in high school between sports and theater. He wrestled and played football while writing and acting in plays. “We did Grease and we did Michael Jackson’s Thriller and ripped off S.N.L. sketches,” explains Pratt.
Cully continued to be a cheerleader for Chris’s creative side when their paths began to diverge. “He ended up going into the army and told me not to,” Pratt tells Vanity Fair, “I think he saw something in me. I was a peculiar kid. I was very much an individual and happy to be an individual. I dressed funny and was comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know. I never did ask him why.”
Pratt says the small job selling coupons door-to-door that he got instead was a thing of fate. He explains to the magazine that the gig taught him about rejection, which he would later face in the world of auditions for acting roles.
“That’s why I believe in God and the divine,” says Pratt “I feel like it was perfectly planned. People talk about rejection in Hollywood. I’m like, ‘You’re outta your fuckin’ mind. Did you ever have someone sic their dog on you at an audition?'”
He later got a job at Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant, where, one day, he waited on Rae Dawn Chong, an actress and the daughter of comedian Tommy Chong, from the comedy duo Cheech & Chong. He recognized Chong and his charisma charmed her, so she asked him for his phone number. He did not have a phone at the time, so he gave her the number of his friend, Michael Jackson (not the famous singer). The next day, she called him to offer Pratt an audition for a movie called Cursed Part 3. Halfway through his audition, Chong stopped him to tell him that he had the lead role.
He shot the film in L.A., but it was never released. “It was the worst movie I’d ever seen,” Pratt says to Vanity Fair.
Read more about Pratt’s career over on Vanity Fair online, or pick up a copy of the magazine’s February issue.