The Story of Chris Pratt, Who Went From Homelessness to Becoming a Movie Star but Remained a Guy From a Simple Family at Heart

Chris Pratt has come to be loved by film and TV audiences in a wide variety of genres: comedies (Parks and Recreation), romance (Passengers), and action (Guardians of the Galaxy). But in his youth, Chris didn’t consider an acting career seriously, took any job he could get, and was even homeless for a while. A chance encounter helped him find his calling, change his mother’s life, and make his father proud.

As a child, Chris sold blackberries and dreamed of becoming rich.

© prattprattpratt / Instagram, Invision / Invision / East News

Chris Pratt grew up in an ordinary family with two older siblings. His mom worked in a supermarket, and his dad remodeled houses. From a very young age, Pratt had serious ambitions, though he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do. However, the boy was sure he would become rich and famous.

As a child, Pratt earned his own pocket money selling blackberries. In school, Chris was an athlete, wrestling and playing football. He did have one idea of what he could do, thanks to his sports training, and that was to become a stuntman: he even taught himself to take a fall.

He sold coupons, which later turned out to be useful for his career.

After leaving school, Chris enrolled in college but dropped out after the first semester. He answered an ad he found quite intriguing: “Do you like rock’n’roll music? Do you like making money? Call me!” This was the creative way in which coupon salespeople were recruited, so Chris started building a career in this field.

Pratt worked as a salesman until he was 20, after which he quit, though he was quite good at it. In this line of work, however, he learned some lessons he later found useful as an actor: “There are major lessons to be learned in door-to-door sales that you use as an actor, in terms of dealing with rejection and walking into a room of strangers and being on and being enthusiastic and stuff.”

Chris went from being homeless to becoming an actor.

Soon there was a major change in Chris’s life. A friend bought him a ticket to Hawaii, which Pratt used. It was thanks to this that his acting career took off, and Chris later said that his friend had given him the winning lottery ticket. But at first, things didn’t seem to be moving toward success. Pratt became homeless and worked little, so his income only covered food, petrol, and fishing supplies.

One day while Chris was working as a waiter, he served actress Rae Dawn Chong’s table. Pratt told her he’d like to appear in a movie himself. It turned out that the actress happened to be working on her directorial debut, and she offered Chris a role. The film never came out, but the moment Chris went to the shooting in Los Angeles, he realized that he had found his calling.

Pratt faced rejection but learned to look for the bright side in it.

Chris went on to be cast for small roles in films and TV series, though these jobs didn’t advance his career too much. He ventured to audition for two major films: the Star Trek reboot and Avatar. But he didn’t get either of the roles and decided to lower his ambitions: “I figured, I’ll find a way to make money, and if that means I’m playing character roles, that’s terrific.”

It all started to change in 2009 when he landed the role of Andy Dwyer in the series Parks and Recreation (2009-2015). Pratt was only supposed to appear in six episodes, but even during the auditions, the show’s creators already thought Chris was the funniest person they’d ever seen and realized they couldn’t let him go.

Chris got the roles he dreamed of through perseverance.

Chris had to fight for his dream roles. He wanted to star in the movie Moneyball (2011), but at first, he was rejected because of his physical shape, he didn’t fit the role of an athlete. This time, Pratt decided not to put up with rejection, and instead, started working out a lot, and eventually got the job.

Pratt never forgot his previous failures, which almost cost him his career. He got an opportunity to play a major role in the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), but Chris was afraid of another failure: “I didn’t want another Captain Kirk or Avatar moment.” And the film’s director, James Gunn, wasn’t too interested in his involvement either. But the actor and the director did meet. Pratt impressed Gunn so much that the latter was ready to give him the role, even if he didn’t manage to get himself into the right physical shape for the beginning of filming.

This role ended up being his breakthrough, and after that, Chris went on to play the main characters in other major films. For example, in Passengers (2016), and Jurassic World (2015) and its sequels. Pratt has appeared in a fair share of action films, which makes sense because, as a child, he loved watching action movies and playing in the woods, pretending to be one of the characters. Now that he’s become an actor, he’s back to his childhood hobby and to fighting imaginary monsters, only this time — on set.

He never stops thanking his mom.

Chris managed to fulfill his childhood dream — he became famous and started earning a lot of money. But all the while, he never forgot about his family. While Pratt was still in school, his parents lost their home and moved into a trailer. As soon as the actor received payment for his first big role (he was 23 at the time), he bought his mom a house. He wasn’t yet a rich man but had earned just enough for this important gift.

Generally, he often mentions his mom on social media, always saying how grateful he is for everything. In one of his posts, the actor congratulated her on Mother’s Day and noted that, despite all the difficulties the family faced, their life was always filled with laughter.

Being an actor helped him mend his relationship with his father.

Chris had a difficult relationship with his father. He was a harsh man, while Chris turned out to be a sensitive person. His father could sometimes be rude to his son. This influenced Pratt to use humor as a defense mechanism, practically inventing this way his future character on Parks and Rec.

Chris’s parents later separated, and his father left his mom and spent the last years of his life watching TV. Chris had already achieved success by this point. And it was his acting career that had an influence on the father-son relationship: “In his own way, he let me know that he was proud of me. He didn’t really react in any way, one way or another, but he was definitely proud. If I was on TV, he watched everything I was in. So it felt like I was able to communicate with him through doing work that was on TV.”

Pratt is getting ready for new twists and turns in his career.

The movie sagas in which Chris has starred in recent years are coming to an end. He now shares announcements of upcoming projects on his social media — along with adorable photos from his ranch. And while Pratt doesn’t yet know exactly where his career will take him next, like other successful actors, he’s on the lookout for great directors and stories: “I think early on in my career it was so important to me. It’s like, ‘Don’t forget where you came from. Don’t forget who you are.’ And part of me is struggling with who I am maybe not being who I was,” says Pratt.

Cheery/People/The Story of Chris Pratt, Who Went From Homelessness to Becoming a Movie Star but Remained a Guy From a Simple Family at Heart
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