As of this moment, the most popular name in Hollywood has got to be Christopher. You’ve got Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Chris Pine… But, of all the famous Chrises of today, there’s one who make us laugh, cry and jump out of our seats more than the rest — and that’s Chris Pratt.
You’ve loved the 37-year-old actor ever since his
Everwood Parks and Recreation days, but he started dominating the scene in 2014, courtesy of The Lego Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as 2015’s Jurassic World. ’cause of his stellar performances in films like the aforementioned, he’s now one of the most sought-after talents in the biz. Like, there’s talk of him being the next Indiana Jones — that’s huge!
But, even the biggest celebrities have the craziest casting stories. (Heck, they probably have more than lesser-known stars.) Sure, Chris joked about turning down Jurassic Park 4 (a.k.a. Jurassic World) in 2009 — before he was ever even approached about the possibility of starring ’15 reboot — but these crazy Chris Pratt casting stories are totally serious:
Originally, Chris actually turned down the audition for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Although Chris Pratt is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, he used to get turned down left and right as an up-and-coming actor. That's why when he was approached about Guardians of the Galaxy — the movie that shot him to superstardom — he wasn't feeling it.
"When Guardians of the Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, 'I don't think so,'" he told Esquire in 2014. "I just didn't picture myself getting the role." The constant letdowns can get to you, you know?
Thankfully, he eventually agreed to audition... and absolutely NAILED it. Can you picture anyone else portraying Peter Quill (a.k.a. Star-Lord)? 'cause we certainly can't.
Guardians had come around, and I passed," Chris said in a more recent interview with Vanity Fair. "James Gunn [the director] passed on me, too. When they announced it, I looked it up and saw a list of the top 20 dudes in Hollywood who might play Peter Quill. I was not on that list. I did not want to go in and embarrass myself."
"My agent said, 'Guardians is everything you've been saying you want to do.' I said, 'Fuck, you're right.' But I'm going to go in there and do exactly what I mean by action comedy. My brand of stuff. Brash. Honest," he explained. "I played the room. Jim Gunn, the way he tells it is like this: 'Who do we have next? Chris Pratt? What the f*ck? I said we weren't going to audition the chubby guy from Parks and Rec.' 'Well, he's already here.' They'd tested probably 10 people, spent a lot of money, and James wasn't convinced on anyone yet. When I finished [my scene], he said, 'Do you have any questions?' I was like, 'Are you f*ckin' crazy? Tell me everything.' I gave him my Peter Quill version of an answer. Once you get smart about auditioning, you learn to audition before they say, 'Action.' You walk into the room as the character. You let them think the person you are is close to the character they want. You make them think you already are that guy. Gunn was like, 'Damn, this is it.'"
You could have seen CP as a real-life action figure in G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra.
In the same Esquire interview — the one in which he admitted that he OG didn't want to try out for GotG — Chris explained that his disastrous G.I. Joe tryout was part of the reason.
"I didn't want to go and embarrass myself like I did when I auditioned for G.I. Joe a couple of years previously," he said. "I went in there, and halfway through I saw the director's eyes just glaze over. It made sense — I was a little heavy and out of shape. I was not gonna play someone from G.I. Joe. I did not look like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life."
Well, NOW he definitely does.
Photo: Paramount Pictures
Chris Pine wasn't the only Chris in the running to play Captain Kirk.
The year Guardians hit theaters, the Parks and Recreation alum informed the public that he was, shockingly, turned away from a couple blockbuster franchises 'cause he didn't have that star quality the casting directors were looking for.
"They said they want somebody that says 'that thing,' that 'It factor,'" he told Entertainment Weekly. "I walked into that room knowing I did not have that thing, and I walked out thinking I would never have that thing, probably."
One of those big-deal franchises was Star Trek; the role was for James T. Kirk, which Chris Pine ended up nabbing.
The other big-deal franchise...
Photo: Paramount Pictures
The blond hunk also tried out for Avatar.
...was Avatar; Chris Pratt auditioned to play Jake Sully in the sci-fi flick, which still holds the #1 slot on the list of highest-grossing films of all time. The part, however, went to Sam Worthington.
Clearly, though, Chris didn't need to snag that role to reach peak celebrity — he's way more famous than Sam Worthington, TBH.
Photo: Twentieth Century Fox
No way — Chris auditioned to play Superman, too?!
During a recent interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night talk show host recalled working with Chris Pratt on the 2005 flick Strangers with Candy.
"What I remember is that there's this young kid with all this energy, and you came back in the middle of shooting, you went up to California, came back and went 'I might be Superman!' It was the Brandon Routh Superman era," Stephen explained. "And I thought, I could totally see that guy as a superhero...'"
"Casting director did not agree!" Chris joked. "The nos that you get today might mean an even more powerful yes in the future."
Photo: Warner Bros.
Before being cast in Moneyball, he was told he was "too fat" to play Scott Hatteberg.
Prior to getting ripped for 2012's Zero Dark Thirty, the hunky actor wasn't exactly known for having abs. In fact, he intentionally gained weight while shooting Parks and Rec.
But things changed after he auditioned to play Oakland A's first-baseman and catcher Scott Hatteberg in the 2011 Brad Pitt film Moneyball.
"That was the first time I heard someone say, 'We're not gonna cast you — you're too fat,'" he revealed in a January 2017 cover story with Vanity Fair. "So I decided to drop the weight, like in wrestling. I couldn't afford a trainer, so it was all running and crash-dieting and cutting alcohol."
It all worked out for everyone in the end. (Though, the fat-shaming was not cool at all.)
Photo: Columbia Pictures
Unfortunately, he turned down the leading role in the upcoming Uncharted film.
Uncharted is a popular video game series, so, naturally, the people behind the movie adaptation want a popular actor to portray leading man Nathan Drake.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Wahlberg was once attached, but he moved on. Even more recently, Sony, the movie studio behind the project, made an offer to Chris Pratt, but he passed on the opportunity.
Photo: Sony Interactive Entertainment