Pratt – who plays dinosaur manager Owen Grady – has transformed from an actor best known for playing chubby goofs into a bankable, teary action star who helms two major franchises. His film work, which includes starring roles in Jurassic World and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, has grossed more than $11.6 billion at the global box office, according to Comscore (SCOR).
Pratt got his break from Hollywood in 2009 as lovable doofus Andy Dwyer on the NBC sitcom, “Parks and Recreation.” After playing supporting roles in movies like “Moneyball” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” Pratt had a massive year in film in 2014.
The actor played the voice role of Emmet Brickowski in “The Lego Movie,” an animated film set in the world of Legos, which grossed $469 million worldwide. Then Pratt took off as cocky space avenger Peter “Star-Lord” Quill in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This film grossed $773.3 million worldwide and changed the trajectory of Pratt’s career.
But that role almost didn’t happen. Pratt was overweight and mostly did comedic roles, and James Gunn – the director of “Guardians” – didn’t even want to see him audition.
“I thought it was a crazy idea to cast the fat guy from ‘Parks and Rec’ as the lead in our superhero movie,” Gunn told GQ in 2014. He changed his mind. once he met Pratt.
“I was like, ‘Well, damn it, he’s overweight, but if that means we have the world’s first overweight superhero, that’s fine with me,'” Gunn added. Pratt lost 60 pounds in six months for the role and has been in action hero shape ever since.
And that’s a good thing, since Pratt presumably had to outrun the dinosaurs the following year.
“Jurassic World,” which rebooted the Jurassic Park franchise with Pratt in the lead role, went on to become one of the greatest films of all time. It opened to a record $208 million before grossing $1.6 billion worldwide and is currently the seventh highest-grossing film of all time.
Pratt has since starred in hit sequels to “Jurassic” and “Guardians” as well as other Marvel films. His latest film, “The Tomorrow War,” which streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, had “the best opening for an Amazon original tentpole,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Pratt also had a few box office duds, like “The Lego Movie: The Second Part” and the big-budget sci-fi flick “Passengers.”
He also faced controversy. Earlier this year, Gunn defended Pratt against the actor’s alleged association with a church that supported gay conversion therapy, a claim Pratt denied in 2019.
Now Pratt is ready for what could be a huge year. After “Dominion,” he returns as Star-Lord in the next big Marvel movie, July’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
“Dominion” is sold with some nostalgia by bringing back the stars of the original 1993 “Jurassic Park” – Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum – and may prove to be the last in the series. That kind of buzz could lead to another blockbuster for Pratt.
“It’s 30 years of preparation”, Pratt told NBC’s “Today” show
earlier this month. “You’ve got the legacy cast coming back… Our stories come together in a way that’s truly a finale.”
— CNN’s Lisa Respers France contributed to this report.
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