ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Chris Pratt has had an exceptional few years. From humble beginnings in one of TV's funniest sitcoms, to being one of the most sought-after movie stars on the planet, Pratt's rise to Hollywood looks charmed from the outside — but is hasn't always been smooth sailing.

Speaking with Vanity Fair from his home in the Hollywood Hills last month, opened up about his past as a door-to-door salesman (which he was great at, btw), and the improbability of his rise to fame — which he perceives as "divinely ordained." He has spent the last 10 years working, but discovered how harsh of a mistress Hollywood can be when he almost missed out on a killer role thanks to his weight.

Most of us were first introduced to Pratt through his role as Parks and Recreation's Andy Dwyer, Anne's dimwitted but lovable ex-boyfriend-turned-shoe-shine. What was meant to be a one-episode guest stint turned into seven seasons, and during that time, Pratt gained some weight. While filming Parks and Rec, Pratt's weight gain wasn't a problem career-wise, as it worked for the character. He was also recently married to fellow actress and Take Me Home Tonight co-star Anna Faris and — like many people in happy, long-term relationships — piled on the pounds in those first few blissful years of marriage.

Moneyball [Credit:	Columbia Pictures]
Moneyball [Credit: Columbia Pictures]

But all this became a problem when he went up for the role of Oakland A catcher Scott Hatteberg in 2011's Moneyball, when he was simply told that he was "too fat" to play the part:

“That was the first time I heard someone say, ‘We’re not gonna cast you—you’re too fat.’"

See more:

Pratt goes on to tell Vanity Fair that at the time he couldn't afford a trainer, so he had to drop weight the way he used to when he was an amateur wrestler:

"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.”

This is obviously not the healthiest route, but Pratt landed the role and has since transformed himself into an action star the healthy way, now that starring roles both and Guardians of the Galaxy afforded him that personal trainer.

Guardians of the Galaxy [Credit:Marvel]
Guardians of the Galaxy [Credit:Marvel]

But it wasn't just the folks behind Moneyball that pegged Pratt as a "chubby" — GOTG director James Gunn originally passed on Pratt, and didn't even want him to audition, citing how Pratt was typecast as "the chubby guy":

Jim Gunn, the way he tells it is like this: ‘Who do we have next? Chris Pratt? What the fuck? I said we weren’t going to audition the chubby guy from Parks and Rec.’

It's rare that we hear about weight discrimination from male actors in Hollywood, while actresses are regularly told they need to slim down to bag roles. When we do hear actors discussing their weight, it's usually in the context of extreme weight gain/loss for roles. Pratt's revelation is totally unsurprising, and it's disappointing that size still dictates the roles actors can embody in Hollywood — and whether or not they succeed. While these days, Pratt does go for action-heavy roles that require a decent amount of physical exertion (he even does his own stunts), there is a negative correlation between the size of his waist and the size of the roles he's managed to land.

These days, Chris Pratt is pretty much Hollywood's hottest commodity — funny, good-looking and popular, not even 's not-so-wonderful reviews can mar his star power. He is currently taking a short hiatus from acting, but don't fret! hits theaters on May 5, 2017.


Do you think Hollywood's policing of weight gain is acceptable?

(Source: Vanity Fair)


Latest from our Creators