Sure, everyone knows Chris Pratt for his blockbuster roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, or his hit TV show Parks and Recreation, but did you know he was once a star on The CW?
That's right, Star-Lord was once the town hottie in a brilliantly hormonal teen drama on the world's most dramatic network. That's not the only role you didn't know he had before he found fame as an action hero.
From comedies to dramas, he's done it all, and nailed it every time. There's no denying that Pratt is as humble as he is talented either, which makes us love him even more. It was no easy journey for Pratt on the road to mega-stardom and being groomed as this generation's Harrison Ford.
He lived in a van in Maui until actress Rae Dawn Chong (The Color Purple, Quest For Fire) plucked him from his waiting job at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company (a job I humbly once held as well) and put him in her movie. Then he packed up and headed for LA — the rest is history.
So, in honor of Chris Pratt's 37th birthday, I decided to take you on a little trip down the memory lane of Chris Pratt's best roles beyond Guardians and Jurassic World that led him to superhero fame, and to meet the girl of his dreams, Anna Farris.
Here are 10 roles didn't know Chris Pratt played before he hit it big!
1. Cursed Part 3 (2000)
Here it is, the short film that started it all. Cursed Part 3 was Rae Dawn Chong's directorial debut, for which she handpicked Chris from his waiting job to star in. The film is a horror comedy following a director with a rip-off film script and her cast in the woods.
Believe it or not, you can actually watch Chris Pratt's film debut in full, thanks to Rae herself for posting! Let's just say, the films Chris does now have a bit bigger of a budget:
2. Everwood (2002–2006)
This is my personal favorite from Chris Pratt's work. Remember that cheesy CW drama I was talking about? Meet Everwood. Everwood ran for four seasons and followed a big-time NYC doctor who moves his children, Ephram and Delia, to small town Everwood, Colorado following the untimely death of his wife.
Pratt played Bright Abbott, the high school all-star son of the town's resident doctor, who is none too pleased with the new doc setting up camp. This role showcased Pratt's dramatic capabilities and is considered to be his "big break." You may recognize some other familiar faces in this CW drama too, like Captain America: Civil War star Emily Van Camp (a.k.a. Sharon Carter). Small world!
Everwood was cancelled in 2006, but lives on in my DVD collection, and in this flashback ET interview!
3. Strangers With Candy (2005)
ALERT! ALERT! Chris Pratt had a mullet! I repeat, Chris Pratt had a mullet!
In 2005, Chris Pratt appeared in the feature film prequel to Comedy Central's ridiculous series, Strangers With Candy, and it is truly the best thing you have ever seen. He played a high school jock, Brason, who is the new object of Jerri's affection, though, she isn't quite his.
4. The O.C. (2006)
Chris Pratt continued down the road of emotional teenage dramas by landing a guest star spot on Fox's The O.C. in 2006. Pratt played Che, a college friend of Summer Roberts who was all about peace, love, and his guitar. His most infamous scene in Season 4 of the drama features him singing to Seth (Adam Brody) while naked in his dorm room. NAKED! Bless you, TCV. This is a must-watch.
5. Wanted (2008)
Okay, I love Chris Pratt, but his role in Wanted I did not love, he was such a bully! Thankfully, he gets what he deserves. Wanted stars James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie as professional assassins with superhuman capabilities. James's character is working a boring office life where his co-worker, Barry, bullies him and is the man James's girlfriend is cheating on him with.
Then in comes Angelina to show James his true epic destiny, and ol' Barry gets what he deserves: A good ass kicking. Pratt's part is minor, but the film is actually really good if you haven't checked it out.
6. Jennifer's Body (2009)
Did you know Chris was in Jennifer's Body? The twisted horror slasher film was basically made to capitalize on the hotness of Megan Fox, and hey, no one is complaining.
Jennifer's body is taken over by a man-eating entity that wreaks havoc on adolescent men. Chris Pratt had a small role as Jennifer's (Megan Fox) ex-love interest who also happens to be a cop. The film also stars Amanda Seyfried and, as far as cheesy slashers go, is actually a good watch. Though, more Pratt would have been welcome.
7. Bride Wars (2009)
Catwoman and Star-Lord? Mind blown! Chris Pratt played Anne Hathaway's doting fiancé in the chick flick Bride Wars about two bride-besties competing for the best wedding on the same day. Talk about drama.
Chris Pratt may have taken the backseat in this film as a supporting character, but he looks good doing it, and movie stardom was just a few years away.
8. Take Me Home Tonight (2011)
This little role of Pratt's has special meaning, because it's the film in which he met his future wife, Anna Faris! Take Me Home Tonight is about a group of friends four years after high school who chase their one true loves at a reunion party of sorts.
In the movie, Chris and Anna played boyfriend and girlfriend, and Chris (as Kyle Masterson) is the host of the party. Sparks flew between the two, and the rest is red carpet history.
9. Moneyball (2011)
My dream was to have Chris Pratt and Brad Pitt in a movie together, and in 2011 it came true. Chris Pratt plays Oakland A's baseball player Scott Hatteberg, while Brad Pitt plays the team's daring manager who builds the successful team up with an impossibly low budget.
The inspiring film also stars Jonah Hill and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film was nominated for six Oscars, though it didn't take any home. It was Pratt's first Oscar-nominated film.
10. Her (2013)
Chris Pratt went on to star in two more films that would land nods at the Oscars: Zero Dark Thirty and Her. Her starred Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely man in the future who falls in love with his female artificial intelligence.
Chris Pratt played the happily married, supportive friend of Joaquin's character, accepting the artificial intelligence, named Samantha, and his friend's relationship with her. It is a deeply moving film, and while Chris's role was small and simple, he made it so much more.
The Nicest Guy In Hollywood
The cool thing about Chris Pratt is he doesn't take any part of his journey for granted, and has spent most of his time in the spotlight giving back. Chris Pratt and Chris Evans infamously battled it out over Twitter for superhero visits to each other's charity of choice for children.
The deal was that whoever's team lost the Super Bowl would go to the other's city's children's hospital dressed as their Marvel persona. Chris Pratt lost, but both men showed up to the hospitals in full get up anyway. Captain America and Star-Lord to the rescue!
Beyond that, Chris has been a major activist in speaking out about premature birth rates, as it is an issue close to home. His son, Jack, was born prematurely, and nearly died. Pratt's social media is full of his love for his country and family, and absent of Hollywood cliches and selfies, which is a rare find in Tinseltown these days.
Pratt is hard at work, having just wrapped Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and his upcoming films Passengers (co-starring Jennifer Lawrence) and Magnificent Seven, being released later this year. So, while he may be the biggest up and coming male star of the century, it's nice to know he's staying grounded, and is still the same guy who was waiting tables at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company in Maui 16 years ago.