Chris Pratt missed out on parts in ‘Avatar’ and ‘Star Trek’ before landing a role in ‘Parks and Recreation’.
The 43-year-old actor has become a major force in Hollywood in franchises like ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but he has opened up on a difficult period in his career when he was struggling with auditions.
Appearing on the ‘SmartLess’ podcast, he said: “I didn’t come close. It was a real – I know I’ve made light of actors feeling rejection, but I didn’t come close.
“It was so not close that it was really demoralising and made me actually truly question my potential or what I should be aiming for as an actor… For both of those. I remember… I was reading to play the role in ‘Avatar’, and in another one I was reading for Captain Kirk…
“Anyways, I just remember reading this character description, ‘He walks in and he has the It Factor’. I was feeling a little overweight, I hadn’t been taking great care of myself physically, I was in a relationship when we were drinking a lot. I walked in and I started sweating immediately.”
Pratt insisted there was nothing about his audition that was “compelling” the casting assistant on the day, and it knocked his confidence during a “lean stretch” where he wasn’t getting any acting jobs.
He added: “I had enough of those in that very lean stretch in my career where I didn’t get hired for a couple of years. It was shortly before Parks and Rec… Early on in my 20s, I was in pretty good shape, I was working out a lot, I was young.
“I was mostly getting auditions for ‘douchebag boyfriend.’ ”
Since making it in Hollywood, Pratt admitted his goals have changed, and his focus is now on enjoying his life rather than building an “empire”.
He said: “Inevitably, I have changed. I’ve grown a lot, just because I grew up in a pretty small town. I’ve just been exposed to a lot more in my life.
“I’m still ambitious, but I see peers of mine who are prolific actors, and stars of movies and brands and icons. I don’t want that.
“I don’t wanna spend all of my time trying to build an empire. You see some folks that are really driven in that way, and that’s great for them, but for me, I really feel like I want to work to live.”