Most actors have horror stories of the trials they faced before getting their first major break, but Pratt’s approach to his journey from waiter to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars was more about perseverance and self-assurance, than clawing his way into the industry.
After his breakthrough into acting with regular roles on the television dramas Everwood and The O.C., Pratt decided to audition for two of the most ambitious roles he could find: the part of Captain James T. Kirk in Abram’s reboot of Star Trek, and for Jake Sully, the lead in Cameron’s Avatar.
However, Pratt’s attempt was met with two harsh rejections, a humbling experience for someone who always believed he had the potential to be a leading actor.
“I was always destined to do it,” he says now, “and I just believed that somehow the opportunity would present itself.” — Chris Pratt, GQ Magazine
Pratt considered a career change after the series of rejections, but he was still confident that he had the potential to fill those roles. He persevered in the business by taking a role on Parks and Recreation. While the role was undeniably a step down from the lead in a Hollywood blockbuster, he was so well received by the show’s audience that he became a focal point of the show throughout the course of the series.
While he played a supporting role throughout the run of Parks and Recreation, Pratt’s breakout came in 2014. With The Lego Movie, and then with Guardians of the Galaxy, he starred in two of the top three grossing films of the year.
Pratt’s approach was about as laissez-faire as it gets. While he worked hard and put everything he had into his work, he didn’t believe in hustling 80 hours a week, or putting himself through rigorous training. His strength was his belief in himself and his ability to look past the short term and focus on the end game.
With the lead role in Jurassic World, and rumours circulating that he’s in the running for the role of Indiana Jones in the franchise reboot, it’s safe to say that he’s achieved the potential he always knew he was capable of.
Pratt knew that he was destined for great things, and his career is a reminder that we could all use. Keep your head up, believe in yourself, and the rest will come.
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