Earlier this year, Chris Pratt was a guest on one of the final Late Night with Jimmy Fallon episodes before he took over The Tonight Show, and Pratt told the story of the first time they met. When he was first starting out in the business, Pratt got nominated for a Teen Choice Award – and lost – but he also presented a surfboard and did a comedy bit that he didn’t think went over too well. A justifiably disappointed Pratt ran into Jimmy backstage, and Jimmy told him, ‘Great job, man. You were really funny tonight’.
Pratt admitted that the moment meant so much to him since the compliment came from one of the best comedians around and Jimbo cheered him up despite the fact he bombed on stage. He then said something that has stuck with me ever since, and maybe made me (and Jimmy) cry a little. He told Jimmy, “I think you deserve all your success because you were nice to me and nice people deserve success.”
It’s so simple but it’s so true. If you put positive energy and good vibes into the world, it will surely come back to you. And that’s why I’m weirdly proud and happy for Chris Pratt becoming a huge movie star.
Let’s get this out there first – I’m obviously not friends with Pratt IRL. I’m just a Parks and Recreation fan who, like many other fans of the show, have watched this guy turn into a literal superhero. His comedic timing and delivery on Parks has always been on point, and creator Mike Schur will even tell you that Pratt is one of the best improvisers on the show – and this show stars Amy Poehler.
When Pratt got cast in Moneyball, it was exciting for me as a fan to see him in this Oscar-nominated film with BRAD PITT. I mean he was sitting next to Brad in a joint interview on Ellen and I was like – CHRIS PRATT – OF EVERWOOD AND THE OC AND FRIGGIN ANDY DWYER IS SITTING IN BETWEEN ELLEN DEGENERES AND BRAD PITT!!! Crazypants. Then he went on to star in two more Oscar-nominated films, Zero Dark Thirty and Her, and I still got a weird feeling of pride, it was like witnessing a friend on the verge of superstardom.
So in 2011, I went to a TV Academy event for Parks and Rec, where they screen an episode and most of the cast is there to talk about the show and convince Academy members to vote for them in the Emmys. After the panel, the actors usually stick around to take pix and and sign autographs for the fans, and that, kids, is how I met Chris Pratt.
I usually prep myself with like one thing to tell celebs when I meet them, and my point of discussion with Pratt was that I was looking forward to seeing the film What’s Your Number, which he filmed in Boston (seriously guys, I love that movie. Half-naked Chris Evans? What’s not to love?). I told him I went to school there and he started going on and on about how he loved Boston and how excited he was for the movie, and just conversing with me as if we were having a coffee date. I was thinking in my head, ‘Um, there is LIT’RALLY a line of people waiting to take a pic with you, but you just want to chat with me forever? Okay.’ He was so down to earth, and legit one of, if not the nicest, celebrities I’ve ever met, and I will always remember that about him.
Fast forward to present day, where Chris Pratt, a super jacked, funny and charming motherfucker is seemingly everywhere thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy. To many who didn’t know him before the lead in Marvel’s latest film, it was like he became an overnight sensation. I mean it made $160 million in the worldwide box office – that’s a lot of people who have seen Pratt’s abs and had no idea he looked like this at one point:
This one role has made him a MOVIE STAR in every sense of the word, and next year, I’m assuming he’ll become even bigger thanks to Jurassic World. And then, you know, the GotG sequel, etc. etc.
But one thing for sure is that fame won’t get to his head. He hasn’t let it so far and I don’t think he ever will. In all his interviews over the past few weeks, you can tell he’s still the same guy that started out as Bright Abbott or the lovable golden labrador retriever that is Andy Dwyer. He knows how lucky he is to go from living in a van in Hawaii to eventually becoming Star Lord. He can dominate a red (blue) carpet one day
and be extremely happy his wife is making him tater tots the next.
So seeing Pratt receive all this attention and acclaim has kind of made me (irrationally?) emotional for someone I just met once. But doesn’t that say something in and of itself? That a 2 minute interaction would have such an impact on a fan that it makes her tear up when he gets a rousing round of applause as walks on stage for an interview with Letterman? Maybe I’m too emotional or maybe I’m too obsessed with Parks, but I believe that this is just the beginning of Chris Pratt’s long, successful career. He deserves all his success because he was so nice to me and nice people deserve success.