Chris Pratt on How He Got Typecast as the A-hole Boyfriend or the Fat, Funny Guy
“Looking back, I think I know why. Physically, I looked like an asshole. I looked like the guy—like Johnny in The Karate Kid, you know?” – Chris Pratt on being typecast
Chris Pratt is a hot ticket in Hollywood right now. He’s come a long way from being the chubby, funny one on Parks and Rec and though it’s great to see him taking the world by storm, I adored his character, Andy. Pratt was a brilliant casting choice and I miss seeing him on my screen in that part.
Since then, he has undergone a big physical transformation to take the lead role in Guardians of the Galaxy. He is in great physical condition, prompting many internet posts about how he’s shed his ‘dad-bod’ image. He has just been announced in the lineup for the Magnificent 7 remake, and will also soon be back on the big screen as the lead in Jurassic World. A far cry from the man who said he was once typecast in the same two roles over and over.
“Typically, I was getting typecast as the bad boyfriend. The boyfriend of the girl who you hope ends up with the guy you like. That was my bread and butter for a long time,” he explains.
“Looking back, I think I know why. Physically, I looked like an asshole. I looked like the guy—like Johnny in The Karate Kid, you know?”
Gradually, directors began to realise that Pratt had a gift for comedy, as strongly evidenced in Parks and Rec. “I always had thought my strongest ability was improvisational comedy,” he says. “I was always adding stuff to scenes and the directors would be like, ‘Come on, man, no, don’t do that.’ And then that stuff would make the cut. And I was like, ‘I knew it! I knew I was funnier than that stupid fucking director, and he didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about! I knew it!’
“I was like, ‘This is the funniest…‘ I was making myself laugh. I was: ‘That’s where it’s at. There’s no one doing that. No one being like a super-confident dumb fat guy.’ So I started. I just got fatter,” he says, “and the laughs kept coming, and it was funnier and funnier. And in that moment I was like, ‘Oh great, I found my niche—this is paying better than the asshole-boyfriend parts.’ ”
Pratt has successfully moved away from being typecast to becoming an actor who takes on a wide variety of roles. Though he seems pleased that this is the case, it’s worth remembering that many actors make a very reputable and decent career out of being typecast, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that at all.
Via GQ Magazine