A-List: Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt 2014
The summer movie season is winding down as kids across the country are mostly back in school  It’s been a lousy summer for Hollywood.  It’s been so bad, that the studios could barely breathe a sigh of relief when two late summer releases over-performed.  Last week, the third and likely final movie in the Expendables franchise tanked.  This weekend, Expendables 3 dropped out of the top five entirely leaving a lot of aging action stars crying in their beers.  The lone hold out from The Expendables 3, Bruce Willis, returned for Sin City 2, the long delayed sequel to the 2005 comic book noir hit.  Even without the convenient excuse of an internet leak, Sin City 2 opened below The Expendables 3.  That shredding sound you hear is everyone in Hollywood losing Frank Miller’s phone number.

The biggest new release this week was the adaptation of the YA novel, If I Stay.  That movie, which starred Chloe Moretz, opened at #1 on Friday but fell behind during the remainder of the weekend.  It will land at #3 for the weekend behind the massively popular holdovers, Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The space adventure from Marvel Studios reclaimed the #1 spot during its fourth week in theaters and will officially become the highest grossing film of the 2014 summer box office.  Which is a dubious distinction considering how poorly the summer box office has performed, but appropriate for a movie about losers who come out on top.

As the lead of Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt is now poised for big things.  He’s launched a charm offensive by entertaining sick kids in costume and posting one of the more memorable ice bucket challenge videos.  But has the Summer of Pratt earned the actor a spot on the A-list?

Pratt - Guardians

The short answer is “no”.  A slightly longer answer would be “not yet”.  But with Jurassic World right around the corner, Pratt’s ascension to the A-list seems pretty inevitable at this point.  Typically, I am of the opinion that starring in a hit Marvel movie doesn’t count for all that much.  It will raise your profile, sure, but unless your name is Robert Downey Jr, the character gets the credit.  That was true for Chrises Hemsworth and Evans.  But in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy, even comic book fans didn’t know who these characters were.  Sure, the Marvel brand gets the bulk of the credit.  And writer/director James Gunn gets his share.  But as the charismatic center of the movie, Pratt gets more credit than the typical Marvel star.


From 2002-2006, Pratt had a supporting role in the critically praised but low-rated TV drama, Everwood.  Treat Williams starred as a neurosurgeon who moves his family from Manhattan to a small town in Colorado after the death of his wife.  His older son, played by Gregory Smith, nursed a crush on a local girl played by Emily VanCamp.  Pratt played Van Camp’s older brother.  But in reality, they were a couple.

Pratt - The OC

After Everwood’s cancellation, Pratt jumped onto another sinking ship.  He appeared in nine episodes of the final season of the teen soap opera, The O.C.  The O.C. was on the bubble after a weak third season.  But eventually, the network agreed to a sixteen-episode commitment with an option to add more if ratings improved.  Despite the addition of Pratt as funny guy, Che, ratings did not improve and the show was cancelled.

pratt - wanted

Pratt began making appearances in small roles on the big screen.  For example, in the 2008 action movie, Wanted, Pratt played James McAvoy’s obnoxious friend and co-worker, Barry.  Barry is not-so-secretly having an affair with McAvoy’s girlfriend and ends up taking a keyboard to the face.

Bride Wars

In 2009, Pratt appeared in the rom-com, Bride Wars.  In Bride Wars, Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson played best friends battling over the same wedding date.  Ugh.  Message to the ladies: If you continue to go see movies that insult your intelligence, Hollywood will keep making stupid romantic comedies in which best friends behave like squabbling toddlers over a shared wedding date.  Pratt played Hathaway’s fiance.

Pratt - Jennifer's Body


Later that year, Pratt had a supporting role in the horror-comedy, Jennifer’s Body.  That movie was supposed to establish Megan Fox as an A-list star.  Instead, it flopped and helped send Fox into exile.

Pratt - Parks and Rec

2009 is also when Pratt returned to television.  This time, he played a dim-bulb slacker on the NBC sitcom, Parks and Recreation.  NBC has announced that next year’s seventh season will be the show’s last.  The show, which stars Saturday Night Live vet Amy Poehler, has been a critical darling.  But it has never been a big success in the ratings.  Pratt plays Rashida Jones’ ex-boyfriend, Andy.  The character was intended to be a guest star.  But the producers liked Pratt so much they upgraded him to a regular immediately after casting him.



Posted on August 24, 2014, in A-List, Movies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Chris Pratt is a very INTERESTING actor. I have not seen the Galaxy or other action/hero type movies, but every role that I have seen him in, is just a little bit different and quirky. He strikes me more of a good character actor, than an A list movie opener. In Moneyball, he was fine but almost unnoticeable on camera with Brad Pitt, in fact even Philip Seymour Hoffman was more of a scene stealer. The Five-Year Engagement, excellent, a beautifully acted ensemble that I’ve only seen twice but will end up purchasing to see again. Her… best for me not to get started as that movie was a major irritant. Chris Pratt provided some expert comic relief in his supporting role. but the entire movie was a wasted opportunity. So again overall, a very interesting actor with good comic instincts who can also play drama.


    • Up until this summer, I would have agreed with you. He’s definitely established himself as a character actor and comic relief. He could no doubt continue doing that long after Parks and Rec goes off the air. But with Guardians of the Galaxy, he proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he has what it takes to be a leading man. There will be a lot of lead roles in his future. It’s just a matter of whether or not one of them clicks outside of his pre-established franchises.

      I’m not a gambling man. But at this point, Pratt is as close to a sure bet as you will find.


  2. As always, another great post. Chris Pratt is so talented. I didn’t even recognize him while I was watching “Her”.


  3. It seems Stallone got the last laugh (or at least a bit of a consolation)

    I thought Williis would get back at Stallone for being called greedy and lazy with a good opening for Sin City 2 while Expendables 3 tanked, but the opposite has happened.

    Die Hard 6 better be good.

    And Stallone has nowhere to go except Rambo 5, and it doesn´t look like a solid bet.


    • The only thing is Sin City 2 was not a Bruce Willis movie. He’s barely associated with it. It was basically just another paycheck. Willis is practically made of Teflon. His entire career he has walked away from one bomb after another virtually unharmed. I doubt he lost any sleep over the under performance of Sin City 2. Robert Rodriguez and especially Frank Miller were the big losers there. Stallone, I imagine, is still licking his wounds and praying The Expendables 3 does gangbusters overseas.


  4. stallone still has better chops then bruce bruce ia bad actor dosent act just smirk and has no charsimia and falls flat at dramatic roles


  5. I’m glad too see Glenn Close’s GOTG become a massive hit and meryl streep’s The giver flopped. She needs to sit down a bit and give others actress a chance.


  6. The funniest thing I’ve seen him do is the Dr. Dre rap–and that was very funny.

    I like Pratt a lot. I hope now he is not overpackaged, oversold, and overly shoved down our throats as Hollywood is wont to do. Here’s wishing him a slow, effective burn into a career filled with genuinely good movies and performances!


  7. since her oscar nom in albert noobs her career is slowing revving iam upset she hasnt won an oscar u think ever do one on amy adams ever since her nom in junebug shes pumping out good movies franco needs one too


  8. Had to revisit this article after GUESS who is on the June cover of American Way (inflight magazine for American). That’s right, Chris Pratt, and the headline proclaims him as “Box Office Gold” for Jurassic World. It’s a pleasant feature article describing his ascension to A list status. Take a bow for your prediction, Lebeau 🙂 well done!


    • I can’t take too much credit. By the time I wrote that article, Pratt’s future as an A-list movie star was secure. It will be interesting to see what he does next. I hope he has more going for him than goofy charisma.


  9. Chris Pratt auditioned for Superman in Superman Returns

    As difficult as it was to believe, but there was a point in time in this world where casting directors wouldn’t believe actor Chris Pratt was made for superhero films.

    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Star Lord appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, and upon the usual talk show banter, it was revealed him and Colbert were in talking terms back when Pratt auditioned for the role of Superman back in 2006. While Colbert thought he was perfect at the time, Pratt jokingly responded:

    “The casting director did not agree.”

    He then talked about his hopes being strong for something one day:

    “It just goes to show that it’s all divinely planned. If it’s not working out in the moment, then have faith that it might work out in the future. The no’s that you get today might mean an even more powerful yes in the future. You know what I mean?”

    And praising his fate like the Scrubs theme song, Pratt then jokingly remarked:

    “I’m glad I wasn’t Superman!”

    Despite not being the Man of Steel, Pratt really managed to speed himself past the speeding bullet that was Superman Returns. Brandon Routh ended up getting cast for the titular hero only to have the movie crucially panned by fans and critics alike. Fortunately for Routh, his role as Atom in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow managed to help reclaim his image in the world of comic book media. And of course, Pratt became the sensational poster boy for Guardians of The Galaxy. Clearly God was a big fan, according to Pratt.

    Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters this Friday.


  10. He’s so good! So handsome! Btw also took part in The Magnificent Seven (you should remember that ) Can’t wait to watch Jurassic World-2 with him:)


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