Chris Pratt on gaining weight for future roles, living in a van and being insecure as an actor

"I’m open to getting fat again, or doing a different character," said Pratt.

ByABC News
May 5, 2017, 11:35 AM

— -- Chris Pratt says his life changed when he took on roles in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” and “Jurassic World.”

He went from playing the lovable Andy Dwyer in the NBC show “Parks and Recreation” to becoming a full-on action star, shedding several pounds in the process.

“They’re big movies. They’re big commercial hits. They changed my life completely,” Pratt said in an interview on ABC News’ “Popcorn With Peter Travers.” “They changed the life of my whole family, my real estate agent … all kinds of agents.”

PHOTO: Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford and Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer are seen in an episode of "Parks and Recreation."
Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford and Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer are seen in an episode of "Parks and Recreation."

Watch the full interview with Chris Pratt on ABC News’ “Popcorn With Peter Travers” in the video above.

Pratt said he was always an athlete growing up and enjoys the physical aspect of being an action hero. But Pratt said he’s not opposed to gaining back the weight for future projects.“It’s really just a few months away of preparation from being that Andy character or any other character. That’s how I’ve always looked at it,” said Pratt. “I like playing these characters but I don’t see it being the end-all, be-all of the work that I want to do, necessarily. You know, I’m open to getting fat again, or doing a different character.”

PHOTO: Chris Pratt, right, is joined by his wife, actress Anna Faris and their son Jack during a ceremony to award Pratt a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Chris Pratt, right, is joined by his wife, actress Anna Faris and their son Jack during a ceremony to award Pratt a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Photo

In fact, Pratt said, “If I wasn’t doing these roles, I wouldn’t maintain the physical fitness that I do now.”Pratt has kept in shape for his latest role in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in which he returns as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord.

“This time around it is different. There is an expectation. People are really excited,” Pratt said. “They love these characters. … The pressure -- you feel that.”The script was written with the cast’s voices in mind, making it an easier process for the actors, Pratt said.

PHOTO: Chris Pratt at the ABC News studios in New York City, on "Popcorn with Peter Travers," May 1, 2017.
Chris Pratt at the ABC News studios in New York City, on "Popcorn with Peter Travers," May 1, 2017.

Pratt said the film picks up where they left off: “If the first movie is about falling in love and finding a family, this movie’s about maintaining that.”

Before he became one of Hollywood’s leading men, Pratt was a 20-year-old living in a van in Hawaii.

“I think there was a certain freedom in that moment that I wasn’t really thinking about anything,” said of his time living in Hawaii. “I was just enjoying the moment.”

Pratt worked as a waiter at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and was also a door-to-door salesman for about two years.

He said working in door-to-door sales helped him with the rejection he would face as an actor constantly auditioning for roles.

“I think door-to-door sales was the best training ground to sharpen the tools that were required to go out and hit the ground to audition and to face rejection as an actor over and over,” Pratt said. “Exposing yourself saying, ‘Here’s what I got. You interested in buying? Nope? Cool, man. See you tomorrow!’ And then walk off.”There were times that Pratt wasn’t always confident while selling himself at auditions.

“I can’t even tell you the number of things that I went out for that I didn’t get that I was certain I wouldn’t get in the moment as I was doing the audition,” he recalled. “Maybe I’m overweight. I’m feeling insecure about the way I look or I’m sweating halfway through the audition or I stumble the lines.”

But Pratt said he was good at door-to-door sales, and those successful skills carried over into his successful new career as an actor.

“You’re just walking into a room and selling yourself, and that’s a big part of acting,” said Pratt.

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