Pratt achieved leading man status after starring in two commercially successful films in 2014: computer-animated adventure comedy The Lego Movie and Marvel Studios superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy as Star-Lord.
Christopher Michael Pratt was born on June 21, 1979 in Virginia, Minnesota, the youngest child of Kathleen Louise (née Indahl), who worked at a Safeway supermarket, and Daniel Clifton Pratt (died in 2014 from multiple sclerosis), who worked in mining and later remodeling houses. His mother is of Norwegian descent. When Pratt was three years old, the family moved to Lake Stevens, Washington. Pratt later placed fifth in a high school state wrestling tournament, recalling that when his wrestling coach asked him what he wished to do with his life, "I was like, 'I don't know, but I know I'll be famous and I know I'll make a s- ton of money.' I had no idea how. I'd done nothing proactive." He graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1997.
Pratt dropped out of community college halfway through the first semester and, after working as a discount ticket salesman and daytime stripper, he ended up homeless in Maui, Hawaii, sleeping in a van and a tent on the beach. He told The Independent, "It's a pretty awesome place to be homeless. We just drank and smoked weed and worked minimal hours, just enough to cover gas, food, and fishing supplies." He recalled listening to the Dr. Dre album 2001 daily, to the point where he knew every lyric; years later, he rapped Eminem's verses from the song "Forgot About Dre" extemporaneously during an interview.
At 19 years old, Pratt was waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant in Maui when he was discovered by actress and director Rae Dawn Chong. She cast him in her directorial debut, the short horror film Cursed Part 3, which was filmed in Los Angeles.
Pratt's first regular television role was as Harold Brighton "Bright" Abbott on the series Everwood. After Everwood's cancellation, he joined the cast of The O.C. for its fourth season, playing activist Winchester "Ché" Cook. He also had an appearance in the 2008 action film Wanted.
In 2009, Pratt began playing Andy Dwyer on the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation. Originally meant to be a temporary character, producers liked Pratt so much they asked him to become a series regular.
Pratt portrayed Oakland Athletics first baseman/catcher Scott Hatteberg in the 2011 film Moneyball. He was initially told that he was too fat to play Hatteberg, as he had gained 40 pounds (18 kg), which Pratt attributed to the cooking of his then-girlfriend, actress Anna Faris. Deciding to lose weight, he worked out continuously, regularly checking to see if the part was cast, losing a total of 30 pounds (14 kg).
When he felt he had lost enough, he sent a photo of himself to the casting director and won the part. Prior to the release of Moneyball, Pratt was typecast as youthful and somewhat immature characters. In Moneyball, he played a dramatic role as a father and dejected baseball player who once feared his career was over and who had the difficult task of learning an entirely new defensive position.
He gained back the weight he had lost to appear in the film 10 Years (2011), then lost it again to portray a Navy SEAL in the film Zero Dark Thirty (2012). He played the co-worker of Joaquin Phoenix character in Spike Jonze's sci-fi romance Her in December 2013.
In 2013, Pratt initially turned down the opportunity to play Peter Quill / Star-Lord in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, explaining that he did not "want another Captain Kirk or Avatar moment". The film's casting director, Sarah Finn, suggested Pratt to director James Gunn, who had struggled to cast that role and dismissed the idea.
Despite this, Finn arranged for a meeting between the two, at which point Gunn was immediately convinced that Pratt was perfect for the role. Pratt also won over Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, despite having gained weight again for the comedy film Delivery Man. The role was part of a multi-film deal that Pratt signed with Marvel.
Although Pratt had been known until that point for playing supporting characters, and was best known as his portly Parks and Recreation character, that changed in 2014 when he headlined two feature films, the first of which was The Lego Movie. The film became the third-highest-grossing film of 2014 in North America.
This was followed that August by Guardians of the Galaxy, which became the highest-grossing film of 2014 in North America, making Pratt the star of two of the top five highest-grossing films of that year. Bruce Diones of The New Yorker noted, "Pratt, overflowing with charisma, plays the leader of the pack of misfits, and his blissed-out space cowboy (with a love for seventies music) is so full of good will that he buoys the film and its requisite whizbang special effects."
In March 2014, Pratt was awarded the CinemaCon Award for Breakthrough Performer. Also in 2014, he was ranked as #2 on People magazine's annual list of Sexiest Men Alive. Pratt was the featured cover story of the July 18 Entertainment Weekly, which documented the evolution of Pratt's physique over the course of the previous 12 years, going from 220 pounds (100 kg) for his role on Everwood to 295 pounds (134 kg) for Delivery Man, to 225–230 pounds (102–104 kg) for his roles in Zero Dark Thirty and Guardians. Pratt himself poked fun at his fluctuating physique in a musical number he performed during his monologue when he hosted the September 27, 2014, episode of Saturday Night Live.
In November 2013, Pratt, an avid fan of Jurassic Park, who has referred to that film as "my Star Wars", replaced Josh Brolin as the lead in the film Jurassic World (2015). He played Owen Grady, who works training velociraptors. Jurassic World grossed $652.3 million in North America and $1.018 billion overseas for a worldwide total of $1.670 billion. He will reprise his role in the sequel, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which is scheduled to be released on June 22, 2018.
His next film role was starring as Josh Farraday, a gambler, in the remake of the 1960 Western The Magnificent Seven. The film was released on September 23, 2016. Pratt's second 2016 release was Passengers, a science fiction film which opened in December, and co-starred Jennifer Lawrence. Pratt played a character described as "a mechanic, who wants to get off an Earth that no longer seems to value a guy who works with his hands".
Pratt reprised his role as Peter Quill / Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which was released in May 2017. The film focuses on Quill's and his team's search for his father. Pratt will also portray the character in Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018.
On April 21, 2017, Pratt received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his achievements in motion pictures, located at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard.
In 2007, on the set of Take Me Home Tonight, Pratt met actress Anna Faris, who played his love interest in the film. They were engaged in late 2008 and married in Bali on July 9, 2009, eloping on a whim after a friend's wedding. They live in Hollywood Hills, California. Their son, Jack, was born in August 2012. Pratt stated that the birth of his preterm son "really defined" his faith in God, after both he and his wife "prayed a lot" as they were initially afraid of the baby's prognosis. He was raised Lutheran and later worked for Jews for Jesus, eventually becoming a non-denominational Christian.
On August 6, 2017, Pratt and Faris announced their legal separation.