Chris Pratt is the main lead in two of the biggest Hollywood franchises -- "Jurassic World" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" -- and is one of its highest-earning stars, but the American actor still considers himself an outsider in Hollywood.
The actor believes "Hollywood has a tendency to homogenise its men and women" and that is why entering showbiz with an outsider's perspective worked in his favour.
"I definitely felt like an outsider (when he started working in the West) and I was (an outsider). I probably still am (an outsider) in a way, although I spend more time in Los Angeles (LA) than out of LA," Pratt told IANS during a Disney press meet for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" here.
The Disney film will release in India on May 5.
Pratt was a homeless man before he rose to stardom. He used to live in a Scooby-Doo van and worked at a seafood restaurant in Hawaii in late 1990s. It was at this restaurant he was discovered by actress Rae Dawn Chong, who then gave him his first film "Cursed Part 3" in 2000.
The 37-year-old asserts that there is "great benefit" being an outsider. He says that "being an outsider is becoming more and more helpful now".
"...People who live in California and LA for a long time... They all become very similar. There is great weather, great food, easygoing attitude, it is pretty progressive, thoughtful and mindful -- all that is really great but it doesn't necessarily make (for) the most diverse, compelling group of actors," said the star, who grew up in Lake Stevens in Washington state.
Appreciating the new wave of diversity in Hollywood, Pratt said: "A lot of guys become exactly the same. For me, it was really helpful to have this outsider perspective. People in LA often cast a Canadian, or someone from Australia, Britain or India or anywhere from the outside because they have a point of view that is different from the creators and the writers in LA."
Born in Virginia, his mother worked at a supermarket chain and his father was a contractor. His father died in 2014 when he was filming "Jurassic World".
After taking the first step in the glamour world in 2000, Pratt went on to do TV shows like "The Huntress", "The O.C." and "Everwood" but rose to prominence as the chubby and easy-going character named Andy Dwyer in "Parks and Recreation".
While making a career on the small screen, Pratt continued working on his Hollywood dream and auditioned for films like "Avatar", "G.I. Joe" and "Star Trek".
His filmography includes projects like "Bride Wars", "Moneyball", "Zero Dark Thirty", "The Magnificent Seven" and "Passengers". While working in 2011's "Take Me Home Tonight", he met his wife Anna Faris, with whom he had a son, Jack.
Pratt is one of the most bankable stars of Hollywood, and he still remembers the point from where he started his career.
He said: "I have some difficulties in life but not in regard to having a meeting with somebody. I am at a point that if I call someone they will take the phone call, but I spent many years when I couldn't get them on the phone."
Ask him how difficult it is for an outsider to get a break in Hollywood, Pratt said: "Creating the initial connection and jumping the first few initial hurdles are really tough.
"They are pretty much catch 22... Trying to get an agent, a manager, trying to get into Screen Actors Guild. That type of stuff is really difficult because you can't get a job unless you are in the Screen Actors Guild and vice versa.
"It is the same thing with representation. You can't get someone to represent you unless you have some work to show them and can't get work unless you have representation," said Pratt.
The actor says finding a way into Hollywood has become less complicated over time.
At the moment, Pratt is looking forward to the reception of his second outing as Peter Quill also nicknamed Star-Lord with the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2". The film also stars Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot; and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket.
With the backdrop titled 'Awesome Mixtape #2',the second part of the 2014 film "Guardians of the Galaxy" will take further the team's adventures as they traverse different cosmos to protect their world. This time, the storyline will explore family values and also unravel many family truths and mysteries.
(The writer's trip was at the invitation of Disney. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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