Thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy and the Jurassic World series, Chris Pratt has shot to superstardom. With his laid-back charm and shaggy good looks, this native Minnesotan has become beloved by millions across the world. Even though he only lived in the North Star State for a few years, he still maintains a connection to Minnesota.
You may think you know the guy behind Star Lord and Andy Dwyer but read on to learn about some interesting Chris Pratt facts.
1. He was born and lived in Minnesota as a kid.
Chris Pratt was born June 21, 1979, in Virginia, Minnesota, on the Iron Range. Virginia is nicknamed Queen City and currently has a population under 10,000. His father worked in the Minnesota gold mines. There are over 60 areas where gold can be found in the state, making it the epicenter of a Midwest gold rush.
2. His grandmother worked at the hospital where he was delivered.
Luella Indahl was an operating room nurse and was present when Chris was born, making it a true family affair. Chris continues to visit hospitals today to spend time with sick kids, making sure that he uses his popularity for a good cause.
3. Chris was popular and smart in high school.
Chris Pratt may have played dimwit characters to perfection, but one of the more interesting Chris Pratt facts was that he was no slouch in high school. He graduated with a 3.66 GPA and excelled on the football, wrestling, and track teams. He was so popular that he gave a speech at his high school graduation.
4. Chris became an actor because of Forrest Gump.
In the wake of the huge success of Forrest Gump, the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant chain was created. After high school, Chris Pratt moved to Maui and worked as a waiter at Bubba Gump, where Rae Dawn Chong discovered him. She cast him in her horror movie Cursed Part 3. From there, he moved to LA, got an agent, and began booking roles.
Turns out Chris’s life really was like a box of chocolates. There’s a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. you should check out when you visit the Mall of America. Maybe your waiter will be the next movie star.
5. He was supposed to be fired from Parks & Rec.
As beloved as his character, Andy Dwyer became, one of the more surprising Chris Pratt facts was that he wasn’t supposed to last beyond the first season. He was originally signed to a six-episode contract and billed as a guest star with the intent not to make it to season two. The producers loved his character so much that they kept him on and made him a series regular.
Adam Scott later joined the show as the former teen mayor of fictional Partridge, Minnesota. He joked that you should never talk about the Green Bay Packers or the state of Iowa with Minnesotans for fear of bringing out their frosty side.
6. He’s an Oscar good luck charm.
Chris began to dip his toe into movies during his run on Parks & Rec with supporting roles. He had incredible taste with the projects he picked, as he wound up in three Oscar best picture nominees in a row: Moneyball (2011), Zero Dark Thirty (2012), and Her (2013), which co-starred fellow Minnesotan Amy Adams.
His more recent films have continued to be recognized by the Academy, with nominations like the best song for Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie. Maybe one day, we’ll see Chris up on that stage.
7. He was almost Captain Kirk.
Before he began his unbelievable film streak, he was just another up-and-coming actor trying to make a breakthrough. One of the more interesting Chris Pratt facts among Trekkies was that he’d been in the running to be Captain Kirk in Star Trek. The role went to another Chris — Chris Pine.
The lost role that really hurt was Jake Sully in Avatar. Chris was told that he didn’t have the It Factor necessary for the part. Sam Worthington was ultimately cast, and we’re still not sure what It Factor he brought to the role.
While Chris hit it big with Guardians, he almost lost out on that role to Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
8. He’s one of the biggest box office draws in the world.
Hollywood has had trouble launching stars since the late ‘90s, but Chris Pratt has proven he can bring in the crowds. He’s the star of three billion-dollar franchises: Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, and The Lego Movie.
One of the not-so-surprising Chris Pratt facts was that he’s starred in a $100M+ blockbuster every year from 2014 to 2019. Additionally, in an environment where adult dramas have trouble finding audiences, he powered the original drama Passengers to a $100M gross in 2016.
9. Chris’s fame came with awkward family drama.
During Chris’s breakout year in 2014, it was reported that members of his family had filed for bankruptcy, and they were all coming to Chris asking for money. It seems that everything was resolved, as he’s close with his brother and sister, posting fun #TBT photos.
Chris’s father passed away that same year from multiple sclerosis, right before he could watch his son leap to the top of the Hollywood food chain.
10. Chris’s father-in-law is the Terminator.
Chris Pratt’s personal life is filled with interesting facts, starting with his in-laws. In 2019, he married Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger, aka The Terminator. The two are very close. Arnold has repeatedly gushed about how much he likes his son-in-law. If only Chris had known him earlier, maybe Arnold could’ve convinced James Cameron to cast him in Avatar.
11. Chris is part of the Kennedy dynasty.
Not only does he have the Terminator as a father-in-law, but Chris’s mother-in-law is also Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy, was the sister of John F. Kennedy. Another one of the most interesting Chris Pratt facts is that he is now part of the Kennedy dynasty.
Maybe one day, he’ll visit Kennedy, Minnesota, named after the famous family. The town’s population is under 200, so his appearance will be a huge deal.
12. He moonlights as a documentary producer.
Not comfortable resting on his movie star laurels, Chris has branched out to producing documentaries. He recently produced the documentary Alaskan Nets, about the high school basketball team on Alaska’s last remaining native reserve and their quest to reach the state championship.
Chris cares deeply about indigenous tribes, which can be found across the US. In Minnesota, eleven Native American tribes are still in existence, seven Anishinaabe and four Dakota.
13. He owns a sheep farm.
When he wants to get away from Hollywood, Chris and his family go up to Washington state, where they own a working sheep farm, which he calls Stillwater Ranch. Chris has gotten close with a few of the animals, including a ram named Prince Rupert, who passed away.
Chris probably got the spark of interest in raising animals from his childhood in Minnesota. There are sheep farms across Minnesota producing wool and meat for people across the Midwest. Farming is quite wonderful in Minnesota!
Wrapping Up Interesting Chris Pratt Facts
Chris Pratt contains multitudes, with as many sides to him as there are lakes in Minnesota. Actor. Producer. Shepherd. He’s a nice, big-hearted goofball of a man who has earned his place as a Hollywood A-Lister. He is making Minnesota proud.
The state of Minnesota is full of talented actors, actresses, and musicians. To learn more about a variety of famous people hailing from the North Star State, check out our page on Minnesota People.