Typecasting Made It Hard For Chris Pratt To Break Into The Comedy Scene Before Parks And Recreation

The first time I saw Chris Pratt on screen was during his run as Bright Abbott on the TV show "Everwood." He had that relatable boy-next-door charm that only the biggest heartthrob in a small town can possess, and it was pretty evident from the start that he would be on to bigger and better things in the future.

And then he started popping up in films like "Jennifer's Body" and "Bride Wars," playing some absolute douche canoe dudes. The boy from "Everwood" who resembled a wall-sized ad in an Abercrombie & Fitch store was suddenly a grade-A jerkwad, which according to Chris Pratt, was due to the hells of typecasting. During a 2016 Reddit AMA with the "Guardians of the Galaxy" star, Pratt confessed that his turn playing pricks was due to his physical appearance. "I was confident and in good shape when I first came to L.A., but nobody would cast me in any well-written roles," Pratt wrote. "People assumed based on my looks I was an a-hole and a one-trick pony. I only auditioned to play the douchebag characters."

One of his douchebaggiest is in the rom-com "Take Me Home Tonight," which, despite its 2011 release, was shot back in 2007. Pratt played the role of Kyle Masterson, the wealthy, popped-collar-donning jackwagon who Anna Farris' Wendy rightfully dumps at the movie's end. These roles are a far cry from the lovable Andy Dwyer of "Parks and Recreation," the show that would put Pratt on the map and guide him toward his eventual Marvel and "Jurassic World" franchise fame. What changed? Well, Pratt put on some weight, and suddenly, he became the quintessential everyman.

'They never let me improv'

During the AMA with Chris Pratt, he noted that more opportunities opened up for him after putting on the weight. "They never let me improv or do comedy [for the jerk roles]," he said. "It wasn't until I built a schlubby exterior, which stood in stark contrast to my inner confidence that people gave me room to play." 

To be frank, I have some pretty harsh critiques of Pratt's idea that inner confidence must be a "stark contrast" to a schlubby exterior (that I will keep to myself for everyone's benefit), but it's unsurprising that casting agents were more comfortable with Pratt trying comedy once he stopped looking like a leading man. Hollywood notoriously has no idea what to do when conventionally attractive actors are also hilarious, falsely believing that humor can only be enjoyed if someone is "relatable" or an already established household name.

The cruel irony, of course, is that Pratt only became a superstar after shedding his Andy Dwyer image and becoming a beefy superhero. They even wrote Andy's new look into an episode of "Parks and Recreation," as the show was still running as Pratt was becoming one of the biggest names in the industry. Now, in the body that originally held back his career, the world is his oyster, and he's been popping up everywhere — for better or worse.