5 Leading-Man Roles Chris Pratt Was Rejected For Before He Landed the Lead in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
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5 Leading-Man Roles Chris Pratt Was Rejected For Before He Landed the Lead in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | August 7, 2014 | Comments ()


Chris Pratt wasn’t the exactly the first person that James Gunn had in mind when he was auditioning for Guardians of the Galaxy. In fact, Gunn initially dismissed the very idea of Pratt, until Guardians’ casting director, Sarah Finn, brought Pratt into audition in spite of Gunn’s protestations. But one look, and that’s all it took, according to Gunn, “Chris came in, and he was still chubby at that point, and within 20 seconds of him auditioning I just knew that he was the guy. I just knew it immediately. I turned around and looked to Sarah and I almost had tears in my eyes, because we’d gone through so many people.” In fact, Pratt ended up beating out Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eddie Redmayne, John Krasinski, Aaron Paul, Lee Pace, and James Marsden for the role.

That had to feel awfully satisfying, after spending years getting rejected for other major movie (and television) roles. Here’s five parts Chris Pratt was rejected for on his way to playing the lead in what may end up being the biggest movie of the summer, and knowing what we know now, I almost feel like he’d have been a better choice than any of these five guys (except, arguably, Levi).


1. The lead in NBC’s Chuck.

Reason denied: Wasn’t nerdy-looking enough.

Role went to: Zachary Levi.


2. As Jake Sully in Avatar.

Reason denied: Lacked the “it” factor. “I walked into that room knowing that I did not have that thing, and I walked out thinking I would never have that thing,” Pratt said of his audition.

Role went to the guy with the smallest “it” factor in Hollywood, Sam Worthington.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 1.06.12 PM.png

3. As Captain Kirk in Star Trek

Reason denied: Also, because he lacked a certain star quality.

Role went to Chris Pine, whose star power has yet to extend beyond the Star Trek franchise


4. As Duke in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Reason denied: Too schlubby. Didn’t look the part of an action figure.

Role went to Channing Tatum, who definitely looks the part of an action figure.

Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn .jpg

5. As Sam Flynn in TRON: Legacy.

Reason denied: Undisclosed.

Role went to: Garrett Hedlund

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • SlamAdams

    Sam Worthington had a ton of "it" factor when he was cast in Avatar. Everyone was talking about him. And then everyone saw his Terminator and was like "Him?"

  • Alwyn

    Chris Pine chooses the worst movies for the most part (though I like the star treks) but I always think his performances are great. Even friggin Bottle Shock.

  • Evangelos

    I just realised that Sam Worthington, Chris Pine, Chaning Tatum and Garret Hedlund are 4 different people

  • Nadiney

    Yeah, I'm super glad he didn't get these roles because then we might not have gotten him where he is now.

    Also who the fuck thinks Sam Worthington has more It factor than literally a block of wood?

    Also why does the 'It' factor even figure into casting a man who appears for approximately 11 minutes of the entire film? A film which is really just a show reel for the advancement of CGI via the medium of Pocahontas anyway?

    I actually think Pine makes an excellent Kirk ifimhonest and he was great in Smokin Aces and I think the problem is not him its bad roles. THATS ALL IM SAYING.

  • Googlyeyes

    Lol everybody on Chris Pratt's nuts. You could have dropped the sarcasm regarding the people who got the roles and still made your point. Dustin Rowles you turd bandit.

  • Shouldn't that be "turd blossom"?

  • Salieri2

    What is a turd bandit? Sincerely.

  • The Replicant Brooke

    Hi Chris Pratt, I like the way your sleeves are a little tight around your bicep. *voice break sigh*

  • msd-O'Hurn, M.D.

    I think they made a fine choice for Star Trek if I do say so myself.

  • Channing Tatum acts the part of an action figure. My take-away from the article is that "it" factor is really self-obsession.

  • Halbs

    You've obviously never seen She's the Man.

  • Actually, I watched it for the first time a few weeks ago and wound up live-tweeting the whole horrifying experience.

  • Halbs

    C Tates and I are both saddened to hear this. What about when he asked if she liked cheese? What about his Step Up 2 the Streets cameo? What about his slo mo splits video?

  • I will give you the slo-mo splits video, and his comedy chops in general. Also his dancing skills. I am curious why you cited a Step Up 2 cameo instead of the original Step Up? I'm sure he's a lovely hunk, thumbhead beefcake just doesn't do it for me.

  • Halbs

    Step Up was more of a drama than a fun dance movie. (It's kind of action-figurey.) Step Up 2 the Streets, however, is pretty fun and there is a Tatum Trampoline Dance. For some reason I just love that guy!

  • dizzylucy

    "Role went to the guy with the smallest “it” factor in Hollywood, Sam Worthington."

    But that would actually give him some identity. He's more like the 4th smallest it factor, so we already forget about him when discussing the topic.

    I actually can't see Pratt in any of these roles. I'd imagine it was frustrating for him at the time, but I think things worked out for the best for him.

  • $116023062

    By the post photo I thought there was a Great Escape remake coming:



    Pratt would be an excellent choice for Nathan Drake if that Uncharted movie ever gets made (Pine is still my top choice).

  • Salieri2

    Oh God, now you've said it out loud. Imagine the horrible casting.

  • Halbs

    I think Levi was the right guy for Chuck. He's the right mix of sweet and nerdy to make the show's dynamics work. Chris Pine is an awesome Kirk (dead ringer for young Shat as well), and I liked him in People Like Us. I'm not sure who would've been right in Tron, but Pratt could've improved on the role. Maybe Winter Soldier? Was he too old for that part already? Boone from Lost? Zeffron?

  • BWeaves

    1. Dodged a bullet.
    2. Dodged a bullet.
    3. Dodged a bullet.
    4. Dodged a bullet.
    5. Dodged a bullet.

  • Classic

    Hee true and sad. I loved Levi but Chuck was all kinds of all over the place the last two seasons. And eh about Star Trek. Chris Pine and Zachery Quinto got totally overshadowed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the last Star Trek. And honestly the movie was not that great. I still found Edge of Tomorrow to be a better sci fi flick (and yep got into a fight with a friend about that the other day).

  • Barrie Williams

    Edge of Tomorrow is so entertaining. Hell, Chris Pratt could have played that role to perfection.

  • Classic

    Yeah I loved Edge of Tomorrow.

  • carrie

    Cucumber is in the last Star Trek!!? in what role?

  • BWeaves

    He's the main "bad guy." He's on the poster. He's everyone's favorite Kirk nemesis.

  • kerton

    How could you miss him? He was front and centre of the promotional material!

    I won't spoil the film, so let's say he plays a character called "John Harrison" ;)

  • emmalita


  • Don't be mean to Chris Pine. He is a talented actor, very nice in interviews and he did a great job at the nearly-impossible task of following in The Shat's big ole footprints.
    P.S. I'm kinda glad Pratt didn't get the lead in Avatar. I mean, look what it's done for Whatshisname's career.

  • Target_Blonde

    For everything except Star Trek, I say "Hell yeah, Andy Dwyer all the way" but I just can't unsee Chris Pine in that role now. He's not terribly effective at anything else he's in (was People Like Us even worth it?) but he totally sold me as Captain Kirk.

    I wasn't a huge fan of Tron: Legacy so I'd label that bullet dodged too.

  • $116023062

    Infinite Upvotes. Pine is Kirk to me now.

  • NateMan

    Pine was great in Rise of the Guardians, IMO. I love that movie.

  • Classic

    Was anyone a fan of Tron: Legacy? I am still mad I spent money on that movie.

  • Salieri2

    Liked the trailer. Perfect short form.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    I did. It had an inventive art direction, inspired fictional architecture and interior designs, catchy soundtrack that encourages you to dance on your seat, Michael Sheen maniacally chewing and spitting the scenery, and Olivia Wilde wearing tight leather pants.

    What's not to like about it? Besides Jeff Bridges sleepwalking through a pivotal role, an unmemorable lead actor and a bland story, that is?

  • Classic

    LOL I see you Ryan.

  • Stephen Nein

    I thought it better than the original movie. Of course, I'm more entertained by My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic than the original Tron.

  • Halbs

    I liked it for the visuals and, as previously mentioned, the soundtrack. Also, it gave us "Digital jazz, man..." Saw it in IMAX. Plus the warehouse apartment was awesome. I would live there for sure.

  • Some Guy

    That is until you're set upon by junkies, bums and the C.H.U.D., because you live on a deserted industrial riverfront in a large city.

  • I am okay with its existence because of the soundtrack.

  • Scottieboy

    I'd forgotten Sam Worthington was a thing.

  • Target_Blonde

    ^^ says everyone, everywhere.

  • John W

    The reason his "it" factor is so small? Shrinkage. It happens.

  • ed newman

    He just got out of the pool! It was cold!

  • narfna

    Oh, man. He would have been SO GOOD in Avatar. And he and Zoe would have been kissing partners even sooner! I fully expect kissing in the GOTG sequel, or there shall be rioting.

  • cruzzercruz

    Denied for lacking star power when three of those guys combined couldn't hold up a franchise.

  • Fruity Fonzie

    LOL Sam Worthington, a piece of chalk has more IT factor than him

  • Classic

    Seriously what happened to Sam Wothington? Last I heard he was fighting papparazi. The last film I saw was the sequel to Clash of the Titans and oh boy was that awful.

  • DACH

    I saw him in Man on a Ledge, and though it was kind of a goofy thriller, it was very entertaining and he did well it in.

  • kerton

    He's preparing for Avatar 2
    And 3
    and 4.

    And that's about it.

  • Mythra Sun

    If you want to see him with shaved head and billy goat facial hair, go watch Sabotage...better yet, don't. I expect people like like Arnie, Joe Man-Jello, Terrance Baby-Wipes Howard to embarrass themselves for a paycheck, but Mireille Enos really lost a lot of "The Killing" goodwill she built up. She was straight up atrocious. However, Sam Worthington wasn't as bland as usual in the movie if it's any consolation

  • Nastee

    First off, I didn't think the movie was that bad. There are not many pure action movies such as this anymore, and I thought it was fairly fine for what it was. Not spectacular, but a passable way to lose a couple of hours.
    Mireille Enos for me was the one who even if the movie was outright awful, would come out unscathed. She was given the role of a vulgar, drugged-out corrupted woman and ran with it. I thought her performance was pretty good for the character she was given.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    JUST from having to sit through the trailer, I got the impression Mireille Enos was going the Mary-Louise Parker route here - feeling the itch to swap some serious actor cred for the chance to look hawt and act out.

  • Classic

    LMAO. Thanks for the heads up it sounds awful. He really did not follow up on the promise of his career after Avatar. Everyone called him the next big thing. I guess if he's not starring in Dances with Blue people no one cares.

  • Joseph Finn

    And yet, he seems like a decent fellow who you kind of wish had more charisma.

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