TIME movies

Chris Pratt Was Turned Down for Roles in Star Trek and Avatar

2014 MTV Movie Awards - Arrivals
Steve Granitz—WireImage LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 13: Actor Chris Pratt attends the 2014 MTV Movie Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

He's come a long way from that time he was on The O.C.

After several failures to launch, Chris Pratt is finally going to outer space — at least, in the movies.

The Parks and Recreation actor is starring in the upcoming superhero flick Guardians of the Galaxy, but he had to face plenty of intergalactic rejection before he could bring the Marvel comic book character of Star-Lord to life on screen.

In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, Pratt explains how he auditioned for the roles of Jake Sully in Avatar and Captain Kirk in the reboot of Star Trek. Pratt remembers the Avatar audition as particularly rough:

“They said they want somebody that has ‘that thing,’ that ‘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, probably … I figured, I’ll find a way to make money and if that means I’m playing character roles, that’s terrific. People have to work. I just don’t want it to be at a f—ing restaurant.”

At least Pratt now stars alongside Zoe Saldana, who did land roles in Star Trek and Avatar and who dresses up like another colorful alien in Guardians (this time in green), so it’s not like he really missed out on anything.

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