Chris Pratt Talks His Big 4 Goals As A Hollywood Actor And How He Blew Through His First $75K Paycheck Fast

 Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Chris Pratt as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

It’s hard to believe that there was ever a time that Chris Pratt struggled as an actor. It seems like he’s practically in everything now, from voicing Garfield in the newly-released The Garfield Movie to having the lead role in the Amazon series The Terminal List. To go from waiting tables to his initial television roles in Everwood and Parks and Recreation, to starring in big Hollywood blockbusters is a working actor’s dream come true. Now that Pratt’s acting career isn’t slowing down anytime soon, he talked about what his four career goals are and the way he blew through his first $75K paycheck fast.

It was reported back in 2021 that Chris Pratt was one of the big-name actors reportedly earning a massive salary for his streaming show The Terminal List. Not to mention, his recent movies have been high-grossing at the box office, like The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, it was revealed on SiriusXM that Samuel L. Jackson is still the highest-grossing actor of all time thanks to Avengers: Endgame, with Pratt at the #4 spot. That said, the Marvel star revealed being a high-grossing actor was never a priority to him, and that he has other goals in mind:

I didn't think about it until someone brought it up to me and they're like, ‘Samuel L. Jackson's the highest gross movie star of all time.’ You know, there's not a ton of tangible goals really. When you think about Hollywood, you think about, becoming an actor, you know, there's a small handful of things that from the outside you could go, ‘Wow, that'd be really cool.’ You know, winning an Oscar, winning a Golden Globe or a Hollywood Star or, you know, hosting SNL. These kinds of things that you see, you're like, ‘Wow, God. How trippy would it be to be able to do that one day,’ you know? But other than that, it's just like, for me, it was always like an on off switch and the success was am I still waiting tables or not? And if I'm paying for my lifestyle through acting, that was success, so it's been like that for 20 plus years now.

That’s a good way of looking at it, as not everyone out there who dreams of being an actor is able to make that happen. Before becoming an actor, something amazing to know about Chris Pratt is that he was working as a waiter at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, where he waited on actress/director Rae Dawn Chong. It was through her that he was cast in her directorial debut, the short film Cursed Part 3. After making appearances on various shows, he landed his life-changing role as Andy in Parks and Recreation, who was originally a temporary character. Then, 2014 became the year of Chris Pratt, first leading The Lego Movie and then landing the role of Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Based on Chris Pratt’s four main Hollywood goals, it looks like he accomplished one so far back in 2014 when he kicked off season 40 of Saturday Night Live as its host. But his trophy shelf doesn't consist yet of a Golden Globe, Oscar, or star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But like the Jurassic World actor said, he has been in the business for over two decades and his career is soaring, and he seems to know about fortunate he is. He’s still got time. The Moneyball actor explains what it means to him knowing he made it in the entertainment industry.

It's an interesting question. It's incrementally, my perspective has shifted over time, and it's been small incremental steps getting to where I am right now, but making it was, you know, the first time I made it, I was in a commercial and my friends from my hometown were gathering around the TV like, ‘Dude, we saw you in that Carl Jr. commercial. You made it,’ and I was like, ‘Hell yeah,’ and then it was, the biggest one was, you know, there's getting your SAG card, there's getting representation, there's all these little steps that you have to do in order to make it, but what the big thing is essentially, I did a TV show called Everwood back in 2003 maybe. 21 years ago, and I bought my mom a house. That's when I felt like I made it.

Chris Pratt starred in 89 episodes of Everwood playing Bright Abbott from 2002-2006. If he was able to find a job that gave him enough money to buy his mother a house, I would absolutely say he “made it” too. It also shows what a generous guy Pratt is to give a gift like that to his mom. But with the bankable actor’s newfound fame, reality gave him a slap in the face when he realized the big money he was making was capable of running out.

Oh, no. No. No. I was under the impression that I would never run out of money. The first paycheck I got, I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I mean, you know, I had lived on very little money for a long time, so the first big job I got, I remember was it was called a Schedule F job, and this was a TV movie. I got paid $75,000 and I was like, ‘I'm never gonna wait again. Fuck you bitches. I am leaving,’ and then about two months later, I was like, ‘Where'd that money go?’ I went back to Maui, I went to Australia, I traveled the world. I was like, ‘Well, I'm gonna probably invest, I'm probably gonna get a yacht.’ I didn't know how, that was just a crazy amount of money to me. I never could have possibly imagined making that amount of money and it went very quickly, and so then it's like, you know, slowly your life gets a little bigger and it costs a little bit more money, and then you know, because also we never had any money growing up. No one ever taught me financial literacy. I didn't know what to do with money. It was like, it would come in, I would spend it, you know what I mean? It took a good amount of time for me to kind of stop and say, ‘Alright, I gotta get wise about this.’ I have to think about what am I gonna do? How am I gonna get to the point to where if I stop working one day, I'll still be okay? My family will be okay, so kind of coming up with a financial literacy plan, you know, later in my life was sort of one of the steps of me growing up.

I can understand where Chris Pratt is coming from, as he started off as a guy living in and out of his car to making serious bank because of his acting roles. When you see a dollar sign on your paycheck that’s bigger than you’ve ever gotten, you can’t help but splurge for things you never could before. But as life gets expensive, money is always capable of running out, and it’s important to pace yourself. Luckily, it looks like this was a mistake that the leading man learned from, leading to him understanding the significance of making a financial plan.

As Chris Pratt continues on with his acting career, he said his goal in the industry would be if he could score some major awards. Considering MCU actor Robert Downey Jr. just won an Oscar for Oppenheimer for the first time in his career, I think Pratt has a shot himself one day too. Plus, it looks like he’s grown a lot from the fresh-faced actor who blew $75K all at once. Right now, he’s got a promising acting career and a family to come home to. His 2024 movie release of The Garfield Movie is playing in theaters now.