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Chris Pratt on 20 years in Hollywood: 'I was a dude with a dream living in a van'

"It's hard to believe," he wrote about his ascent to the A-list.
/ Source: TODAY

Twenty years ago, Chris Pratt was "a dude with a dream living in a van" and he moved to Los Angeles "with one sweater, two pairs of shorts and some rollerblades in a duffel bag."

Today, he's one of Hollywood's most sought-after actors, with roles in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Jurassic World" franchises.

And on Tuesday, as he posted a slate that indicated the start of principal photography on his new TV series, "The Terminal List," he took a moment to reflect on that journey:

"Yesterday we began principal photography on 'The Terminal List' Based in the best selling Jack Carr novel, and coming soon to Amazon," he began. "Antoine Fuqua is absolutely killing it!! (We last worked together on Magnificent 7.) This is the first of many projects coming through my producing entity, Indivisible Productions."

He noted that he was full of awe: "I look around and see the trailers, the trucks, the cast and crew, hundreds of masked and shielded Angelenos getting back to work, adhering strictly to our covid protocols, and I look at the mountain of work ahead of us and my heart just swells.

"Onward" Press Conference
Chris Pratt at the "Onward" press conference in Beverly Hills, California, in 2020.Vera Anderson / WireImage

"It’s hard to believe," he continued. "20 years ago I was a dude with a dream living in a van. I moved to LA with one sweater, two pairs of shorts and some rollerblades in a duffel bag. So... needless to say, this town has been good to me. I’m grateful. Hollywood gets a bad (rap). We have our share of weirdos and no shortage of whackos. But it makes room for talent, hard work and a willingness to never be stop learning. I’m still hungry, eager to grow and determined to surprise you. Take my word for it, James Reece is a one rowdy mother f——er. Get ready!"

Pratt stars as the "rowdy" Reece in "Terminal," a thriller about a Navy SEAL.

This isn't the first time that Pratt, 41, has given thanks for his good fortune. In 2017 he talked to Vanity Fair about why he credited God for his success, and in 2019 he went on Instagram to remind everyone of the humble, minimium-wage jobs he held before becoming a much-desired actor.

Based on his own recountings, he's sold coupons "for things like oil changes or trips to a spa" in Lake Stevens, Washington, where he grew up; he later worked at a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant in Hawaii, where he met actor Rae Dawn Chong, who got him cast in 2000's "Cursed Part 3." And after a stint on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," he landed the plum role in "Guardians" in 2014, and has been on an upward trajectory ever since.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, from left: Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, 2014. ph: Jay Maidment/(C)Walt Disney
Zoe Saldana and Pratt in "Guardians of the Galaxy."(C)Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Such twists of fate, he said in 2017, are "why I believe in God and the divine. I feel like it was perfectly planned."

And also probably why he likes to speak up every so often to give thanks.