Chris Pratt Bombed His First ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Audition

in Marvel, Movies

Chris Pratt Actor and Guardians of the Galaxy movie moment

Credit: Inside the Magic

While it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the Star-Lord/Peter Quill role in the Guardians of the Galaxy series (2014, 2017, 2023), Chris Pratt almost didn’t get the part after a particularly disastrous screen test.

The whole Guardians of the Galaxy crew
Credit: Marvel Studios

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Originally breaking through with his performance as Andy Dwyer in Parks & Recreation (2009-2015), Chris Pratt has become a megastar with performances in Moneyball (2011), The Lego Movie (2014), the Jurassic World films (2015, 2018, 2022), The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023), and, of course, Guardians of the Galaxy. However, he almost didn’t get to play Peter Quill.

Director James Gunn was having trouble finding his Star-Lord, and Marvel’s recommendations weren’t especially helpful. He had seen Shazam! (2019) ‘s Zachary Levi and Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-present), but neither clicked for Gunn.

But once he saw Chris Pratt, Gunn declared he was the perfect choice only seconds into his initial audition. They only had to convince Marvel that Pratt was fit for the part. And his first impression wasn’t great.

James Gunn: “I Don’t Know What You’re Doing, But You’re Blowing It.” 

Chris Pratt crying as he decides whether or not to shoot Gamora.
Credit: Marvel Studios

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Pratt told the story of his first screen test for Star-Lord and how it didn’t go well. At all.

During his audition, director James Gunn stopped Pratt and told the actor, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but you’re blowing it.” The director would then try to motivate Pratt by saying, “This is the moment right now. You just need to stop doing whatever you’re doing and just be real. Just be you.”

Drax (Dave Bautista)
Credit: Marvel Studios

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However, all Pratt heard was, “You’re blowing it, you’re blowing it.”

Fortunately, Gunn had an idea. He brought in Dave Bautista, who was auditioning to play Drax, and had the two improvise together. Marvel executives loved the chemistry between the two actors, and both were ultimately cast in their respective parts.

Chris Pratt Wasn’t the Only One

Karen Gillan Nebula using her arm cannon in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Credit: Marvel Studios

Chris Pratt wasn’t the only one with audition issues in the beginning. When Karen Gillan was auditioning for Nebula, she originally spoke with her standard Scottish accent, which Marvel didn’t like.

According to Gillan, Gunn also approached her, telling her to “do Marilyn Monroe/Clint Eastwood.” Thus, this iconic version of Nebula was born.

Marvel movies are known for their impeccable casting, but the ensemble for the Guardians of the Galaxy movies feels especially perfect. And that’s all thanks to James Gunn’s vision.

Do you think there was a better choice for Star-Lord? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Marvel, Movies

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