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Chris Pratt Was a Wrestler Who Turned into a Hollywood Superstar

Did you know that raptor trainer, master builder, Star-Lord, Chris Pratt was a wrestler? That’s right, the blockbuster movie star, most known for his role as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy, wrestled at Lake Stevens High School in the 1990’s.

Chris Pratt was originally a wrestler who eventually turned into a complete Hollywood superstar. Even though his wrestling career ended after high school graduation, he kept the skills and lessons from the sport with him throughout his life.

chris pratt high school wrestling

Chris Pratt’s Wrestling Career

Chris Pratt is one of many celebrities who had a high school wrestling career. He donned a singlet for 12 years before he graduated in 1997 with some stellar successes on and off the mat. He wrestled at Lake Stevens, a 4A division high school in the state of Washington.

Chris was not just a standout athlete in wrestling, but he also competed in football and track. Outside of competing in sports, he earned a 3.66 GPA, was voted the class clown, and worked at a burger joint.

And when he wasn’t flipping burgers, he was flipping kids on the mat. During his senior year, Chris Pratt even placed 5th at the Washington state tournament at 215 lbs. Pratt was able to place at the tournament due to phenomenal coaching from his high school coach, Brent Barnes.

Relationship with Coach Brent Barnes

Chris was coached by the well-decorated Brent Barnes, who has been the head coach at Lake Stevens for over thirty years. Since 1990, “Berserker Barnes,” as the team calls him, has coached over 40 individual state champs, including a girls state champ. He has also coached nearly 200 state placers, including Pratt.

Chris had a special relationship with his coach. He once told Coach Barnes that he doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up; however, he knew he would “be famous and make a sh*t-ton of money.” With over seven figure paychecks, he did make a ton of money; however, his success didn’t happen overnight.

From Homeless Waiter to Star-Lord

After attending community college for a brief stint, Pratt dropped out. He then moved to Hawaii, worked at Bubba Gump, and slept in a van by the beach. It was then when he was discovered as an actor Rae Dawn Chong. Pratt was waiting on her table in Maui and flat out asked for a role in one of her movies.

Although that movie was never released, Pratt went on to star in massive box office hits after years of climbing the ladder in Hollywood. He became famous as Andy Dwyer on television’s Parks & Rec, but really broke out as Star-Lord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Although some actors may enjoy living the lavish life and forget their roots, Pratt’s high school football coach says that Chris never forgot where he came from. He was a wrestler who turned into a Hollywood star! He even used his acting and directing skills to create a wrestling documentary about his high school.

Pratt’s Wrestling Documentary

Chris Pratt travelled back to his alma mater in 2011 to film a documentary about the Lake Stevens High School wrestling team. The documentary, called “On the Mat,” was about the tough, everyday grind that wrestlers go through on a regular basis in the wrestling room. It also detailed the team’s 7 state titles in the last 10 years.

The “On the Mat” documentary went on to air at the Tribeca Film Festival and won an award in 2012 for the Best Online Feature.

Never Forgetting His Roots

Chris Pratt is one of Hollywood’s biggest box office stars right now, yet he still never forgets his roots. He constantly gives shout outs to USA wrestling teams and gives back to his community because he believes “it’s important to me to use this platform to give back.”

What did Pratt Learn from Wrestling?

To this day, Chris Pratt still thinks back on his wrestling career and says that, “The sport of wrestling really changed my life for the better.” But how did his wrestling skills transfer to acting?

If you’re a fan of the actor, then you know that his roles have been very drastic as far as his body image is concerned. He was upwards of 300 lbs for his roles in Delivery Man and Parks & Rec, then had to cut over 70 lbs in a few months to make his debut as Star-Lord. He’s gained and lost weight more than most people in Hollywood, and he credits his wrestling career for that. After all, which other athletes can lose weight overnight like that?

Ultimately, Chris Pratt was a wrestler who turned into a Hollywood superstar worth over $60 million today. The lesson we can take away from him is that even with immense stardom, we should take lessons from our past to help propel us forward; however, we should never forget our roots.