In a 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, Chris Pratt told the story of how he landed his first gig. Pratt was an athlete in high school and dropped out of community college to take odd jobs, even occasionally working as a stripper. As described in a biography in EW, he eventually landed in Hawai’i, sleeping in his van and working as a waiter. It was during this part of his life that Pratt had a chance encounter with Rae Dawn Chong. As Pratt tells it to Vanity Fair, his conversation with Chong was brief, to the point, and very exciting. As Pratt re-enacts the encounter, he said “I’m your server.” Chong said “I’m Rae Dawn Chong.” He replied, “You’re a movie star.” She commented “You’re cute. Do you act?” and he says, “F***, yeah, I act. Put me in a movie.”
One might guess Pratt’s conversation was not related verbatim. Regardless, Pratt gave Chong the telephone number of his best friend Michael, as he did not have a phone in his van. Chong did end up calling — Michael nearly forgot to relay the message — and Pratt was asked to come to Los Angeles to audition for an unknown project of Chong’s. At first, Pratt turned down the opportunity, thinking he needed to buy his own plane ticket to L.A., something he could not afford at the time. Luckily, Chong could afford it, and off he went.
The reading went well, and Pratt landed the lead. The film he auditioned for was “Cursed Part 3,” a satirical horror short that Chong wrote and was directing. In a metanarrative twist, “Cursed Part 3” is about a young aspiring horror filmmaker (Donna Mills) who seeks to make her own “Blair Witch” style mockumentary.