Chris Pratt Wanted To Be In The ‘Strangers With Candy’ Movie So Bad That It Ended Up Costing Him $3,000

Chris Pratt stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert this week to promote his latest film, The Magnificent Seven, out on Friday — but unbeknownst to many, this was actually something of a reunion for Pratt and Colbert. See, before Parks and Recreation, or Jurassic World, or Guardians of the Galaxy… Chris Pratt appeared in a little “cult hit” (as he puts it) called Strangers with Candy in 2005, which starred Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Paul Dinello, among other big names.

He may be an A-list movie star now, but Strangers with Candy was Pratt’s first big screen role (playing Sedaris’ love interest), and he was so hungry for the chance to work with comedy legends that he ended up paying $3,000 to appear in the movie. Which is not to say they didn’t pay him, but the budget for the project was so small that they had to hire someone local to New York City for Pratt’s role, and at the time he was living in Los Angeles where he was filming the CW’s Everwood. So he had to not only lie about being a resident to secure the part, but pay for all of his own transportation and lodging. While he initially thought he would “break even,” an emergency trip back to L.A. put him in the red.

And as if it wasn’t already perfectly obvious, Pratt says it was all worth it in the end. Even Colbert recalls thinking at the time, “That guy’s really nice. I hope he works!”

Speaking of Pratt being a nice, down-to-earth guy, later on the show he talked about how meeting his wife Anna Faris while she was a major star and he was still relatively unknown kept him grounded, by observing how people treated her: “That was a good lesson for me, coming into this, the last couple years of my life, because you start to realize you can be surrounded by people who are gonna be deferential and kind of a ‘yes man’ and you know, it taught me some important lessons and I was able to see that you gotta really nurture the relationships with people that you have, who will call you on your bullsh*t.” So that’s how he does it.