Chris Pratt on the cover of Esquire Credit: Nigel Parry

Close call! This month, Chris Pratt stars in the record-breaking smash hit Guardians of the Galaxy—but, as he reveals in the September issue of Esquire magazine, he almost skipped the audition for the part of Peter Quill. 

"When Guardians of the Galaxy was pitched to me, I said, 'I don't think so,'" Pratt, 35, explains. "I just didn't picture myself getting the role." 

"I didn't want to go and embarrass myself like I did when I auditioned for G.I. Joe a couple of years previously," the Parks and Recreation actor continued. "I went in there, and halfway through I saw the director's eyes just glaze over. It made sense—I was a little heavy and out of shape. I was not gonna play someone from G.I. Joe. I did not look like a G.I. Joe action figure come to life."

Luckily for Pratt and audiences everywhere, he got in superhero shape, losing major weight and toning his muscles before the filming for Guardians of the Galaxy commenced. 

"I can do 40-inch box jumps now," Pratt added to Esquire. "Action-hero physical stuff. Jumping that high feels really good. You see a giant hillside, and you think, I wanna get up that. You see a building, you think, I could climb that. When you get in shape, the world around you becomes things you wanna jump on and climb up."

His hard work paid off—not just in his personal achievements, but for Guardians of the Galaxy, as well. The Marvel flick broke box office records, making $94.32 million in its opening weekend. 

Pratt looks noticeably trim and dapper on the cover of Esquire, which is available on newsstands on Aug. 12. He wears a chic grey suit with a white collared shirt and a tie. Inside the issue, he looks equally hunky, wearing suits as he goes on outdoor adventures.