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Chris Pratt Felt Like He ‘Made It’ Blowing Through His First $75K Hollywood Paycheck

Chris Pratt paycheck
Chris PrattPhoto by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Chris Pratt might not have to worry about money anymore, but he can still remember the shock of blowing through his first Hollywood paycheck.

“The first paycheck I got, I was like, ‘Are you serious?'” Pratt, who once lived out of a van in Maui, said during SiruisXM’s Sway in the Morning on Friday, May 24. “I mean, you know, I had lived on very little money for a long time, so the first big job I got, I remember, was … a TV movie. I got paid $75,000, and I was like, ‘I’m never gonna wait [tables] again.”

Pratt, who at one point headlined Marvel’s lucrative Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, can now command a hefty payday to appear in Hollywood blockbusters. However, he explained that he “very quickly” spent his first big paycheck. “About two months later, I was like, ‘Where’d that money go?'” he said. “I went back to Maui, I went to Australia, I traveled the world…That was just a crazy amount of money to me. I never could have possibly imagined making that amount of money and it went very quickly.”

Pratt went on to tell the hosts of Sway in the Morning that he did eventually learn financial literacy.

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“I didn’t know what to do with money,” he said. “It was like, it would come in, I would spend it, you know what I mean? It took a good amount of time for me to kind of stop and say, ‘All right, I gotta get wise about this.’”

He added, “I have to think about, what am I gonna do? How am I gonna get to the point where, if I stop working one day, I’ll still be okay, my family will be okay?”

Pratt explained that because Hollywood has surprisingly few “tangible goals” to denote success in the field, he’s always had trouble deciding when he’s “made it” as an actor. The former Parks & Recreation star said his conception of success has shifted as his star has risen.

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“If I’m paying for my lifestyle through acting, that was success,” he said. “It’s been like that for 20-plus years now.” For Pratt, some of his “finally made it” moments included his hometown friends seeing him in a commercial and buying his mother a house. “That’s when I felt like I made it,” he said.

Pratt’s name has made it to the top of the list of box office draws. He stars as the titular tabby in The Garfield Movie, which hit theaters on Friday, May 24 and is currently competing with the Mad Max sequel, Furiosa, to be the weekend’s top earner.

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