LOS ANGELES • Actor Chris Pratt swopped his superhero gear for a suit last Friday as he was awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
The 37-year-old was known as lovable slacker Andy Dwyer on the NBC comedy Parks And Recreation (2009-2015), but has since become one of Hollywood's most sought-after leading men, thanks to roles in Jurassic World (2015) and Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014).
"I'm a man of faith and I believe that God works in mysterious ways and gives us signs and gifts in life. And those gifts oftentimes come in the form of people," he said, paying tribute to his mother.
"Oftentimes we weren't cash- rich, but we were never love-poor."
He thanked film-maker James Gunn for casting him as Star-Lord in Guardians and acknowledged Marvel for "taking a chance on the chubby guy from Parks And Rec".
He also paid a lengthy tribute to his wife, actress Anna Faris: "Without you, none of this would mean anything."
Pratt, once a moderately successful TV actor, went to great lengths to build an action hero's physique and was rewarded with his first major part in Guardians, which went on to gross more than US$770 million worldwide.
The sequel, due out on May 5 (in Singapore this week), is expected to do even bigger business.
Faris, with whom Pratt has a four-year-old boy, showed the crowd a unicorn Pratt had drawn her before thanking the many friends and family who had helped shape her husband.
"I know that if our circumstances were different, and we weren't as fortunate to be standing here and leading our Hollywood life, we would be happy in the woods together," she said.
Raised in Lake Stevens, Washington, Pratt studied acting at a local community college for half a semester before moving to Hawaii and living in a van.
He got a job at a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co restaurant where he was discovered by actress Rae Dawn Chong, who gave him a role in her directorial debut, the horror film Cursed Part III, which was never released.
His other movie credits include The Magnificent Seven (2016), Passengers (2016) and Moneyball (2011).