Chris Pratt was a television actor best known for recurring roles on the teenybopping series Everwood and The O.C. — and still four years away from the game-changing gig on Parks and Recreation — in 2007. His career was budding, no doubt, but he was far from a household name.
So it’s unlikely many of viewers of an acclaimed film released that year called The Lookout made the connection that Joseph Gordon-Levitt was playing a character named… Chris Pratt.
Turns out Pratt (the actor) had scheduled an audition for the role of Pratt (the character), a brain-damaged janitor lured into heist at the bank where he works the night shift, in the caper from writer and first-time director Scott Frank (Out of Sight).
Pratt told Yahoo Movies that he had a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to go fishing for a world-record largemouth bass in Mexico around the same time. “And so I had to postpone the audition by one week,” he said at the press day for his new Western, The Magnificent Seven. “And so when I came back, Joseph Gordon-Levitt had already been cast, so I didn’t even get the chance to audition to play Chris Pratt.
“I thought for sure it was me, that I was gonna get it. I was gonna walk in and go, ‘My name is Chris Pratt.’… [They’d say], ‘And you look like you have had a brain injury, so…'”
Just weeks earlier, we had asked Gordon-Levitt about the coincidence at the press day for his new biopic, Snowden.
“When I meet him, I will hand him a DVD of The Lookout, like, ‘This is for you, dude,‘” Gordon-Levitt said.
It seems only fair that Pratt now return the favor and play a character named Joseph Gordon-Levitt, a proposal both actors were on board with.
“I could play Joe Levitt,” Pratt laughed before taking it a step further. “When I meet him and we become best friends, which we’re gonna because I really like him, I think he’s a great guy and I love his work, I’m gonna be like, ‘Do you know my friend Joe?'”
Clearly these two have some catching up to do.
[Editor’s Note: H/t to the podcast Script Notes for reminding us of The Lookout‘s Chris Pratt connection.]