The Tip That Changed Chris Pratt's Life

Chris Pratt's life and career haven't always been on such an upward path. Not so long ago, a stranger interceded to help him find his way back on track.

Posted in , May 24, 2017

Actor Chris Pratt

The next time you go out to eat, take a close look at your server—he or she might just be the next box-office superhero. In the late nineties, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt was scraping by on tips at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Maui and living in a van by the beach. In Vanity Fair, Chris revealed the startling way he went from Hawaiian beach bum to Hollywood leading man....

A high school wrestling and theater star, Chris saw his life change dramatically after his family fell on hard times. Aimless after graduating and with few job prospects, Chris jumped at a buddy’s offer to fly him out to Hawaii.

Chris lost himself in paradise. He shared the van and a tent with five others, spending his days waiting tables and his nights in a haze of drugs and alcohol. He and his friends weren’t even 21—they’d stand outside a grocery store and get legal adults to buy beer for them.


One afternoon, Chris was waiting outside the store when a stranger approached. The man, a native Hawaiian in his forties, introduced himself as Henry. “He asked what I was doing that night,” Chris recalled. “‘You going to party?’ he asked. ‘Drink and do drugs?’ I was like, ‘I hope so.’”

Chris asked why Henry was asking. God told him to, Henry replied.

“He should have made me nervous, but he didn’t.” Instead of partying, Chris followed the man to church. From that moment forward, there was no turning back. “I surprised my friends by declaring that I was going to change my life.”

Chris cleaned up his act and took on extra shifts at the restaurant. On one of those shifts, he waited on a Holly­wood actress. Liking Chris’s look and attitude, she offered him a part in her directorial film debut.

As for the stranger who gave the onetime server his most valuable tip? Chris never saw “Henry” again.

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