Turns out "Jurassic World" and "Parks and Recreation" star Chris Pratt has wayyy more skills than battling dinosaurs and potentially predicting the future. He's also a talented artist who's been putting paint on canvas since he was a teen.
Earlier this week, Imgur user slartibartfas posted a Chris Pratt interview from a 2003 issue of TeenPeople (#throwback). In it, Pratt talked about his love for art and revealed that he's even "painted girls I know and secretly long for." Heh.
So where can one find Pratt's masterpieces? The mural Pratt mentions in the TeenPeople interview -- "a Greek scene on the wall of my friend's restaurant" -- lives at Omega Pizza & Pasta in Granite Falls, WA. Another painting belongs to his best friend Alex Petrakopoulos, whose family owns this same restaurant. Pratt worked as a dishwasher and pizza deliveryman for Omega in his teens alongside Petrakopoulos. Petrakopoulos' mom, Barbara, paid Pratt $200 to paint the scene.
"Me and Chris met back in the fourth grade," Petrakopoulos, now 36, told MTV News over the phone. "He was quite an outstanding guy. The first day I met him, he was on top of the playground and in the middle of a huge fist fight ... An older guy was picking on a whole bunch of people, and Chris went in there and stuck up for them and put himself on the line."
It was the only school fight Pratt ever got into, Petrakopoulos said, but it led to the duo's eventual friendship: "I was thinking in my head 'I want to be friends with that guy' and I introduced myself, and ever since then we've been best friends."
Petrakopoulos was 19 when he moved to Hawaii in the late 1990s. Pratt, also 19 at the time, joined him shortly after.
"I'd always come back to visit my parents and visit the restaurant," Petrakopoulos said. "I offered to buy him [Chris] a ticket to Maui and he agreed on it. I spent my last $410 dollars that I had on me and bought Chris a one-way ticket to Maui."
The pair kept things simple during their time in Hawaii. They lived in a van or couch-surfed, Petrakopoulos said, and showered on the beach or in friends' houses. Pratt, ever the artist, even painted a shirtless self-portrait of himself. It kinda looks like a mirror selfie, except with paint. He gifted the artwork to Petrakopoulos, who now keeps the piece in his home.
"We used to live a super-simple life. This picture really represents who Chris was ... at 19 years old."
Pratt ended up meeting writer-director Rae Dawn Chong at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., a restaurant Petrakopoulos worked at on the island. Chong cast Pratt as the starring role in her 2000 short, "Cursed Part 3." It was giant leap forward in Pratt's career.
"Chris says to me all the time, Alex, if you hadn't bought me that ticket, there's no way I'd be where I am right now," Petrakopoulos said.
Pratt's fame grows and grows every day, but Petrakopoulos and him remain close friends.
"Every time he [Chris] comes to town, he'll come and visit us at the restaurant. There was one particular time ... Chris and his wife Anna Faris came walking in ... me and my brother were so busy, the whole restaurant was jam-packed full. I looked right at [Chris] and said, 'Chris, you have to wash some dishes for me. I need pots, pans, plates, silverware, everything.' ... He put on an apron ... He went straight to work. Then I looked at his wife, Anna, and I was like, 'Anna, I need you to take tables, you gotta be a waitress right now.' And she's totally down."
"No matter how big they've ever gotten, they're always down to help out," Petrakopoulos said. "They'll never be stuck-up and they're just 100% real people."