At the Toronto Film Festival, Moviefone's Mike Ryan caught up with Pratt for a wide-ranging conversation that covered his 'Moneyball' role as catcher-turned-first baseman Scott Hatteberg, and the evolution of his 'Parks and Rec' character Andy, from a**hole to puppy dog.
Check out the best 'Parks and Rec' bits after the jump, then head on over to Moviefone to check out the conversation in its entirety.
Between this and 'Parks and Recreation,' do you worry about being typecast as the funny guy who also happens to have an injury?
Ha! Wow ...
"We really need someone who is charismatic, but is also convincing with an arm injury or a broken leg. Who can we get?"
As long as I keep getting cast, I don't care if it's typecast. I figure, anybody who had had any level of success in Hollywood who looks back and credits their planning is full of sh-t. You get to a point where you have to start planning, when you cross that line where you have enough value to get someone's movie made if you attach yourself to it, you have to be very thoughtful and have to plan. When you're starting out, you're willing to do anything. I started auditioning for f*cking Frisky's commercials. And I'd get a Carl's Jr. commercial and I'm like, "Yes! This is awesome!" I called my friends and family, "I'm going to be in a Carl's Jr. commercial!" or "I have a guest spot on a show called 'The Huntress' on USA!" or "This is awesome, I got my SAG card!" There's a huge level of absolute lack of control and you are 100 percent at the mercy of people making the powerful decisions. You walk into a casting office, you hope to God you get the role – and 99 out of 100 times you don't.
I didn't care much for 'Parks and Recreation' during its first season, but now it's one of my favorite shows. What changed?
I think it got fine-tuned. Television is such an evolving medium. When you're doing a TV show, it's not like you just shoot for six weeks and you're in an editing room with all of your footage. It's like a guitar or a car, you have to fine tune things. You stop doing what's not working, you work on what is working and you add things that do work.
Is there a particular moment that stands out for you?
I think Season 2 is great. I think Season 3, we really found our legs. I think it was the addition of Adam Scott being sort of the Dean Martin -- a very funny, but straight, reactionary character to these wild people. I think Leslie Knope going from kind of a dummy to more of a Lisa Simpson kind of character. I think using the town of Pawnee as a character itself, as like the main character ... it's kind of like Springfield in 'The Simpsons.' Do you know what I mean? You can have these super crazy, broad ideas and storylines and characters, but it is all going to be grounded in the characters that you love and know.
What did you change with Andy? I feel like in the first season, he was just kind of there -- but now he's one of the most interesting characters on the show. You're doing something different.
You know, in comedy -- at least my method -- it's important to try a ton of different things. If you go back to the first season and look at it, I played it way heavier and way lighter. And there are versions of that where I'm a real as-hole. And that's the way this character was written -- I was supposed to be written off after six episodes. I was a guest star that was supposed to disappear. But, like I said, they thought it was working. They thought some of the takes that I was doing where I didn't play an a**hole, I played it like a puppy -- earnest. And despite the fact that I'm doing these terrible things, I'm still kind of lovable. They liked that. And that was one big change. In the third episode they took a break and rewrote the last three episodes of the first season. And it ends with Andy doing a rock concert, you know? Andy should have disappeared and, instead, they kept him.
So I didn't change so much what I was doing, they just sort of catered their writing to what I was doing that was working. And as more scripts came down the pipe, I was like, "Oh, this character is now more likable than I thought originally." And I'm telling you, our fourth season is going to be our best season yet. The stuff that's coming out right now is the funniest stuff we've ever done. It's the truth. I've laughed more out loud at our table reads than I ever have before. And the addition of Rob [Lowe] and Adam, it has squared it away. I think it's the greatest show on TV.
'Parks and Recreation' Season 4 premieres Thurs., Sept. 22, 8:30PM ET on NBC