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Chris Pratt Credits Lake Stevens for Inspiring His Latest Starring Role
The Viking Grad tells Frontier Village & LSHS tales on the National stage ahead of Super Mario Bros release
“You can take the kid out of Lake Stevens, but you can't take Lake Stevens out of the kid. That sensibility has really helped me when I've been playing these blue-collar heroes."
- Chris Pratt
As “The Super Mario Bros Movie” opens worldwide, Lake Stevens native Chris Pratt is repeatedly telling a global audience about the benefits of growing up 425.
In recent promotional interviews, Pratt traced his deep history with the character Mario to Frontier Village, Lake Stevens.
(Hit play in the twitter video below for our Pratt promo, volume up.)
Pratt says he remembers exactly where he first met Mario: playing Super Mario Bros arcade at Fowlds Dry Cleaners in Lake Stevens (for reference, this was located right around Papa Murphy’s and the tanning salon in Frontier Village) - a hobby he’d fuel by checking coin returns for forgotten change at Alfy’s (now Papa’s).
"After school, my routine was to go to Alfy's Pizza and check the coin return on the jukebox. People thought the machine would eat their change. But it pooled right at the back. Their hands couldn't fit. But my little nine-year-old hands did."
"I'd get quarters, walk over to Fowlds and play Super Mario Bros. Even if I didn't have quarters, I'd just watch. That really drove me to take the role. It felt like kismet to be able to voice a character that I was so obsessed with as a kid."
Pratt also saw similarities between Mario and Luigi and the "blue-collar American experience" he had when he was growing up in Lake Stevens.
"I think that's why they wanted me to voice the character of Mario. You can take the kid out of Lake Stevens, but you can't take Lake Stevens out of the kid. That sensibility has really helped me when I've been playing these blue-collar heroes."
Pratt moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Lake Stevens around 1987.
"I still have family in Washington. My mom now lives in Arlington. My sister had lived in Everett. I still get up to the San Juan Islands where I have a place. It's been a while since I've been in Lake Stevens, but I spent my whole childhood through graduating high school there."
And Pratt credits Lake Stevens High School for his first taste of performing.
"There was a really beautiful performing arts center at the school with a great theater. I did my first play there."
At this point in time, though, Pratt relates that he was more interested in sports, in particular football and wrestling. In a AP interview, Pratt credits these athletic teams as being just as integral for his acting career as any theater class.
"At an early age, I realized I'm actually tougher than I thought. I got pushed into territory where I thought I was going to break, but didn't. I was also able to get in good physical shape, which has helped me when I have played action-type heroes. It's also the character building, being part of a team and dedicating yourself to something that’s bigger than yourself. There’s a lot of that in filmmaking and television."
Editor’s Note: J425 & Chris Pratt
J425 has profiled Chris numerous times and he’s always been proud of his Lake Stevens roots.
He also has a knack for staying real: Chris called me out of nowhere and left me a heartfelt 3 min voice message when my dad was dying in 2020.
Chris was in Nashville filming a Jurassic Park installment but somehow he’d heard about my dad and in between killing velociraptors his thoughts were back home with me — and the message wasn’t a cheapie either IIRC he had some bible verse and some advice and some humor. He’s just that kind of guy.
As far as J425 and its forerunners’ coverage of CO…We asked Chris to join us at the inauguration of the new football stadium after a successful levy in the late 2000s. He flew up for kickoff and hung out on the sidelines, his former wife giving cheerleading tips to the junior Viking cheer.
I also sat down with Chris after a class reunion and wrote this column:
Chris Pratt and the Lost Mural
Viking grad Alex Petrakopolous maintains some of the closest ties with Chris — and a huge mural that occupied the entire side of Omega Pizza and Pasta in Granite Falls was actually a 1/1 Chris Pratt authentic painting. Alex thought it was ugly though and painted over it recently 😂. Tough crowd.