Chris Pratt Says He Was Encouraged to Gain Weight While on 'Parks and Recreation'

Chris Pratt Amy Poehler
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Chris Pratt, of course, wasn't always the super fit blockbuster star he is today.

Chris Pratt, of course, wasn't always the super fit blockbuster star he is today.

The 40-year-old actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, and was asked about his "pudgy" physique while on Parks and Recreation. Pratt starred as Andy Dwyer in the beloved comedy series from 2009-2015, before becoming better known for his leading roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic Park. While Pratt said he unintentionally got "a little fat" in the first few seasons of the show, he then actually wanted to gain more weight because he thought he was funnier that way.

"Well, I remember in the first couple of seasons, just unintentionally, I had gotten a little fat and I was watching the episodes and I was like, 'Oh, God, Chris, you've really let yourself go,'" he says. "And then I was like, 'but this is some of the funniest stuff you've ever done.'"

Pratt says he then went to Parks and Recreation co-creator Michael Schur and said he wanted to gain another 30-40 pounds, to which Schur simply replied, "OK."

"And so I did," Pratt says. "Then it became a challenge. Everyone wanted to see how much I could eat."

Pratt recalls filming one particular scene in which he ended up eating 12 racks of ribs for laughs.

"There was a restaurant in Parks and Rec called The Jurassic Fork and that was where we would go to eat," he explains. "They gave us, you know, dinosaur-sized portions. So, I didn't have anything to say in the scene, so inevitably I wanted to get some screen time, so I decided I would eat one rack of ribs per take."

"And if the camera would happen to catch me I would absolutely just be inhaling ribs," he continues. "I went through 12 takes. I went through 12 racks of ribs, which is the equivalent of six pigs. I dined on the ribs of six different pigs."

Pratt says he specifically wanted to make his co-star Nick Offerman laugh.

"If I can make him laugh, it tickles me to no end," he says, imitating Offerman's unique chuckle. "So, I knew it was making Nick laugh. I was making myself sick, but I had 12 racks of ribs, and then at lunch, because our catering company was creating the ribs, they cooked ribs. And at lunch I sat down with another four racks of ribs, right next to Nick, and ate the ribs. I got a big laugh."

Pratt has talked about his previously fluctuating weight before. In an interview with Men's Health UK in 2015, he talked about the toll it eventually took on his health.

"I'd gone back and forth, lost weight for Moneyball, got fat again, then trimmed down for Zero Dark Thirty, then gained it all back again for Andy," Pratt told the magazine. "That's when I saw Zero Dark Thirty and right after walking out I was like: 'I'm going to get in shape and I'm never going to be fat again.'"

"I was impotent, fatigued, emotionally depressed," he continued. "I had real health issues that were affecting me in a major way. It's bad for your heart, your skin, your system, your spirit."

These days, Pratt is open with his fans on Instagram about dieting -- and, occasionally, fasting -- as well as his commitment to staying active.

Meanwhile, ET spoke to the actor on Thursday about his new film, Onward, and he teased his surprise Valentine's Day gift for his wife, Katherine Schwarzenegger. Watch the video below for more: