Beverly Hills, Calif. • The only member of the “Everwood” main cast who didn’t make a 15th-anniversary show reunion earlier this summer was Chris Pratt — he was in the midst of filming back-to-back “Avengers” movies.
But the rest of the cast, appearing on a panel before television critics in Beverly Hills, had nothing but kind words for their former co-star, who was a neophyte actor when the series began.
Stephanie Niznik recalled Pratt saying, “I am learning how to act, and I hope you don’t mind if I hang out and watch what you are doing.′ He always made it clear that he was looking to learn from everybody, and that really impressed me. I think it paid off for him. He’s so good.”
John Beasley, who played Pratt’s stepgrandfather in “Everwood,” said he “hung out quite a bit” with the then-23-year-old, teaching him how to play tennis and golf.
“I told him that he was going to be a star. And he had all of the qualities. Great personality. He was a good-looking white boy,” Beasley said with a laugh. “I had no idea he was going to be Chris Pratt, Chris Pratt, but he’s just a great guy. And he deserves everything he gets.”
“Definitely,” agreed VanCamp, who dated Pratt while they played siblings in “Everwood.”
Pratt made a big impression with his big appetite.
Niznik recalled him packing the food away at Thanksgiving. “I have never seen anybody who could eat more turkey in my life.”
“He could eat,” Beasley added.
VanCamp reminisced about Pratt singlehandedly eating “a steak for four” after she and Gregory Smith “made a bet with him he couldn’t eat the whole thing.”
“And he had already had dinner,” Smith added.
It wasn’t just off-set. He ate a lot when they were filming “Everwood’s” not-infrequent dinner scenes.
“He would sit down and do a take, and he would eat,” said Tom Amandes, who played the father of Pratt’s character, Bright Abbott. “And we’d call cut, and he would still be eating.”
“He would eat for the four hours we would shoot a scene,” VanCamp said.
One scene in one of Pratt’s big box-office hits was something his “Everwood” castmates had seen while they were filming the TV series.
“He did this stupid dance where he’d grab one leg and kick the leg back and forth,” Amandes said, “and I thought that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He had me on the floor laughing.
“And he somehow stuck it into ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ He got his dance into that movie. So we are proud of him.”