There was a time when Chris Pratt seemed destined to play the goofy-but-lovable lug for the rest of his career. So good was he as just such a lug on Parks and Recreation, that it was hard to imagine him as anything else. He also looked the part: cherub-faced, scruffy, and just the right amount of pinchable pudge. And then, something happened. In a chicken-and-egg scenario, Pratt began to transform himself around the same time Marvel Studios tapped him as their next superhero, as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens today. Pratt began sharing selfies of his newly shredded physique, and was quickly transforming from comedic relief to leading man. He’s since booked another action hero role in next summer’s Jurassic World, and has been showing up to Guardians press events looking every bit the movie star he seems destined to be. Who knew that under all that shag and blubber, lay the paragon of American masculinity? A look at his epic transformation below.