Chris Pratt’s Super Marios Bros voice became too Tony Soprano at first
Co-star Charlie Day added that the producers thought he would be too “Good-guy” as Luigi.
Chris Pratt was too cranky for his first attempt at the Mario voice.
The “Super Mario Bros. Movie” actor revealed that he was talking about a stereotypical Italian-American voice bordering on a “Sopranos” parody.
“I walked in for a minute and they said, ‘This is a little bit of New Jersey. You’re doing a Tony Soprano,’” Pratt said Entertainment Weekly.
He continued: “It was a really exciting and scary challenge. Talking to these guys, they say, “Do you want to do the Mario movie?” I think we both said yes. He didn’t even ask, “What’s up? What’s the story?’ “Yes, I’m in.” And then we had to really dig into it and find out, are they Italian? Americans? Little is known about Charles Martinet’s voice, that he was sprinkled with “Wahoo!” and I am!” and all this Mario stuff, but how do you make a 90-minute narrative with an emotional line and create a living, breathing person that you’re going to care about?”
Charlie Day, who voices Mario’s older brother Luigi, shared that he was more inspired by Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” and was convinced that it would be the best direction for the animated film.
“We tried different things, different sounds,” Day said. Sometimes they said, “Charlie, maybe a little less of a good guy in this one,” and I think, “Okay! I think you’re wrong, but okay! – until they found something they liked.”
“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” producer and Illumination Studios founder and CEO Chris Meledandri quelled any doubts about the cast’s lack of Italian ethnicity ahead of the film’s release.
“We are working with Chris (Pratt) and his experienced team to create not just a character film, but a new piece of entertainment that brings ‘Super Mario Bros.’ to life on screen and allows everyone to enjoy it, whether they can game or not,” said Meledandri at the CineEurope meeting. “When people hear Chris Pratt perform, the criticism goes away, maybe not completely — people like to have an opinion, as they should.”
Meledandri continued, “I’m not sure it’s the smartest defense, but as someone of Italian-American heritage, I feel like I can make that decision without worrying about offending Italians or Italian-Americans…be good.”
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