April 25, 2024

Chris Pratt Says His Original Mario Voice Sounded Too Much Like Tony Soprano

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Chris Pratt says that the original voice he tried to use as the titular character in the new film, The Super Mario Bros., sounded too much like Tony Soprano. The directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, told him he had to switch it up as to not sound like he was copying James Gandolfini’s character in the iconic HBO series.

“For a minute, I walked in and they were like, ‘That’s a little New Jersey. You’re doing a Tony Soprano thing,’” Pratt said during a new interview with Entertainment Weekly. “[The voice] was a really exciting and daunting challenge. Talking to these guys, they say, ‘You wanna do the Mario movie?’ I think both [Charlie Day and I] said yes. Didn’t even ask, ‘What’s the deal? What’s the story?’ ‘Yes, I’m in.’ And then we had to really dig in and figure out…are they Italian? Are they American?”

Chris Pratt & Charlie Day At A Screening Of “The Super Mario Bros.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 01: (L-R) Chris Pratt and Charlie Day attend a Special Screening of Universal Pictures’ “The Super Mario Bros.” at Regal LA Live on April 01, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)

Pratt added: “We know a little bit about Charles Martinet’s voice that he’s sprinkled in there with the ‘Wahoo!’ and ‘It’s-a me!’ and these Mario things, but how do you craft a 90-minute narrative with an emotional through-line and create a living, breathing person about who you’ll care?” Pratt’s costar, Charlie Day, who voices Luigi, added: “We tried different things, different voices. Every now and then they would say, ‘Charlie, maybe a little less ‘Goodfellas’ in this one’ — I’m like, ‘Alright! I think you’re wrong, but fine!’ — until they landed on something they liked.”

The casting of Pratt in the lead role originally received backlash as he is not actually Italian. Horvath defended the decision to Total Film magazine, last month. He argued: “For us, it made total sense. [Chris is] really good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart. For the way that Mario is characterized in our film, he’s perfect for it.”

“The Super Mario Bros.” Trailer

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