‘We tried a lot of different things’
Chris Pratt has said he is “really happy” with his voice for the role of Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and is confident fans will be won round by his performance.
In the film, which hit screens today (April 5), Mario will be played by Guardians of the Galaxy actor, with Charlie Day as Luigi and Anya Taylor-Joy as Peach – something which has sparked some criticism of the film’s “all-white” cast.
And ever since the first trailer was released for the film last autumn, fans have voiced their upset at the decision to cast Pratt in the role of Mario after hearing his voice as the character.
As someone who has no Italian heritage, there’s no Italian accent in Pratt’s voicing of the character, which means we’re probably unlikely to get lines such as “It’s-a me, Mario!” and “Let’s-a go!” delivered in quite the same way they are in the games.
But Pratt thinks that once cinema-goers watch the film, their reservations will disappear, revealing that he had discussions with movie bosses on what the best way to voice the character would be.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, he said: “There were certainly discussions of how best to voice the character.
“We tried a lot of different things and ultimately settled on the voice that you hear when you watch the movie. I’m really happy with it, and I think people are gonna really enjoy it.”
A total of two years of voicing sessions took place for the Super Mario Bros Movie, and Pratt praised directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic for how they guided the performances of the cast.
He said: “You throw a bunch of different stuff at the wall, and then they come back and go, ‘Hey, listen to this. This is a compilation of stuff that you did that we think is close to where we want it to be. Let’s work in this area.’
“At least for me, we did an audio reference pass at the beginning of every session where they were adding stuff and taking stuff away. They were determining how the voice would sound right up until the end.”
Pratt also revealed he had some actors in mind when trying to record his Mario voice, saying: “I had a few [actors] I was aiming at, but if I say them out loud, it could potentially affect people’s ability to watch the performance.
“So I won’t say it, but I had a signpost.”
Meanwhile Day, best known for his role as Charlie in long-running comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, said he took inspiration from several influences in his life when coming up with the voice of Luigi. This included his own Italian heritage and his childhood in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island.
He explained: “Knowing so many of those different accents, some are thicker than others.
“I would try versions that sounded a little more Providence than Brooklyn, but [Aaron and Michael] would steer me towards what they wanted. I enjoyed getting to do [those versions], but was happy with whatever direction they wanted to go.”