Chris Pratt Reveals His First Mario Voice Was Kiboshed For Sounding Like Tony Soprano


By Brent Furdyk.

With “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” breaking box-office records in its opening weekend, star Chris Pratt — who voices Mario — reveals the vocal characterization he uses in the movie wasn’t his first choice.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, he recalls the film’s directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, kiboshing his first attempt at embodying the video-game plumber because it sounded too much like a certain TV mob boss.

“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.

READ MORE: ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Sets Box-Office Record With $368M Opening Weekend

“[The voice] was a really exciting and daunting challenge,” Pratt admitted. “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?”

As Pratt pointed out, there’s not much inspiration to be drawn from the “Super Mario Bros.” video games.

“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 said.

READ MORE: Chris Pratt Addresses Criticism Against His ‘Super Mario Bros. Movie’ Casting: ‘I Totally Get It’ 

Charlie Day, who voices Mario’s brother, Luigi, admitted he experienced similar issues when coming up with his take on the character.

“We tried different things, different voices,” explained the “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star. “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.”

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