An idea sent to sleep with the fishes
The vitriol surrounding the announcement of Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario in the Super Mario Bros. movie was pretty intense. People were absolutely enraged by the decision, with many pledging not to see the film because of the decision. Now that the movie is out and we’ve seen Pratt’s performance, most have labeled it as inoffensive at worst and fine at best.
As has been noted in previous interviews, Pratt took awhile to find the voice for Mario and went through a number of tests. What we hadn’t heard previously is the various directions Pratt went when trying to find the right voice. Thanks to a feature from Variety, we now know that Pratt channeled a New Jersey native in one of his takes.
Pratt reveals that one of his ideas for Mario’s voice was shot down because the directors felt it sounded too much like Tony Soprano, the titular character of the HBO show, The Sopranos.
“For a minute, I walked in and they were like, ‘That’s a little New Jersey. You’re doing a Tony Soprano thing.’ [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?”
Of course, now we all want to hear what this Soprano-style voice for Mario would have sounded like. Hopefully someone on the talk show circuit catches wind of this interview and gets Pratt to perform it!