Chris Pratt was 'surprised' by the backlash he got for his Super Mario voice
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Chris Pratt has addressed the backlash over his accent in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, revealing he sampled different twangs before settling for the character's final voice.
The Marvel star was announced in the role of the iconic plumber hero in September 2021, together with The Northman's Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Charlie Day as Mario's brother, Luigi.
Check out the trailer here:
Unlike Charles Martinet, the original voice actor of Mario and Luigi in the Nintendo video games, Pratt didn't choose to play his protagonist with a strong Italian-American accent, opting for a subtler tone instead.
His decision didn't sit well with fans of the original games, who slammed his portrayal when the trailer came out last October, with some English-speaking viewers going as far as saying they'd rather watch it dubbed in French.
Ahead of the movie debuting in cinemas tomorrow (5 April), the Jurassic World star explained the process behind finding Mario's voice, admitting he was 'surprised' by the negative reactions to his performance.
"To develop the voice, I sampled various Italian and New York accents," Pratt told Variety in an email.
"As the directors and I developed the character, we came to land on a voice that is different than Charles Martinet's version of Mario, but also different from my own voice."
"My hope is that people will come into the movie with an open mind and that once they see the film, any criticism around Mario's accent will disappear," he added.
The actor has previously urged fans to go watch the movie before voicing their criticisms, assuring the film 'really honors' the game.
"In all honesty, the answer though is that this is a passionate fan base, and I understand, I'm a part of it," Pratt told ExtraTV last month.
"This is the soundtrack to your youth, and you don't want someone to come along and cynically destroy it as a cash grab with the movie, " he continued, adding: "I fully understand that you do not want that to happen and there were so many hearts and souls and minds dedicated to making sure that didn't happen.
"The movie really honors the video game."
The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits cinemas on 5 April.