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Chris Pratt ‘grateful’ for reaction to his casting as Mario

Los Angeles Premiere Of `The Terminal List`
Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt has responded to online criticism of his voice casting as Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

While speaking to io9 for a new interview, the Guardians of the Galaxy star addressed the backlash to his voice casting as the iconic video game character Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, set for release in April.

“I totally get it,” he said. “There’s a passionate fan base and I’m one of the fans. I get it. Mostly, people don’t want something like this to get screwed up. They’re precious about it. They’re careful. And I’m grateful for that.”

The actor shared that he played Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. game “for hundreds of hours” as a kid, and he was familiar with “the sound of hitting a coin, catching a flower, hearing the score”. Insisting he was a longtime fan, he continued, “Nothing really compares to it in terms of my relationship to the brand… I care just as much as everyone else to make sure that doesn’t get screwed up.”

Pratt also noted that because the Italian plumber is “largely undefined” as a character, it reduced “the amount of trepidation that (he) personally felt coming” into the animated project.

“The fact that this hasn’t been a major motion picture recently was a really great thing,” he explained. “There’s not that much familiarity beyond just what their costumes look like and a handful of catchphrases that you might hear.”

The Super Mario Bros. Movie, also featuring the voices of Charlie Day, Anya Taylor-Joy and Jack Black, will be released in cinemas on 5 April.

– Cover Media