Ahead of the theatrical debut of The Super Mario Bros.! Movie On April 5, CBR sat down to speak with Chris Pratt (Mario) and Charlie Day (Luigi) about the film. The pair shared their enthusiasm for a prospect Mario Golf spin-off, the biggest difference between performing for animation instead of live-action, and thoughts on James Gunn’s move from Marvel Studios to the DC Universe.
CBR: What’s your favorite aspect of your character’s brother? Chris, what do you love about Luigi? Charlie, what do you love about Mario?
Charlie Day: Mario is the hero of the Super Mario World. We all know that, and we all identify with that. Just because I got to play Luigi doesn’t mean I haven’t identified with Mario my whole life. Mario’s enthusiasm, his gung-ho spirit, and his borderline recklessness [are] endearing. Chris’ portrayal was fantastic and hilarious. I mean, who doesn’t like getting to watch Mario for ninety minutes?
Chris Pratt: And Luigi–his loyalty, his heroism. He does some pretty heroic stuff in this movie. I love their relationship. I love that. They have each other’s backs. I grew up with a brother that I was very close with. So I love these types of movies that have a brotherly bond. It’s something that really speaks to me. The voice of Luigi is just truly incredible. I want to know who plays him because I just want him to be my friend. I mean, I hear the guy’s great. I heard he’s really good. He’s like super talented but a nightmare of a person.
Day: [Laughing] Super method.
Pratt: Yeah, it’s like a Daniel Day-Lewis thing. Only eat pizza for one year. Plumbed. step up acting, [Charlie] wouldn’t show up on It’s always sunny in Philadelphia. [He] would just be off plumbing.
Day: That’s true. First time I’ve been out of overalls in six years.
So, dream world, Super Mario Bros.! Movie2 goes into production tomorrow. What would be your ideal place to go forward? There’s so much in the Mario universe to play with. Personally, I’m holding out for the most intense golf film ever.
Pratt: Ooo! Mario Golf!
Day: I didn’t even think about that. I would definitely like to see that. That’d be good. That’s right. I’m into that. We can do our research at Augusta.
Pratt: I think that’s where we’d have to do it. It makes sense. Listen, at the end of the film, there’s a post-credit sequence that gives you a taste of what the sequel could be about. And that gets me very, very excited. But there’s been talk of Luigi’s Mansion. That was a Gamecube game. I think that would be great.
Day: Honestly, I’d be even more excited for just more scenes to take place in Brooklyn. I want to know even more about their day-to-day Brooklyn life, which I also find interesting. I think its fun to watch the movie.
Pratt: I’m down to spitball and start pitching some ideas. First things first, we want to get a bunch of people to come out and see it. April 5. I expect people will like it. It’s great. I’m a huge fan, and everything about the movie that I love, I think other people will love. It’s the sentiment, it’s the nostalgia, it’s all of the Easter eggs. It’s Illumination, so it’s great animation. I think that part is going to take care of itself. Now we can start spitballing ideas [for] Mario Golf. That might be the one. Brandon, we’re gonna have to have you in that for sure. You’re gonna have to voice some character.
I’ll be playing Waluigi, and just getting stomped on by Luigi. [Waluigi-style “WAAA!”]
Pratt: You’ve got a good Waluigi voice. You could do it.
Day: Yeah, you nailed it.
You’re both primarily live-action performers, but this isn’t your first time tackling a voice-over role. How do you approach a character differently when you’re delivering a vocal performance versus a live-action one? How do they compare?
Day: Well, you don’t have to worry about your hair or your outfit.
Pratt: That’s true. And in a way, that is very free.
Day: You can eat whatever you want. Let me tell you that much. You don’t have to start cutting carbs. There’s so much of the spirit of playfulness in making an animated movie. I think, first and foremost, knowing that your target audience is my son’s age, who’s 11, but also that it’s a family movie.
Pratt: There’s more experimentation, probably. You can experiment and try things out that you — if it was a live-action film, you’re like, okay, we’re talking about $1,000s of dollars a minute here. It’s a very expensive process. When you’re doing audio, you can be like, “What about this? Let me throw twenty things out at you real quick.” It’s gonna take all of two minutes, and then you have an audio file. You can work with the animator. So the experimentation allows you to be really collaborative, and even though we’re not in the same room together, it creates this feeling of improvisation. Probably half of the lines in the movie are just me saying something similar to what they had written but not what they actually had written.
Day: There’s so many people involved in making a movie like this. If, for whatever reason, it doesn’t work, there are 1000s of people to blame other than yourself. Thankfully. Yeah. Like that’s part of the sweet spot of not [being] worried about it.
Pratt: [Laughing] That’s the magic of animation. If it works, it’s because of us. But if it doesn’t, it’s somebody else out. Thankfully, it works. And it’s because of us.
Chris, this isn’t your only film coming up this year. You’ve also got Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which will be the end of the trilogy — but not of James Gunn’s superhero output. Have you spoken to Gunn about him making the move, and are there any DC characters you’d love to play?
Pratt: Oh, my gosh. Oh man. Of course, I’ve spoken to him. I’m really happy for him, with the developments in his career. I think DC is super lucky to have him in that position. It’s hard for me to imagine a person better person for that role. He loves comics. He’s so smart. He’s such an author. We’re obviously super, super pumped for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to come out. It’s truly a masterpiece. It’s really, really fantastic. As far as DC characters, I don’t know. I will let the fans tell me what they would want me to do. I don’t have anything official to announce. I haven’t spoken to James Gunn in any capacity to where he’s offered me anything like that. But listen, I love the guy. You know, he’s one of my bestfriends. I absolutely believe in him. If he calls me, I am answering.
Day: I’m also technically available. Yeah, if they’re reaching out. Let’s hear your best Batman — maybe they need a Robin. Well, it doesn’t always have to be Batman. Maybe Robin could have his own Joker-style movie. That’s good. It can be a little bit funny.
Charlie, Luigi is such a lovable neurotic mess, and you’re so good at playing that archetype. I’ve got to ask, what is it about that type of character that you find so appealing?
Day: Well, I’d like to say it’s a stretch and that I’m such a wonderful performer. I guess there’s just something I can relate to you about a neurotic mess. I don’t know. There’s something I find funny about it. There’s something I find entertaining about performing it and watching people who play that — whether it’s myself or characters in movies that I liked growing up. I’m just thrilled that they keep calling me to get the chance to do it because it’s something I enjoy.
The Super Mario Bros.! Movie jumps into theaters Apr. 5.
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