Chris Pratt ‘totally gets’ backlash over The Super Mario Bros Movie casting: ‘There’s a passionate fan base’

Chris Pratt has responded to the backlash against his casting in the forthcoming Super Mario Bros Movie.

Critics have expressed concern over the American actor portraying a famously Italian character.

The Guardians of the Galaxy star was asked about the response to the trailer in a new joint interview with his co-star Charlie Day for Gizmodo.

“Oh, I totally get it, man,” Pratt 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.”

Day added that he thinks any uncertain fans will be “pleased” when they see the results on-screen.

Pratt previously assured fans that his voice for the character was “updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before”.

However, when the trailer arrived, those who viewed it were left confused as his voice sounded exactly like his own.

Super Mario (left) and Chris Pratt (Universal/Getty Images)
Super Mario (left) and Chris Pratt (Universal/Getty Images)

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri promised that Pratt’s role as the video game character would not offend Italians after his casting was announced.

“Chris was cast because we felt he could give a great performance as Mario. And now that we’ve done about 15 recording sessions, and the movie is three-quarters done, I sit here and say that I love his performance as Mario,” he said in June last year.

“I think we’re gonna be just fine. Especially because [Pratt’s] given such a strong performance,” he insisted.

Pratt and Day’s casting was also criticised by Latin actor John Leguizamo who played Luigi in a 1993 live-action film based on the video game.

“[The directors] fought really hard for me to be the lead because I was a Latin man, and [the studio] didn’t want me to be the lead. They fought really hard, and it was such a breakthrough,” Leguizamo said.

“For them to go backwards and not cast another [Latin actor] kind of sucks.”

The Super Mario Bros Movie will be released on 7 April.