When news broke that Chris Pratt would be voicing Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it stirred up quite a frenzy among fans of the beloved video game. People couldn't help but question the choice of a non-Italian American actor for the role of Nintendo's beloved plumber. Live-action Luigi actor John Leguizamo even went public saying the casting of the Parks and Rec alum was a step "backward" in representation. But it turns out one hilarious comedian with Italian heritage (who later became Pratt's co-star in the movie) auditioned for the part. And he's ready to spill the pasta on what went down and how he would’ve approached the role.
During a recent appearance on Live! with Kelly and Mark, world-renowned comedian and Sebastian Maniscalco opened up about his experience auditioning for the role of the titular character. Based on his comments, he has no hard feelings about ultimately losing it to the Guardians of the Galaxy actor. The About My Father star revealed that despite having a cultural connection to the famous character, his take on the source material might have been a little too on the nose. The comedian told the co-hosts:
Everybody was like, 'How come they didn't cast an Italian American for the role?' So I read for Mario, and I went in there, and I did the whole, 'It's a'me, Mario!' And then they said, 'We're gonna give you Spike.' Apparently, that didn't work out. So it was great to be part of that movie, the thing's a juggernaut, and Chris did a great job.
Sebastian Maniscalco's lighthearted take on losing the lead role highlights the unexpected turns and surprises that often accompany the casting process. While fans may have voiced their desires for an Italian American actor to portray Mario, the film's creators had their own vision in mind, which they said makes "total sense." The choice has clearly resonated with audiences globally as well.
In a world where video game adaptations have often struggled to find their footing on the big screen, the recent Super Mario Bros. Movie has emerged as a triumphant force, crushing box office records and capturing the hearts of audiences worldwide. With a staggering box office haul of over $1.266 billion, the film has left an indelible mark on the history of cinema and video game adaptations. But if you're still eager to know how the Irishman alum would've approached the role, you can get a taste of it by watching the clip below:
Adding his talent to the star-studded Super Mario Bros. cast, Sebastian Maniscalco embraced the role of Foreman Spike. The character is a bit of a deep-cut and one of the hundreds of Nintendo easter eggs for fans. The villainous demolition site foreman made his first appearance in the often-forgotten Mario & Luigi video game adventure known as Wrecking Crew. Maniscalco’s hilarious portrayal of the bearded baddy is a special nod that'll surely make aficionados' hearts skip a beat.
The casting of Pratt might still ruffle a few feathers, but making movie adaptations is often about capturing the magic and joy of the source material that has brought all of us countless hours of fun. We should celebrate the incredible work of the entire cast and crew, including Chris Pratt and Sebastian Maniscalco, whose talents contributed to making the film one of the most successful to hit the schedule of 2023 new movie releases.