Voice actor Tara Strong has criticised the new Mario movie for not offering the titular role to Mario’s in-game voice actor, Charles Martinet.
Announced back in 2018, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a collaboration between Nintendo and Universal Pictures’ Illumination animation division. It sees Chris Pratt heading an all-star cast that includes Jack Black as Bowser and Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach.
In a tweet, Strong – whose own prolific career includes voice performances as Harley Quinn, Batgirl, and Fairly Odd Parents’ Timmy Turner – posted a photograph of herself and Martinet with the text: “it should be Charles”.
With no further context you’d be forgiven for wondering what this pertained to, but subsequent tweets make it clear: Mario’s original voice actor should’ve been offered the role in the upcoming animated movie.
“Voice actors – I’m gonna put my heart & soul in this for at least 20 years, help sell billions in merch, make the studios millions of dollars & make generations around the world happy.
A day later, Strong invited people to share their favourite pictures and stories about Martinet, prompting him to reply publicly with: “I love you Tara! Thank you so much! Thank you everybody!
“Your love and kindness mean more than you could ever know, and genuinely touched my heart,” he added. “My little eyes seem to be leaking today… with tender affection. Thank you…”
After the tweets got some traction, Strong responded to one commenter who insisted we’re all judging Chris Pratt on two lines of dialogue, Martinet was offered the role but declined, and that it would be “too strenuous” for him to have voiced an entire film.
“Literally not one thing about your tweet is true, “Strong later responded. “No one should be judging Chris, he’s a fantastic actor…this is only about what’s right & Charles should have been offered the role.”