Seth Rogen joined Chris Pratt in the Super Mario Bros. shame corner last week during an interview. He revealed that he wouldn’t be “doing any voices” for his upcoming role as Donkey Kong, the gorilla antagonist who has been throwing barrels at Mario and kidnapping his girlfriend since 1981.
“I was very clear that I don’t do voices,” he said. “If you want me to be in this movie, then it’s going to sound like me and that’s it. That was the beginning and end of that conversation.”
Donkey Kong’s actor is being offered a role in one of the biggest creative IPs in the world, so it’s a little disappointing that he’s making demands that aren’t for the benefit of the performance. It’s especially a downer since Rogen actually sang a song for his role in The Lion King movie. The commenters expressed disappointment that only Bowser’s actor, Jack Black, seems to be giving any effort at all. Others pointed out that an inability to perform character voices was a reason for casting actual voice actors rather than major Hollywood celebrities, something that’s been a point of contention since Charles Martinet wouldn’t be reprising the Mario role for this movie.
“If you want Donkey Kong to sound a lot like me, I’m your guy. But it did seem to work,” said Rogen. “I think in the film and in the game, all you seem to know about Donkey Kong is that he throws barrels and does not like Mario very much. And that’s what I ran with.”
I’m baffled that an actor seems to be arguing for a flattening of his own character, rather than building his own creative spin on it. Rogen, we’re not asking you to become Troy Baker, the voice actor of Joel Miller from The Last of Us. Gamers just want you to put some oomph into it. That’s something that Rogen didn’t bring to the red carpet premiere of the Super Mario Bros. movie either.
Look at this! Despite how much we’ve clowned on Pratt for just sounding like himself in the movie, he’s at least matched red and green suits with his co-star Charlie Day (who plays the Luigi to Pratt’s Mario). Look at Black’s tortoise shell! Meanwhile, Rogen is rocking the old t-shirt and blazer combo. At least he would fit right in with the gaming industry.
I’m not sure if Rogen has done enough to unseat Pratt as the most disliked Super Mario Bros. actor, but if he keeps this up, he might have a decent shot.