John Leguizamo, the actor who played Luigi in 1993’s live-action “Super Mario Bros,” is boycotting the new, animated film. Why? Because the new movie, based on a beloved video game, doesn’t cast a Latino to play an Italian. Leguizamo, a Colombian, argued that the new Mario movie should have made either Mario or Luigi, both of whom are Italian, a Latino.
Speaking on that to TMZ, he said, “No, I will not be watching ‘Super Mario Bros.’ They could have included a Latin character — like, I was groundbreaking, and they stopped the groundbreaking. They messed up! They messed up the inclusion, they dis-included.”
Continuing, he said, “Cast some Latin folk. Just cast some Latin folk. We’re 20% of the population; the largest ‘people of color’ group, and we’re under-represented — over-represented in the worst kind of jobs, though.”
Even TMZ noted that it’s somewhat ridiculous that he’s complaining about the casting decision, given that he’s not Italian, saying, “If he’s pushing for the former [that an Italian should have been cast in the role], then his POV doesn’t make sense … seeing how he himself isn’t of Italian descent either. In any case, John ain’t going down the tube this time.”
TMZ, reporting on the situation claimed that neither of the actors playing Mario and Luigi are Italian, noting:
In between photos he was taking with fans on the street, John reiterated what he’s been going on about since the fall … basically, he feels like Nintendo and the studio heads behind ‘SMBM’ took a step backward by getting Chris Pratt and Charlie Day as Mario/Luigi — neither of whom technically have Italian roots … unlike their made-up characters.
However, Day is, as the Daily Wire notes, part Italian. Pratt is not. In any case, they’re actors, so they can play whoever…it’s acting, not a documentary.
But, as is now common, the woke mob freaked out and got angry that Pratt is voicing an Italian character even though he’s not Italian. Responding to the criticism, he said, “I — you know, come watch the movie. Go watch the movie and then we can talk. I really think that once you see the movie — and, you know what? In all honesty, I think you probably need to watch it twice.”
Continuing, Pratt added, “This is the soundtrack to your youth, and you don’t want someone to come along and cynically kind of just destroy it as a cash grab with the movie. I fully understand that, you do not want that to happen. And there are so many hearts and souls and minds dedicated to making sure that didn’t happen … it really honors the video game and honors the world of Mario.”
He then jokingly added, “Now that I have kids, I have to see every animated movie whether it’s good or not.” Watch him here:
— ExtraTV (@extratv) March 27, 2023
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