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Charlie Day Did A Lot Of Grunting For Super Mario Bros.

If there's one thing that the Mario brothers do a lot of — besides jumping, traveling through pipes, and clobbering monsters, it's grunting. Mario and Luigi grunt when they run into a wall, when they hit a cluster of spikes or some other physically dangerous peril, and sometimes they let out a grunt whenever they jump at all. If "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" is going to be a faithful adaptation of its source material at all, it will need to contain an ample amount of grunts and groans. Fortunately, according to recent remarks from the film's own Luigi, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star Charlie Day, it appears that the film's grunt quota is going to be filled.

Day and the film's controversial Mario voice actor Chris Pratt sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the upcoming animated feature, promising fans that their beloved classic video game series will be respected by the film — including, according to Day, the all-too-important grunting. 

Day was surprised to learn that this was the most labor-intensive part of being a voice actor in an animated feature. "Oddly, that's the more grueling thing that you do," the actor said. "You get all the dialogue and the lines and then they say, if you've got any gas left, can you just give us a lot of what they call 'efforts,' and you do a lot of grunting and groaning and moaning and oohing and aahing," Day said. "You make yourself dizzy but that's half the fun."

The grunts are necessary for capturing a fundamental part of the Super Mario games

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie" includes a wealth of what THR describes as "action sounds," or "efforts" in voice acting parlance, mirroring the video game incarnations of the famous Italian brothers. As silly as it may seem, the various grunts and yelps let out by imperiled Mario and Luigi are a pretty fundamental part of many of the games' sound design. It's the small details that matter to the fans, and they have been putting pressure on the film's stars since the beginning. 

While much attention has been paid to Chris Pratt's voice as Mario, Charlie Day will also come under fan scrutiny for his take on Luigi, as he's not doing the typical video game voice either.  "My guy might slip into a little Rhode Island here and there ... [but I] was trying to get as much Brooklyn as I can," Day told THR, referencing his natural accent from his home state in New England. 

Day and Pratt are not the only voice actors that have to live up to iconic voices — grunts and all — in the eyes of fans. "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" will also feature actors like Jack Black, Seth Rogen, and Anya Taylor-Joy, and at least one of those actors has made it clear they made no attempt at disguising their own voice. The stars will have to wait and see if the fans embrace their individual approaches to voice acting when "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" hits theaters on April 5, 2023.