Jack Black Draws Inspiration from Darth Vader for Bowser Voice in Super Mario Bros. Film

David Galvan

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Jack Black on Getting Bowser’s Voice Right in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

Jack Black’s portrayal of The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s big bad took some time to get right, but the star seems proud of how it all ended up. Black voices the infamous Bowser in the new film, a character who hardly needs an introduction.

The animated flick sees Black in full-on villain mode as Bowser attempts to take over the entire world with his Koopa army. For Black, being the bad guy was a fun experience.

“It’s super fun to play the villain,” Black told IGN. “Oftentimes villains are my favorite characters in movies, just because they’re so interesting and they make the drama and the excitement 10 times more effective.”

Darth Vader and Bowser may not seem like a very obvious pairing, but Black actually said that he used the Sith Lord as inspiration behind Bowser’s voice. When asked if he was inspired by Vader, Black replied: “I would say yes, a little bit.”

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He continued: “Darth Vader has a lower register, and I also had to go lower than my natural speaking voice.”

Trying to portray one of the most well-known villains in pop culture history is a tall task, so Black made sure to try out a lot of different variations to Bowser’s voice.

“We experimented a lot with different voices, different accents,” Black said. “I tried it with a British accent. I tried it with a little Southern accent. I did a lot of different things and eventually landed on what I did in the movie.”

While a British or Southern Bowser sounds amazing, the final product is surely more authentic to the gruff grumbling of our favorite fire-breathing turtle creature.

The voices behind The Super Mario Bros. Movie’s beloved characters have been a topic of conversation for awhile now, forcing each of the actors to think carefully about how to approach the icons.

Keegan Michael-Key, who voices Toad in the movie, joked that he had to drink “a gallon of Earl Grey tea with some honey and some lemon” to pull off Toad’s high-pitched voice.

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“What I had to do is just literally use my imagination and tell myself, all right, I am sucking on a helium balloon and that is how I’m going to impersonate what I thought I would sound like if I was on helium,” Michael-Key added.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie hits theaters on April 5. To read more about the film, check out what Chris Pratt and Seth Rogen envision for the future of the franchise on the silver screen, and stay tuned for our full interview with Black later this week.

Francesca Rivera contributed to this report.


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