If the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes of the past year have taught us anything about the film and television industry, it’s that many entertainment workers live significantly less glamorous lives than the average A-lister. For massive stars leading the ensembles of blockbuster franchises such as Chris Pratt, this means a conveyor belt of roles that require no audition or relationship to the source material in order to get high-paying placements.
Unfortunately, Chris Pratt’s incredible star power takes certain roles, such as Mario and now Garfield, away from hard-working voice actors who may be significantly more deserving of the position.
Voice Actors Fight For Fair Wages
As we recently learned on a national level, most writers, actors, and other film industry creators have spent years reveling in relative obscurity while slaving away to create incredible works of art that millions of viewers around the globe enjoy.
During the strikes, there were news headlines daily that described the unfortunate pay, benefits, and living conditions of writers for series’ as massive as The Bear. While these individuals were fighting for their right to make a livable wage and not be replaced by robo-plagiarism, Chris Pratt continued raking in voice roles as if he were Tom Kenny.
Is Chris Pratt To Blame?
Of course, Chris Pratt is not at fault here, since he and his team of agents and managers are simply doing what’s best for the leading man’s career. Pratt shouldn’t be made to apologize for becoming a massive star, especially after showcasing his wide range of skills in roles such as Andy Dwyer in NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Starlord in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and dinosaur trainer Owen Grady in the Jurassic World franchise. The problem, however, arises when Pratt’s star power begins to outweigh the needs of the production, such as the recent hit film The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
Chris Pratt Should Never Have Been Cast As Mario
In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Chris Pratt portrays the titular video game plumber, utilizing a voice that is virtually identical to his vocal range in the MCU. Chris Pratt has proven himself to be a talented performer, but frankly, he has no business voicing characters such as Mario or the eponymous lasagna-loving cat in the upcoming Garfield movie, when there are leagues of talented voice actors, both known and undiscovered, who could deliver better and more lively vocal performances.
Studios Are Using His Star Power To Sell Tickets
The result of this miscasting leaves studios to use Chris Pratt as more of an advertising tool than an actor, using his name on the poster to sell tickets at the expense of the film’s final product. If studios would simply commit to hiring talented voice actors based on their talent and not on their name, Pratt could easily be relegated to the roles that suit him best, without harming his career by causing wide swaths of movie-goers to turn on him.
Despite The Super Mario Bros. Movie‘s ultimate success, audiences at large were perturbed by Pratt’s performance when his lines were first delivered in the trailers, sparking outrage across the nation.
His Garfield Voice Is No Better
Now that early trailers for the upcoming Garfield film have begun airing online, this backlash has been reignited, with fans around the world wondering why this lackluster Andy Dwyer voice is coming out of the beloved orange cat. It is of course possible for Chris Pratt and other A-list performers to give great vocal performances in films and television series, but studios should categorically end this practice of giving away roles that more deserving voice actors could better fill.