Chris Pratt’s Mario voice has been a topic of discussion ever since the first trailer for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” debuted last October. Some fans claimed it wasn’t Italian enough, while others felt it was too aggressively Brooklyn. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pratt revealed that one of his first attempts at the Mario voice got rejected by the film’s directors, Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, because it far too resembled Tony Soprano, the anti-hero mob boss played by James Gandolfini in HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

“For a minute, I walked in and they were like, ‘That’s a little New Jersey. You’re doing a Tony Soprano thing,’” Pratt said. “[The voice] was a really exciting and daunting challenge. Talking to these guys, they say, ‘You wanna do the Mario movie?’ I think both [Charlie Day and I] said yes. Didn’t even ask, ‘What’s the deal? What’s the story?’ ‘Yes, I’m in.’ And then we had to really dig in and figure out…are they Italian? Are they American?”

Pratt added, “We know a little bit about Charles Martinet’s voice that he’s sprinkled in there with the ‘Wahoo!’ and ‘It’s-a me!’ and these Mario things, but how do you craft a 90-minute narrative with an emotional through-line and create a living, breathing person about who you’ll care?”

“We tried different things, different voices,” Day added. “Every now and then they would say, ‘Charlie, maybe a little less “Goodfellas” in this one’ — I’m like, ‘Alright! I think you’re wrong, but fine!’ — until they landed on something they liked.”

Pratt told Variety last year that he “worked really closely with the directors” to find the Mario voice that made sense for the story. “I tried out a few things and landed on something that I’m really proud of and can’t wait for people to see and hear,” Pratt added. “It’s an animated voiceover narrative. It’s not a live-action movie. I’m not going be wearing a plumber suit running all over. I’m providing a voice for an animated character, and it is updated and unlike anything you’ve heard in the Mario world before.”

Jelenic and Horvath later defended casting Pratt, telling Total Film magazine that finding the perfect Mario voice meant finding an actor who could believably portray a plumber from Brooklyn who is “a blue-collar guy from a family of Italian immigrants.”

“For us, it made total sense,” Horvath said. “[Chris is] really good at playing a blue-collar hero with a ton of heart. For the way that Mario is characterized in our film, he’s perfect for it.”

“To develop the voice, I sampled various Italian and New York accents,” Pratt told Variety in our “Super Mario” cover story. “As the directors and I developed the character, we came to land on a voice that is different than Charles Martinet’s version of Mario, but also different from my own voice…My hope is that people will come into the movie with an open mind and that once they see the film, any criticism around Mario’s accent will disappear.”

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is now playing in theaters nationwide.