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Chris Pratt on How ‘Garfield’ Voice is Different From Past Characters

Chris Pratt on How ‘Garfield’ Voice is Different From Past Characters

After voicing the leads in The Lego Movie franchise, The Super Mario Bros. Movie and now The Garfield Movie, Chris Pratt has established himself as a go-to voice for iconic animated characters. But after doing these multiple roles, how does he make each voice unique?

At the Los Angeles premiere of Garfield on Sunday, Pratt walked The Hollywood Reporter through each of the different voices, noting that as Emmet in The Lego Movie, he “aimed at something that was different than myself — it was kind of inspired a lot by Bill Hader’s voice and his character in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” and for Mario, “you had to find some version that was different than myself but not hardcore Mario from the games because that would grow a little tiresome, I think.”

For The Garfield Movie, director Mark Dindal told Pratt he had always imagined the star’s voice coming out of the famed fat cat, “so it was really just going back to Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec and imagining a little bit more of a yawn in my voice,” Pratt explained. “So the early stuff [in the movie] is kind of this Andy Dwyer voice version of myself. But then of course you can’t just be sarcastic and lazy when you’re put on an epic adventure to save your life and to save your family, so that voice kind of quickly goes away and gets replaced by one of urgency.”

He added that the movie shows a version of Garfield that hasn’t really been seen before, throwing the lazy indoor cat into a wild adventure, “so then it was basically just using my own voice and trying to be honest and be real and trust Mark — what he believed was that he wanted it to sound just like me so I said ‘OK, you hired the right guy. I know how to do Chris Pratt, I know how to do that just fine.’”

The film follows Garfield’s unexpected reunion with his long-lost father Vic (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) as he and his canine friend Odie (voiced by Harvey Guillén) are forced from their pampered lives to join Vic on a risky heist. Hannah Waddingham voices villainous feline Jinx, alongside a voice cast that also stars Cecily Strong, Nicholas Hoult, Brett Goldstein, Bowen Yang and Snoop Dogg.

After just playing a villain in The Fall Guy as well, Waddingham joked, “I’m trying to not be offended that people go, ‘Who should we get to be the baddie? Hannah Waddingham!’ But it’s so much more fun. And I suppose people thought that Rebecca [from Ted Lasso] was kind of bad at the beginning. No I love it, long may it continue.”

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Before the premiere screening on Sunday, Garfield joined Pratt, Waddingham and creator Jim Davis for a paw print ceremony, immortalizing his paws in cement outside the famed TCL Chinese Theatre.

The Garfield Movie hits theaters on Friday.

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