Bob Hoskins remembers playing Mario in the Super Mario Bros movie

Super Mario Bros movie.

Screenshot: Super Mario Bros.

Thanks, all the good moviesfor digging up this old Bob Hoskins interview, in which the award-winning British actor talks about the time he got the Mario job in Nintendo’s 1993 big-screen adaptation of the series.

“I didn’t even know it was a game,” a puzzled Hoskins told the interviewer. “My children told me. They said ‘What’s your next movie’, and I said ‘Super Mario Bros.'”

“Oh, that’s the game!”

“Oh, oh, what?”

“Yeah, here, and it’s you!”

“And I saw this thing jump up and down and I thought [pause] “I used to play King Lear”.

The “King Lear” thing is funny, sure, but it’s the break that gets me. The pause that lets the world know that it is now, at this precise moment, that Hoskins tells the full gravity of the situation in which he found himself.

He has played King Lear (as well as appearing in performances of othello and Romeo and Juliet). He also won a Golden Globe, an Emmy, a BAFTA and a Best Actor award at Cannes. It was excellent as J. Edgar Hoover in Nixonfantastic like George in Mona Lisa and illuminated the screen in The Long Good Friday.

Here, however, he is Mario. Starring in a film which, despite recent attempts to rebuild his reputationis abysmal by almost any measure, so bad that it put Nintendo off making another movie for decades.

We have all been in this moment. When the passage of time seems to come to a complete standstill, allowing us a rare glimpse of the magnitude of the cruel and calculating twists it has taken along the way, of the staggering distance it has traveled in our lifetimes. We have all been King Lear at some point in our lives. And eventuallywe will all be Mario too.

About Cecil Cobb

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