It’s been 30 years since the Super Mario Bros. video game made its debut, and since then Mario has thrived not only in his main role as a princess-saving plumber, but also in his many side jobs, including kart driver, fighter, and typing teacher. Unfortunately, in 1993 Mario got cocky and tried for the ultimate heat check move for a video game franchise: Hollywood.
Super Mario Bros., the movie, was panned and is considered a failure, but many of us who were too young and dumb to pick it apart for its (many) flaws still have some fond memories of the big screen adaptation.
In 2011, the late Bob Hoskins, who played Mario, said that the movie was his biggest disappointment, the worst job he’s had, and the one thing he would change from his past, according to The Wrap. John Leguizamo, who played his brother Luigi, was also not a fan, but he’s grown to appreciate the experience that led him to co-starring with legends Hoskins and Dennis Hopper. “I’m glad people appreciate the movie,” he said two years ago for a Super Mario Bros. fan site. “It was the first, nobody had ever done it before.” Watch the video below to see Leguizamo look back on some funny moments. He also tells a story involving strippers that may or may not have made the movie better, but it definitely would have pushed it into a hard R rating.
I don’t know if I can ever get over the movie picking Princess Daisy over Princess Peach, because Peach is very obviously the OG princess, but there’s at least one change that I approve of. The movie decided to name the brothers Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, though creator Shigeru Miyamoto later said that Mario and Luigi are mononymous.