Charles Martinet has been the voice of Mario, Nintendo’s ever present mascot, since 1995, though fans today couldn’t imagine anyone but Martinet having the role, he actually only managed to score it in the first place because of his own quick thinking.
You see, when Martinet originally auditioned for the role, he had no idea who the hell Mario even was, he’d just heard about an interview for a character that was going to appear in a video game for children and decided to go for it. We should point out that although Martinet was aware of the interview, he wasn’t invited to it. In fact, when he turned up to try out for the part, the people conducting the interview were already halfway through packing up.
However, after seeing the undeniable twinkle in Martinet’s eye, they very reluctantly agreed to give him a chance. After giving Martinet a single line of direction by saying “You’re an Italian plumber from Brooklyn“, they then told him as soon as he finished talking, his interview would be over.
As recalled by Martinet in a later interview, he was originally going to go for a stereotypical Brooklyn accent, like the kind you may remember from the old Mario cartoons. However, prior to opening his mouth he had a realisation, Mario was going to be a character that was going to spend all day talking to children and children weren’t exactly going to want to listen to a gruff Brooklyn plumber for hours at a time. So, instead of going with his gut, Martinet opened his mouth and let out a now iconic “itsa me, Mario” in a silly sounding, high pitched voice.
Remembering what the interviewer had said before he started speaking, Martinet then refused to shut the hell up for half an hour straight, he said absolutely everything that came into his head, never once breaking character. He only stopped talking when an astounded interviewer stopped Martinet to inform him that they’d literally ran out of tape because he’d been talking for too long.
Martinet then walked out of the interview believing he’d fluffed the entire thing, however, his ingenuity must have made an impression on someone at Nintendo because he was offered the job a short while later. Which we hope is a lesson to everyone reading this, the next time you go for a job interview, just talk until they physically have to throw you out. Hey, it worked for, Mario, it could work for you.