Chris Pratt Embraces Originality in Voicing Garfield, Shuns Bill Murray Imitation

Explore the vibrant ensemble behind 'The Garfield Movie'

by Zain ul Abedin
Chris Pratt Embraces Originality in Voicing Garfield, Shuns Bill Murray Imitation
© Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Few iconic voice roles are as beloved as Garfield, the lasagna-loving orange cat. Recently, Chris Pratt stepped into this storied role with "The Garfield Movie," bringing his interpretation to the character, a stark contrast to Bill Murray's earlier portrayal in 2004’s "Garfield: The Movie" and its sequel.

Pratt discussed his approach during a recent interview with MovieWeb, highlighting his efforts to personalize the character while respecting its history. Bill Murray, revered for his comedic genius, first brought Garfield to life on the big screen, leaving big shoes to fill.

Yet Pratt, 44, expressed no nervousness about following in Murray's footsteps. “Well, of course, he's the GOAT. He's on my comedy Mount Rushmore,” Pratt acknowledged the pressure of living up to Murray's legacy but felt reassured by director Mark Dindal’s vision for the new film.

Dindal had a specific sound in mind for the animated cat, one that resonated well with Pratt's vocal tone. “He said, ‘I want him to sound like you. You've got a natural sarcastic sort of laziness about your voice that really works for this character,’” Pratt shared, conveying the director's confidence in his natural voice fitting Garfield's persona.

This direction allowed Pratt to infuse his portrayal with authenticity, making the role distinctly his own without attempting to mimic Murray.

Garfield's Star-Packed Adventure

Pratt's experience in voice acting is extensive, with notable roles as Mario in 2023's "The Super Mario Bros.

Movie" and leads in "The LEGO Movie" and Pixar's "Onward." His familiarity with voice roles has evidently equipped him to tackle Garfield with ease and originality. "The Garfield Movie" boasts a star-studded voice cast including Hannah Waddingham, Ving Rhames, Nicholas Hoult, Cecily Strong, Harvey Guillén, Brett Goldstein, Samuel L.

Jackson, and Bowen Yang. The film’s plot revolves around a high-stakes heist that Garfield and his dog companion, Odie, embark on with Garfield’s father, Vic, voiced by Jackson. At the film's Los Angeles premiere, Pratt had the opportunity to meet Garfield creator Jim Davis, who gave Pratt's performance a glowing endorsement.

Pratt recalled the emotional weight of receiving Davis’s approval, “I have heard now second-hand that he gave me a 10 out of 10... I was surprised at how moving that was to me,” he reflected, acknowledging the personal pressure he felt to meet Davis’s expectations.