Bruno Mars has taken the music world by storm with his sophomore album Unorthodox Jukebox, and now he’s set to take over the acting world. Many pop entertainers have transitioned into acting, some unsuccessful and some successfully juggling both. While we don’t know if Bruno Mars will capture the same success his peers have, like Justin Timberlake, we’re pretty sure Mars made the right decision by lending his voice to Rio 2.
For those who aren’t familiar, Rio is an animated film about a domesticated bird. Blu, the macaw, hails from a small-town in Minnesota and meets a fierce no funny business Jewel. Blu decides that he needs to take his fellow macaw on an adventure to Rio de Janeiro in order to woo her.
Bruno Mars, who is currently touring, isn’t the only pop act that’s cast in Rio 2. Singer Janelle Monae is also a part of Rio 2. The studio made sure that it made the best out of using two pop stars by including their music in the soundtrack as well.
Rio’s director Carlos Saldanha spoke about casting Bruno Mars as the character Roberto. According to Billboard, Saldanha was interested in casting Mars in his first voice over role after seeing the entertainer on Saturday Night Live. For Mars this is his second acting role. As a child Bruno acted in a bit role as Little Elvis in Honeymoon in Vegas.
Saldanha worked on Mars’ character with him, and wound up rewriting the character to make him less macho and more animated to fit to Bruno’s singing voice. Of what Bruno brought to the character, Saldanha said:
“He pushed it in a way that said ‘this is the character’ and we felt we could push it.”
Atlantic Records plans to release the soundtrack which has songs by Bruno and Janelle around April 11 to coincide with the release of the film. The producer-composers Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown have reprised their roles for the sequel of Rio. Of the influence the music has on the tone of the film, Saldanha said:
“It’s a different kind of music from the first one, which was mostly samba. It’s multicultural and represents Brazil and the USA. We looked at folk dancing and folk songs of the region. Sergio and Carlos have great ears and they make sure everything is done (rhythmically) the way it’s done in Brazil.”
Currently Bruno Mars is touring on his second leg to promote his album Unorthodox Jukebox.