Getting his voice to go so high took some work for Keegan-Michael Key.

In an interview with ET Canada, the “Super Mario Bros. Movie” star talked about getting to play the iconic Nintendo character Toad.

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Top of mind, of course, was how Key managed to maintain the character’s high-pitched voice.

“Well, first of all, gallons and gallons of Earl Gray tea with honey,” Key laughed. “And then the other thing was just literally, I just had to use my imagination. I had to imagine I was on helium. And, for some reason, just thinking about that allowed me to stay up there.”

He also joked, “And also also doesn’t hurt to wear tight pants.”

Key also talked about how he approached the video game character with more depth, including dealing with Toad’s motivations.

“It was actually quite easy, because I got to have those conversations with the director, Michael [Jelenic], and in the script, whether it ended up on the cutting room floor or not, were lots of things that gave me a sense of who Toad was,” he said.

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“Really the biggest thing for Toad was how he sees the Mushroom Kingdom,” Key explained. “It’s such a sacred place to him. And when he first encounters Mario, the thing that he wants to do more than anything is show Mario where he’s from. It’s like civic pride. He has this ultra-civic pride that anybody from any anywhere would have.”

Key continued, “You know, I’m from Detroit. I would love to show anybody Detroit. If you’re from Toronto, it would be the same thing. That was one thing that motivated him is not only showing off the Mushroom Kingdom, but protecting the Mushroom Kingdom ultimately.”

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opens in theatres April 5.