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SYFY WIRE super mario bros.

Anya Taylor-Joy turned into a gamer thanks to 'The Super Mario Bros. Movie'

The Super Mario Bros. Movie star spends 'hours' in arcades these days.

By Matthew Jackson

Anya Taylor-Joy has had a busy 2022. She starred in The Northman, then starred in The Menu, did press tours for both, and recently wrapped up shooting Mad Max: Furiosa with director George Miller. Along the way, she had to do research for other upcoming roles to get in the right mindset for still more characters and stories, and in the case of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, that meant playing video games.

Taylor-Joy co-stars as Princess Peach in the upcoming animated adaptation of the beloved gaming franchise, which stars Chris Pratt as Mario and Charlie Day as Luigi, among other major stars. For some actors, the gig might have meant reading the script, making some notes, then showing up in the booth to record her performance as the Princess of the Mushroom Kingdom. But Taylor-Joy wanted to go deeper. She wanted to understand why people are so attached to Mario and his friends in the first place, and why they've remained attached through dozens of incarnations across four decades.

So, Taylor-Joy picked up a controller and started gaming, but eventually the research became something more. In a new interview with Modern Luxury San Diego, she revealed that her research to play Peach has since become a full-blown hobby, complete with frequent excursions to arcades. 

“So now I am a gamer, and it’s really fun," she said. "Ideally, I like playing at arcades, because, again, it’s like cinema; I love the ceremony. I’ll go with a whole bunch of friends. And we’ll just spend hours at the arcade.”

Make a note, arcade-goers: Next time you pull up to your local spot, you could find yourself getting demolished by Anya Taylor-Joy at one of the Street Fighter cabinets. 

Taylor-Joy also opened up a bit about how the experience of making Furiosa changed her life, and not just on the film's set, where she learned to drive and pull off car stunts. To manage the grueling shoot, the actor took up another responsibility by becoming a pet owner, which helped to ease her anxiety about the whole process.

“I knew that it would be a very isolating experience," she said. "And I knew that it would be very tough, both emotionally and physically. So I made a luxury gift to myself as I got myself a cat, which has really helped. He’s just been a huge help. Because at the end of the day, you’d have to take care of them — and that puts things in perspective for me."

Anya Taylor-Joy: Movie star, gamer, cat person. 

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is in theaters April 7, 2023. Furiosa arrives in theaters May 24, 2024.

In the mood for some illuminating animation? Check out Minions: The Rise of Gru, now streaming on Peacock!