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Anya Taylor-Joy Became a ‘Gamer’ for ‘Super Mario Bros.’ Prep

The "Queen's Gambit" star has been hitting the arcades to get ready to voice Princess Peach.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 13: Anya Taylor-Joy attends the SAG-AFTRA Foundation "The Menu" screening at SAG-AFTRA Foundation Robin Williams Center on November 13, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)

Anya Taylor-Joy

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The decision to cast Chris Pratt as Mario in the upcoming “Super Mario Bros. Movie” was the subject of endless online conversation, but Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance as Princess Peach will be equally important if the film wants to break the streak of bad movies based on beloved video games.

The “Queen’s Gambit” star seems to understand that, and is taking her research for the film very seriously. In a new interview with Modern Luxury San Diego, Taylor-Joy revealed that the role has turned her into an avid video game player.

“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.”

While Taylor-Joy is clearly putting in the work to approach the iconic video game character with respect, not everyone is thrilled about the castings in the new movie. John Leguizamo, who played Luigi in the infamous 1993 live action “Super Mario Bros.” movie, recently expressed his disinterest in the new film.

“I’m O.G. A lot of people love the original. I did Comic-Con in New York and in Baltimore, and everyone’s like, ‘No, no, we love the old one, the original.’ They’re not feeling the new one,” Leguizamo told IndieWire in a recent interview. “I’m not bitter. It’s unfortunate.”

In addition to Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Super Mario Bros.” movie stars Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, and Fred Armisen. The film is directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, working from a script written by Matthew Fogel.

Taylor-Joy is set to follow her role in “Super Mario Bros.” with a dramatically different performance. She recently wrapped production on “Furiosa,” George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” prequel that sees her playing a younger version of the character made famous by Charlize Theron.

“It’s the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been, which is saying something, genuinely saying something,” Taylor-Joy said in an interview with IndieWire’s Jude Dry. “Any time I get to be dirty or bloody and not perfectly prim and pretty, I’m just having a ball, that’s where I feel most comfortable. So yeah, ‘Furiosa’ was definitely right up my street.”

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” opens in theaters on April 7, 2023.

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