Brie Larson finds comfort through gaming during the pandemic: 'It's been a huge source of connectivity'

Kerry Justich
·4-min read
Brie Larson turns to her Nintendo for connection amid pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images)
Brie Larson turns to her Nintendo for connection amid pandemic. (Photo: Getty Images)

Brie Larson is best known for her role as Carol Danvers, a woman who discovers superhero strength and powers that transform her into Captain Marvel. But while the actress takes time off of movie sets to stay safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic, she continues to explore alternate universes, like that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Nintendo video games.

“It’s been a huge source of connectivity for me throughout my life, but I’d say in particular in this moment,” she tells Yahoo Life of gaming. “It’s helped me feel a sense of community in a time where I can’t physically be with people that I love.”

The 31-year-old from Sacramento, Calif. explains that she’s “never lived without a Nintendo console in my home” while reflecting on her earliest memories of playing games like the Little Mermaid and The Legend of Zelda with her family. Most importantly, she says that those memories helped to shape who she is as an actress and storyteller.

“It’s been just a huge way of dreaming, of being inspired,” she says. “I think it really impacted my passion for making movies and telling stories because you believe it. You fall into this world and I want to live in a world of magic.”

During 2020 particularly — a year where many have struggled to find magic in the mundane of quarantining and social distancing during a pandemic — Larson says that video games have allowed her to not only disconnect from what is going on in the world but also to reconnect with family and friends that she hasn’t been able to spend time with.

“There’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is like relaxing catchup time and exploration time. So it’s kind of filling the virtual space of going and doing an activity with a friend, for example, which we’re not doing right now. But I can safely fly to my best friend’s island and we can go shopping together and we can catch up in the meanwhile,” she explains. “And then the other side of the spectrum is Fortnite, which is highly competitive and can sometimes end with the need for conversation. But I say it’s been equally as important to me during this time because I’ve had really deep conversations after finishing a round of Fortnite of discussing basically moral questions.”

It wouldn’t be the first time that video games have transported Larson to a different reality, as she calls gaming her “meditation” while filming movies like Short Term 12. “Mario Tennis was what I would play in between takes because I found it to be like a meditation if I was waiting for the camera to move to do the next set of coverage,” she says. “So it’s something that’s been folded into my life in various ways.” For the first time, however, it’s provided her the opportunity of working with the brand that’s long been a staple in her life as she appears in a Nintendo commercial.

“I’ve been waiting my whole life for this. I have been working since I was a baby for this moment,” she jokes. “It’s just crazy. It’s a dream come true and I know it sounds maybe kind of wild since it’s a commercial but I just really believe in Nintendo as a company and I really believe in the stories that they tell, the games that they make, the journeys that they have taken me on in my life. So, I feel passionate about telling people about it and sharing in the experience that I’ve had because I’ve found it so meaningful.”

Larson is even manifesting her future as a video game creator. “I would love to make a game,” she says. “Let’s put that out in the universe.”

Related: Brie Larson shared all the movie roles she didn't book!

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