Shinesparkers Feature:

Famous Metroid Fans

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Shinesparkers team members Roy and Quadraxis went in search of celebrities who have shared their passion for Metroid. Our criteria was that they had to have played one or more of the games, and spoken about their love for the series. We narrowed it down to eleven people that include actors, musicians, authors and athletes, rather than prominent livestreamers or people who work in the game industry. We wanted to have a record of them in one place, and we will update this feature in the event that new famous fans step forward.

Michelle Branch

One of the first celebrities to endorse the Metroid series is Michelle Branch. During Nintendo’s Who Are You? marketing campaign in 2003, Michelle posed for a print ad where Samus’s Arm Cannon was affixed over her arm. Her second album, Hotel Paper, had recently been released. Asked which character she was, Michelle answered Samus, “Because Samus Aran is a force to be reckoned with. She fights off bad guys and saves the world – she’s one tough woman!” When not performing during her summer tour, Michelle would play Metroid Fusion on her Game Boy Advance. I wonder if she’s still playing the series now?

Ronda Rousey

In February 2016, UFC champion Ronda Rousey was interviewed by GameSpot about the video games she likes. They asked her which character she’d like to portray in a movie. She answered: “I’ve always wanted to be Samus. That would be badass. I love how people found out later that it was a hot chick on the inside. And then most of the day you’re in a suit, so you can just hang out and eat donuts and be the star of Metroid. I hope they make a movie out of that.” Ronda also streams games, and in September 2022 attempted a speedrun of Metroid Dread. You can watch clips of that stream here and here.

John Cena

Ronda’s not the only pro wrestler to be a fan of Metroid. Giant Bomb’s Dan Ryckert revealed in 2017 that when John Cena did a photoshoot with Nintendo in 2017, he kept telling the representatives there he wanted a new 2D Metroid game. After Metroid Dread came out four years later, Nintendo sent him a copy, and his team told the company that he loved it.

Krysta Yang of The Kit & Krysta Podcast (and formerly Nintendo Minute) was there at the shoot and remembered John as being really nice. In November 2021, John shared a Samus meme on his Instagram profile.

Brie Larson

For years, people have talked about a Metroid movie being made, and the one actress who has been most vocal about wanting to play Samus is Brie Larson of Captain Marvel fame. In 2018, she dressed up as Zero Suit Samus for Halloween and posted pictures on Instagram. When a reporter asked if this was the closest we’d get to seeing a Metroid movie, Brie said she wanted to make it. She also reacted positively to a poster made by the artist BossLogic depicting her as Samus. Two years later, in an appearance on Animal Talking with Gary Whitta, Brie reiterated her interest in the role of Samus.

In November 2021, Brie filmed a Nintendo-sponsored ad for Metroid Dread, and played the game on her OLED Switch while recalling playing past Metroid games, and as Samus in Super Smash Bros.

You can watch Brie’s appearance on Animal Talking here. The Metroid discussion starts at 46:14 in.

Venus and Serena Williams

Back in October 2010, Venus Williams tweeted “Ok im a big metroid fan. I love Fusion and Zero Mission…so how is the Other M?” A couple fans may have some thoughts on that… Nearly twelve years later, Venus met Doug Bowser and took a picture with him, and he was delighted to learn she was a Metroid fan.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams, when speaking to People about her passion for gaming, mentioned Metroid among the games she played on the NES as a child.

Matteo Lane

Comedian Matteo Lane, who’s appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, among other places, is also an illustrator. He posted a drawing of Samus in early 2021, asking the trillion dollar question, “when the hell are we getting Metroid Prime 4”. He’s also drawn Samus a few times and posted them on his Instagram story.

At the premiere party for season 8 of RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2016, Matteo compared Bob the Drag Queen’s outfit – a gold and blue leotard with a blue wig, and helmet – to Samus. You can see the moment here, at 1:28.

In 2020, Matteo appeared on New Player Has Joined, a gaming podcast, to talk about Super Metroid and other Nintendo games. He’s played it so much that he remembers the location of every Missile, and his favorite weapon is the Hyper Beam at the very end. Matteo is waiting for Metroid Prime 4 as eagerly as the rest of us.

Zac and Shepherd Hanson

Zac Hanson, the lead singer of Hanson, has a YouTube and Twitch channel and regularly livestreams games with his son Shepherd. When Metroid Dread came out, Shepherd played it on Instagram with Zac commentating. Zac remembered seeing friends play Metroid as a kid, and he thought it was intense, but they wanted to give the series a chance and felt like they were on track to becoming fans. Dread reminded Zac of one of his favorite Metroidvania games, Shadow Complex, the gameplay of which was in fact heavily inspired by Super Metroid. Humorously, he called the X Parasites “boogers”, the SA-X “Zombie Samus”, and ZDR “Za Doctor”. Shepherd played until he got the Omega Cannon from the first Central Unit, and then they ended their playthrough for now.

You can watch their playthrough of Dread here.

Chuck Lorre

The creator of The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Mom, Bob Hearts Abishola and many other American sitcoms has played and perhaps completed Metroid Dread. He ends every episode of his shows with a written vanity card, all of which are accessible on his website. Card #702, which was first used on April 14th, 2022, says he was too busy playing Metroid Dread. At that point, he was nearing the final battle with Raven Beak. It had taken him six months to get there, even with the game set to Normal difficulty. Chuck said “we can all agree [this] makes my commitment to free the planet ZDR from X Parasites time well spent.”

Ben Schwartz

Ben Schwartz, the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, Dewey Duck and Leonardo the Ninja Turtle, is a huge gamer and Metroid fan! In an interview with IGN for the movie Renfield, Ben shared his favorite games, which included Inside, Celeste, Ori 1 and 2, and Metroid Dread! After beating Dread, Ben praised it and said he was sad to see it end. His final clear time was 10:22:25.

Back in 2018, Ben also played Super Metroid, tweeting a picture of it and then his clear time of 6:56.

Miyuki Miyabe

Miyuki Miyabe might be unfamiliar to Western audiences, but in her native Japan, she’s an acclaimed author of genre fiction. She’s also a not-so-secret Metroid fan! Miyabe-san was one of the many people interviewed on the official Metroid website. We translated this interview a few years ago, and you can read it here.

Miyabe-san recalled the first times she played Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime. Super Metroid was the first game she ever completed, having become interested in it when she saw a commercial for the game. In spite of the challenge for a new gamer, Miyabe-san was determined to complete it, and did so. She later managed to beat it in 2:17. When Metroid Fusion was released, Miyabe-san played it with her sister on the Game Boy Player. At the time of the interview, she had also completed ⅕ of Metroid Prime. As she played each game, Miyabe-san would write about it on her blog. We wonder if she played and enjoyed Metroid Dread?


Sammus, aka Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, is a massive Metroid fan and nerdcore rapper from Ithaca, New York. She took the stage name Sammus as a reference to Samus, since both are women in the male-dominated industries of bounty hunting and rap. Sammus is also a retro gamer and loved Super Metroid, with one friend even modding the game to make Samus black just for her. She even made a seven track concept album based on Metroid, Another M, from the perspective of Samus as she carves a path through Zebes.

These are all the famous Metroid fans we know of! If you know any other celebrities who said they like Metroid, or have streamed it, let us know on our social media platforms and we’ll be sure to add them. Until then, see you next mission!

Written by Roy and Quadraxis

The photographs used in this feature are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) unless otherwise noted by external links.

Photographer credits:
Michelle Branch – Justin Higuchi
Ronda Rousey – Miguel Discart
John Cena – Gage Skidmore
Brie Larson – 2d Lt Jessica Cicchetto
Venus and Serena Williams – Quinn Rooney (for Getty Images)
Matteo Lane – himself
Zac Hanson – himself (on Instagram)
Chuck Lorre – Angela George
Ben Schwartz – Greg2600
Miyuki Miyabe – Kim Kyung-Hoon (for Reuters)
Sammus – An Rong Xu (for The New York Times)