The 32-year-old actress, who stars in The Smurfs film adaptation, explained that she spent many mornings during her childhood watching the cartoons because her mother Paulette was a major fan.
"My mum was a big Smurfs fan, so she would force me to watch every Saturday morning. I had no choice in the matter. I would jump downstairs on Saturday morning, 'Hurray, cartoons!' and she would say, 'Smurfs! That's what you're watching'," Mays joked to Parade.
The star continued: "She'd sit me in front of the television and so, to spite her, I would say I loved [villains] Gargamel and [his cat] Azrael, and they were the best. I did secretly love to watch the show, and I think she loved the fact that there was a message behind it. It was a good show for a kid to watch."
Mays also admitted that filming The Smurfs was often challenging because of the movie's blend of live-action and CGI.
She said: "[There] was the scene where I had to brush Smurfette's hair. We were supposed to be connecting as girlfriends, and I'm getting the eye-line straight and there's a mirror there, and then I have to figure out the exact wave of her hair and you're still trying to find your light and look up and look down.
"It was so difficult. That scene for me was very technical, and the girl bonding at the same time, and there's a person reading you Smurfette's lines. I felt like a mental case that day."
Mays recently praised The Smurfs' message of tolerance.
The Smurfs is now playing in the US and opens on August 10 in the UK.
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Watch Katy Perry introduce a trailer for The Smurfs below: