The actress turns 25 with a bright future full of projects like ‘Mad Max: Furious’, ‘The Northman’… We spoke to her.
“But … did you see the boluda?” The Argentine and Spanish blood that runs through the veins of Anya Taylor-Joy (Miami, 1996) is manifested, speaking in Spanish in an complicit way with the one who writes this, who has presented himself as an envoy of PHOTOGRAMS, after the actress had a disagreement with a German journalist who reproached her for having played a role like Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen’s novel, according to her a submissive woman who does little for the fight for feminism. “He must not have understood the character in the movie or in the book,” Anya says. “This is what I have answered: being a feminist today, in the 21st century, is very easy. However, it proved to be so in the 19th century. Try to be Jane Austen, to be a woman writer. She tries to be Emma, who despite her ideal of her marriage is someone who manages her life, who is independent. I’ve been very angry. Thus unity is impossible. But, well, I’m not going to pay it with you, you mentioned before that you loved the movie. “
Imperfection is beautiful
Anya, the youngest of six siblings and who does not cost anything to imagine marking territory in a large family – “If you don’t fight with yours, who better are you going to do it with?” She laughs with a carefree expression. “Competitiveness … Find your life being the little one at home” – she tells the truth, without a polygraph or anything: Emma, the version directed by Autumn de Wilde, has loved the signatory of these lines, so it seems that everything is going to go well with the young actress. The interview then continues, in Spanish, and whoever made himself known internationally thanks to The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015) continues to defend his character in this new version of Emma: “It is timeless, it speaks to us in different ways according to each generation of readers or readers. She is neither a stereotype nor someone one-dimensional. That is why she works so well in every adaptation, be it classic or the delicious Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995), which is the one that Autumn de Wilde, the director, has taken as a reference here. Emma is imperfect, and imperfection is wonderful. Not just in a character that you have to play, but in life. Imperfection makes us human and better ”.
In the beginning…
Perhaps her role was imperfect in the aforementioned The Witch, the film that discovered her and of which she only has praise: “It is a film that is still rich and new every time you see it again, and I do it a lot, almost a couple of times a year. Everything about her is fascinating, and my character is rich in that you have not just discovered and fully savored in a single viewing ”. Debuting like this in the cinema does not usually happen. With fear that the good vibes in the interview will disappear, we dare to point out that her debut was a year before with Vampire Academy (Mark Waters, 2014), although in an almost seen and unseen appearance. “Did you see that?” The actress makes a face of amused astonishment. “But I don’t even go out! No, no, I want to forget about it. In fact, I confess, sometimes I’m tempted to go into IMDb and delete it from my filmography … but I don’t know how to do it! “
“Do with me what you want”
This is what he told Eggers, his discoverer in The Witch and with whom Anya Taylor-Joy has returned to work on The Northman, an epic Viking chronicle set in the 10th century that promises blood, atavism, strange folklore, runes and interpretations luxury within a cast led by the actress and completed by heavyweights such as Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Alexander Skarsgård and Willem Dafoe. “At last we are going to repeat together!”, Anya’s enthusiasm overflows. “Have you seen The Lighthouse? The best movie of last year, and without discussion. You’re not going to argue with me, are you? (laughs) Because it was a story of two men, and the meaning of much of what happens to them is precisely because they are, that if not, if there had been a possibility that the role of Robert Pattinson or Willem Dafoe was that of a woman, there I would have stood up. Farts included! ” The laughs are now mutual, from the young woman interviewed and from the interviewer, who cannot imagine Taylor-Joy with wind in between. “Do you know something? She fled from the pretty girl label. First because I am not; I am, let’s say, rare, but I adore being so and going from one project to another making a flag of it, of the imperfect ”.
Everything is connected
“For me, each project has to do with what I have done before. It is not that there is a pre-established model. Each film has given me something that I try to reuse or take advantage of in the next. For example: Gina Gray from Peaky Blinders has helped me cope with a role that takes place serially on television. ” From the small screen, a medium that is not alien to it, we are talking about it. The chess virtuoso Beth Harmon in Lady’s Gambit, the miniseries that the actress premiered, with great success, last November on Netflix, is once again a complex character whose apparent fragility and cold cerebral attitudes hide a convulsed inner universe. “Now that the series has been seen, you will understand my enthusiasm and why Beth, that chess star, has fascinated me so much. Working with Scott Frank, who developed the project and directs all the episodes, has reminded me of what it’s like to do it with someone like Robert Eggers. I highly recommend that those who are going to see the series, or have already seen it, read the novel, by Walter Tevis, on which it is based. If it is already difficult to make a game of chess fascinating in images, imagine yourself only with the words, and the novel succeeds ”.
“I’m more Argentine, you know, but Spain drives me crazy.” Visits to separate festivals – “Do you know someone from the San Sebastian Festival who will invite me again?” -, his Spanish connection is El Secreto de Marrowbone (Sergio G. Sánchez, 2017) where he already coincided with who his partner is (” Comical couple, like in a girl’s screwball comedy ”, Taylor-Joy points out with amusement) in Emma, Mia Goth. “I have very good memories of the shooting and also of the movie. I am a lover of the fantastic and terrifying genre and that was a very European show, very much a story by Henry James and with a treatment between the delicacy of auteur cinema and a Hammer production. Precisely because of that, because it seemed more British than Spanish, I am dying to work on a project that is about Spanish things. I will say something that surely you have never heard from a non-Spanish actress: I wish Pedro Almodóvar would call me! ”.
In strange worlds
“I feel comfortable in them.” We understand it: the titles that have been appearing in this relaxed conversation in a London hotel, his work voicing the serial revival of Dark Crystal also for Netflix last year or the superhero (“Supertorturada rather”, he rightly interrupts again) Illyana Rasputin, or what is the same, Magik, in The New Mutants (Josh Boone, 2020), a film – vindicable, despite the commercial setback, a mix between adolescent horror films and Marvel pyrotechnics – that came to us, after an accident filming , breaks, back to the set to film additional scenes and delays, at the end of last August. He did much better as Casey Cooke, his memorable role in two jewels by M. Night Shyamalan: Multiple (2016) and Glass (2019). “If you are a fan of the genre and you receive the call from the author of The Sixth Sense, The Forest and The Protected … you cannot be happier and more fortunate. It was a pleasure to be part of the Shyamalan universe. “
“Life is an imperfect surprise. I want to be surprised by her, ”Anya Taylor-Joy repeats like a mantra. This talk took place at the beginning of forgettable 2020, which was an imperfect surprise for humanity. Soon it was known that the actress was taking the role of Imperator Furiosa in the prequel to Mad Max: Fury on the Road (2015), again directed by George Miller and inheriting the role of Charlize Theron. Joining her will be Chris Hemsworth and promises to be the film that makes her the ultimate action star. How could she take it? We suppose that well although “I neither see myself nor want to be a star. What’s that? What use is it? I am 25 years old, I just want to have fun acting, be it in a drama or a blockbuster with shootings, explosions and car chases ”.
This report appears published in the number of PHOTOGRAMS of January 2021.