M. Night Shyamalan Confirms ‘Split 2’, Now Titled ‘Glass’ and Set for 2019 Release
Spoilers aplenty for anyone who hasn’t seen Unbreakable or Split.
M. Night Shyamalan has had, and continues to have, one of the most fascinating careers in all of Hollywood. His big break came in the 1999 mystery thriller The Sixth Sense, which cemented Shyamalan as a master of the twist, ironically or not, in pop culture. The filmography gets decidedly more contested after that. For nearly 20 years, cinephiles have argued over the strengths and weaknesses of the writer/director’s work, but the biggest twist yet came just this year with the release of Split, his latest feature effort.
In this thriller, James McAvoy stars as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man afflicted with two dozen personalities, some of which wage an internal war against the others for control of Kevin and the release of a powerful entity known as The Beast. Though Anya Taylor-Joy‘s character Casey Cooke survives an encounter with The Beast for surprising reasons, the biggest twist was this: Split was a sequel to Shyamalan’s 2000 film, Unbreakable, as confirmed by the reveal of Bruce Willis in the new film’s closing moments. Now, Shyamalan has revealed details for the third film in the shared cinematic universe, Glass.
Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, and Anya Taylor-Joy will all star in Glass, due January 18, 2019.
Here’s the newly release synopsis for Glass: M. Night Shyamalan brings together the narratives of two of his standout originals—2000’s UNBREAKABLE and last year’s SPLIT—in one explosive, all-new comic-book thriller: GLASS. From UNBREAKABLE, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from SPLIT are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.
Following the conclusion of SPLIT, GLASS finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.
This riveting culmination of his worldwide blockbusters will be produced by Shyamalan and Jason Blum, who also produced the writer/director’s previous two films for Universal. They produce again with Ashwin Rajan and Marc Bienstock, and Steven Schneider, who will executive produce.
Saying in a pistachio-green embroidered Dior gown, her hair sprayed egg-yolk yellow, and her dark eyes flashing, the actress Anya Taylor-Joy brings to mind a punk version of Hamlet’s Ophelia—just before her tragic watery end.
“Bella! Divina!” cheers the photographer Paolo Roversi, as Taylor-Joy’s ethereal image appears on the digital screen. The gown, from Maria Grazia Chiuri’s debut couture collection for the French house, is one of many that the 20-year-old will don over the course of the next few hours, slipping effortlessly in and out of them, much the way she does the characters she embodies.
“This is playtime,” she says as she glides among the racks in between shots. “I can morph from one person to another really quickly. I have to think about what I can convey in a single picture.”
Taylor-Joy studied ballet but had no formal drama training; with her taut physique and unconventional beauty, she exudes the magnetic power of a silent movie star. “Look at those eyes!” exclaims Roversi moments later, as Taylor-Joy does her best Marilyn Monroe, singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” while posing in a Chanel silver-sequined column topped with a cloud of tulle. “I love how ambiguous they are.”
Taylor-Joy’s otherworldliness is especially beguiling onscreen. In 2015’s The Witch, she played a tormented teenager in 17th-century New England whose family is torn apart after one of her brothers disappears. She followed that up with Morgan, appearing as a mesmerizingly violent cyborg struggling to come to terms with her human side. And in Split, M. Night Shyamalan’s disturbing thriller about a girl abducted by a man with multiple personalities, Taylor-Joy conveyed with simmering intensity not just the terror of being held captive but also the strength of mind needed to escape.
“Casey taught me to value being quiet,” she says of her character in the film. “A lot of the acting was based on stage direction rather than dialogue, so I really discovered how much I could communicate with my face.” Casey, she adds, “is an outsider with a deep internal wall. She stores information.”
Up next is Thoroughbred, playwright Cory Finley’s first feature film, which premiered to great acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Taylor-Joy is Lily, a girl of much privilege and few morals who teams up with a friend to lure an outcast into killing her stepfather. “Lily is a toxic character, but more by nurture than nature—she has been warped that way,” says Taylor-Joy, almost apologetically, as she wraps herself in a white terrycloth robe and tucks into her lunch of salad and focaccia. “The biggest challenge is playing an awful human being and keeping the audience on your side despite that.”
Finley was impressed by Taylor-Joy’s maturity. “With Thoroughbred, we were trying to walk a very narrow tonal line, and to make a film that was both an honest portrait of two characters and a satirical black comedy,” he says. “So much of the film rides on Anya’s role. She had to be sympathetic and frightening, sometimes at the same time. The role was physically and emotionally demanding, and she was able to go to dark places but to snap out of them quickly.”
One easily senses how deeply Taylor-Joy is able to delve into the psyches of the emotionally complex women she has taken on in her short career. “She’s pure and open internally, and that’s why she’s riveting,” says Shyamalan. “The thing she wants to do more than anything is protect her characters. Filming Split, I would say, ‘You have to defend Casey more,’ and she would tear up.” Taylor-Joy describes herself as “very porous” to the personalities of other people, both real and fictional, and recalls how, as a child, she was just as happy hanging out with her real friends as with imaginary ones. “I would go off into the woods and play out seven different characters. I think I was purging emotions, and by putting them into a story, I felt lighter. I do feel things so intensely.” Off camera, though, Taylor-Joy is upbeat and effervescent; she can go from a posh English accent to Eliza Doolittle cockney to a Valley girl drawl in seconds.
The youngest of six siblings, Taylor-Joy had a peripatetic upbringing—her Argentinean-Scottish father was a powerboat racer, and her English-Spanish mother worked in photography and design. She was born in Miami and spent her early childhood in Buenos Aires; the family moved to London when she was 6. Nowadays, she shuttles between London and New York, and says that the itinerant life has always suited her just fine. “My mother has a video of me at age 7 declaring, ‘I’m going to be an actor,’ ” Taylor-Joy says with a smile. “She asks me, ‘Are you going to drama school?’ and I reply that I’m going to be in the right place at the right time. Thank God it happened.”
Indeed, she was hanging out in Central London when Sarah Doukas (who discovered, among others, Kate Moss) spotted her and promptly signed her to her modeling agency, Storm. Taylor-Joy dropped out of school at age 16 and, while on a photo shoot, met the Irish actor Allen Leech (aka Tom Branson, the chauffeur on Downton Abbey); after hearing her deliver an impromptu reading from the Seamus Heaney book she was carrying, Leech introduced her to his agent. Within four years, she was nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star Award, the British equivalent of the Oscars, and named Breakthrough Actor at the Gotham Independent Film Awards.
Back at the W shoot, three assistants are holding Taylor-Joy aloft as she slowly disappears into a frothy sea of Giambattista Valli lime-green silk tulle. Suddenly, she stiffens her upper body and assumes a slightly mad, intoxicated expression. The entire studio is transfixed. “I go into a meditative state in front the camera, and I feel I’m speaking to it,” she explains later. “That might sound strange. I’m always surprised by how many close-ups there are of me after filming. I’m not aware of the lens.”
I venture that it’s clear she knows a thing or two about the transformative power of clothes. “Growing up, I was a real tomboy, and I was not aware of fashion,” Taylor-Joy says. “I wore my brothers’ clothes and whatever my mom bought me. I rarely looked in the mirror.” Modeling, and acting, changed all that. “When I had my first fitting, it frightened me because I felt so unlike me. I didn’t know how to wrap myself around the idea of looking beautiful. Now, I relish the idea of getting dressed up.” She pauses, recalling a certain featherlight Valentino chiffon confection that she had slipped out of moments before. “Wearing an incandescent dress feels peaceful, like magic,” she says, before adding, unnecessarily, “I’ve always loved make-believe.”
Anya Taylor-Joy In Talks To Join Kristin Scott Thomas’ Directorial Debut ‘The Sea Change’ – Berlin
EXCLUSIVE: Anya Taylor-Joy is in talks to join Kristin Scott Thomas’ directorial debut The Sea Change, which Rocket Science is shopping to buyers at the European Film Market.
The actress, who’s a BAFTA Rising Star nominee this year, will join Scott Thomas in the film based on Elizabeth Jane Howard’s acclaimed novel of the same name. Mark Strong is also in talks to star alongside Scott Thomas.
Rocket Science is handling worldwide sales for the pic, which it launched to buyers this week in Berlin. Rebecca Lenkiewicz adapted the novel for the screen and Barnaby Thompson produces for Fragile Films. Principal photography is scheduled to begin later this year in the UK and Europe.
Story follows a group of people who re-evaluate loss, love and human connection when they find themselves together on a remote Greek island. Emmanuel (Strong) is a successful London playwright married to the complex and witty Lillian (Scott Thomas) for many years, but their marriage is in crisis, a crisis overcome by the arrival of a curious and outspoken young girl (Taylor-Joy). Their relationship is thrown into perspective when her life is thrown upside down.
Taylor-Joy is starring in M. Night Shyamalan’s box office and breakout hit Split, for Universal, and also Thoroughbred for Focus Features. The in-demand actress is in post-production on thriller Marrowbone for Lionsgate.
Rocket Science, which was launched by industry sales veteran Thorsten Schumacher last year, has a robust Berlin slate including the Taika Waititi and Mark Gustafson-directed Bubbles and Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, starring Matthew McConaughey. Additional projects include David Lowery’s The Old Man And The Gun, starring Robert Redford and Casey Affleck; Dominic Cooke’s film adaptation On Chesil Beach, starring Saoirse Ronan; and Judd Apatow’s Juliet, Naked.
Fellow rising star nominee Taylor-Joy had her breakout in her debut film role, 2016’s indie hit The Witch, but is soon set to appear alongside James McAvoy — a rising star winner himself in 2006 — in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller Split.
“I can’t quite put into words how it feels to be in the company of such talent, past and present,” the 20-year-old said. “All my love and gratitude.”
Taylor-Joy is joined in the nominees list by another indie breakthrough, Hedges, currently seen in Kenneth Lonergan’s Oscar-tipped Manchester by the Sea. Hedges, who first made his mark in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, recently wrapped on Greta Gerwig’s directional debut, Lady Bird, alongside Saoirse Ronan and Tracy Letts, and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
“It’s really exciting to be recognized for an award that has nominated many of my favorite actors over the years,” he said. “I’ve always been enamored with English culture and have dreamed of living in England, so this nomination is particularly meaningful for me.”
When she was just 17, Anya Taylor-Joy was faced with a particularly meaningful decision: She could fulfill her childhood dream of appearing on a Disney show, or she could make her lead-role debut in “The Witch,” the puritanical horror film that would eventually launch her to stardom. “I had to be honest with myself, and realized that I’m a lot darker and less bubbly than I thought I would be at this age,” the now-20-year-old says. A former model — she was discovered while walking in London, where she was tailed by a car containing the Storm Model Management founder Sarah Doukas — Taylor-Joy will next star as an at-risk artificial being in the sci-fi thriller “Morgan,” the debut film from Luke Scott, the son of filmmaker Tony Scott. It’s been a rapid ascent, to be sure, made real when Taylor-Joy recently spilled trade secrets with her acting idol, Saoirse Ronan. “That was the first time I thought, ‘I guess I’m officially an actor.’”
These 5 Young Women Are Poised to Take Over Hollywood
Cinema’s new class of (majorly connected!) breakouts.
Beguiling, beautiful, and bringing it on the big screen, these five fresh-faced actresses are Hollywood’s latest breakout performers.
Catch her in: The Witch, the buzzy, beautiful horror indie that hexed Sundance; next year’s Ridley Scott–produced sci-fi thriller Morgan, with Kate Mara.
Witchy woman: “After reading the script, I didn’t sleep the entire night—it was utterly terrifying. When I walked into the audition, I was shaking. I was horrified. It was this dark impulse to do it. I needed to tell that story.”
We’ve been hearing about Fox’s X-Men spinoff, The New Mutants, for a while now, and finally, it appears that the wheels are starting to turn on the project. Earlier this week, producer Simon Kinberg talked a little bit about the YA-vibe that the film is going for, and tonight, we have some potential casting updates to share with you.
According to HitFix, the studio is eyeing Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and up-and-comer Anya Taylor-Joy for parts in the film. They’re also hoping to have Alexandra Shipp reprise her role as Storm from X-Men: Apocalypse.
As for the newcomers, Williams is said to be up for a “werewolf-like character named Wolfsbane” while Taylor-Joy could potentially step into the part of Illya Rasputin, aka Magik. Alongside them, it’s being reported that Fox is hoping to cast Cannonball, Sunspot and Mirage, thus completing the line-up of heroes who will make up the New Mutants.
Finally, HitFix mentions that James McAvoy will return as Professor X and he’ll have a substantial role to play.
The New Mutants, or X-Men: The New Mutants as it seems to be called now, will be with us in 2018.
It’s all happening for Anya Taylor-Joy. In the year since she shook up Sundance with her stellar turn as a 17th-century teen in the sensational The Witch: A New-England Folktale, and since we featured her in our Hollywood New Wave portfolio, all she’s done is stack up a slate of impressive films set to hit screens over the next year or so, and which will likely make her into a star. Born in Miami, raised in Argentina and then London, the 19-year-old daughter of a Spanish-English mother and a Scottish-Argentinian father is at home nowhere and everywhere—at least anywhere there is a film set. As her profile rises with the recent release of The Witch, and her life begins to change, the young actress tells M. Night Shyamalan, director of her forthcoming film, Split, she has wanted to make her home in film for so long, she can’t even remember when the wanting started.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN: Hey, you awake?
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: Uh, dude, I’ve been awake since, like, two this morning. L.A. does not care about London time.
SHYAMALAN: Two a.m.? What have you been doing for six hours?
TAYLOR-JOY: I read a lot, and then I tried to play my ukulele really quietly to not piss off anyone who was around the area.
SHYAMALAN: Wait, wait. You have a ukulele? If you’d told me this, I wouldn’t have hired you.
TAYLOR-JOY: The ukulele is a deal breaker? [both laugh]
SHYAMALAN: The ukulele is important for me.
TAYLOR-JOY: I did buy an electric guitar while shooting Split . Does that up my cool points?
SHYAMALAN: Definitely. So I was thinking: Being an immigrant in the United States making movies is an unusual feeling, for me. It defines the way I think and tell stories. Like, I try to tell stories to everyone around the world because my family’s all around the world. Does that come into your thinking about your roles, the way you approach your characters—being international?
TAYLOR-JOY: I’ve been quite lucky in that the roles that I’ve been able to play are all kind of outsiders. And, you know, I belong to so many places, and belong to none of them at the same time, so there’s this sense of displacement—I very much understand what it is to not fit in or belong somewhere. In The Witch or Morgan [forthcoming], my characters are people who just don’t belong in their world, in their scenarios, in their families, in anything. I think, probably, the place that I feel I most belong is a movie set. It doesn’t matter where it is in the world or who I’m making the movie with; that’s the closest thing that I’ve got to a sense of placement. So I guess acting was a way of finding a home, if that makes sense.
SHYAMALAN: I feel very similarly. Making movies is a circus, and you join a new circus family every movie, to some extent. It’s a new group of family members for this intense period of time, and then everybody packs up and goes on their way to the next circus.
TAYLOR-JOY: It is kind of bizarre, but at the same time, I feel like anyone that gets into movies didn’t fit into the real world, and so we made our own world.
SHYAMALAN: We certainly are comfortable with the itinerant quality of our lives, with these groups of strangers who become your family.
TAYLOR-JOY: Completely, the bond is so strong.
SHYAMALAN: I never even told you this … I mean, you auditioned with a thousand other girls who auditioned for the role in Split, and I remember my casting director sent me an e-mail saying, “Wait, I just recorded someone I think is really interesting. You need to look at this.” I looked at the tape, and I was like, “Whoa, this is something really different.” It really stood out. And, I never do this, by the way, I called someone in from one of the offices down the hall and said, “Just look at this.” Casting is such a private thing for me, what my gut’s telling me. But I called in Dom [Dominic Catanzarite, Shyamalan’s assistant], and his eyebrows went up. So when I called you in to audition in person with three or four other girls, I thought, “It’s hers as long as she isn’t, you know … ”
SHYAMALAN: Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. [both laugh]
TAYLOR-JOY: What is that?
SHYAMALAN: That’s a technical term, a director’s term. So wait, was it modeling that you did first? Or acting?
TAYLOR-JOY: I got scouted for modeling, and it was really scary—I was walking my dog wearing heels for the first time ever because I had a party to go to the day after, and I wanted to practice, and this black car kind of started following me, so I, being dramatic, picked up the dog and started to run. I was like, “This is the end.” And this guy popped out and was like, “If you stop, you won’t regret it.” Which now, looking back, I’m like, dumb move. If someone says that to you, you keep running.
SHYAMALAN: It’s the classic serial murderer line!
TAYLOR-JOY: I completely fell for it. But I stopped, and it was Sarah Doukas, the head of Storm Models, in the car. Modeling had never entered my consciousness. I was always like, “I’m going to act.” But I thought, “If this can help me with that, great.”
SHYAMALAN: How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an actress?
TAYLOR-JOY: Dude, it’s really bizarre. I can never remember becoming aware of it; I just knew I was going to do it. I can remember the first time I heard really good music. I was 3 and I was in one of those baby-seat things. We were in Argentina and I heard “Stayin’ Alive,” and I can remember being like, “Whoa, what is this?” When I was little, I would always make up stories; it never occurred to me not to do it. I danced ballet really hard core for a very long time. I just knew that I wanted to express myself in some way, whether it was through dancing or through music … I was very good at lying when I was little. So I was like, “Huh, I guess this is kind of useful.” [Shyamalan laughs] I’d make up the most outrageous lies. I kind of stopped doing that when I started acting. Strange.
SHYAMALAN: In some ways, I find modeling and acting very different, in what’s being asked of you. Like, what I’m asking of you is such an internalization of your character that your physical manifestations are unconscious, and I record that. You’re aware of what you’re doing, but it’s coming from a character. In modeling, it’s almost the reverse. You’re letting the viewer interpret whatever they want to interpret.
TAYLOR-JOY: Thinking about it that way, I think the biggest difference is characters are real—hopefully—they’re flawed and vulnerable, human. While modeling isn’t human. When you’re modeling, you’re projecting an ideal. Maybe you can help me riddle this out, because I don’t really understand it. When I’m taking pictures as myself, it is so rare for me to be like, “Oh, that’s me.” It’s sort of like a puppy looking at itself in the mirror, do you know what I mean? I can’t connect with the person in the pictures.
SHYAMALAN: Yeah. What they’re asking you to do in that moment is represent a broader color than what we do in film, where we’re talking about this specific girl in a specific situation that can only react the way she reacts. So, speaking of which,The Witch was your first movie, right?
TAYLOR-JOY: Yeah. I’m still kind of learning all the jargon, but I got to set and was just like, “What is going on?” I was so confused. God bless Rob [Robert Eggers, writer-director of The Witch]—he grabbed my hand and kind of waved me through everything. He was great.
SHYAMALAN: You just auditioned?
TAYLOR-JOY: Yeah. Rob tells this story—I love it—but I was the first tape he saw, and then he watched like a thousand more because he was like, “No, it can’t be that easy.” [laughs] When we met, I was so anxious—like, losing it. If a script is meant for me, I’ll get this sensation in my body where I’ll just start to shake. And so when I walked in, I was all over the place, and I was like, “I’m pretty much having a panic attack. Do you still want me to do this?”
And he was like, “Yeah, sure.” It was amazing. We shot in Canada. We stayed in a little place called Mattawa. Like, 60 people live there all the time. I love that place. And then we would shoot two hours away. So we’d drive two hours every morning and two hours every night.
SHYAMALAN: My goodness. We have talked a bit about fame and publicity that comes with our jobs, and how that can be unsettling for us as human beings, and distracting as an artist. How are you feeling about the things coming down the road for you, because you’re starring in three big movies in the coming year or so, how do you think that will affect you as a human being and create challenges for you as an artist?
TAYLOR-JOY: I mean, I never thought, “I want to be famous.” I want to act. This makes me feel good. Nothing makes me feel as good as doing this. Nothing could make me more satisfied. And I’m terrified of fame. I like knowing that, when people like me, they like me for who I am and because they’ve taken the time to get to know me. To be honest, it’s going to make me just more of a workaholic, because when I’m not working, I’m doing publicity, and I’d rather be on set all the time, which isn’t that different from what I already want.
SHYAMALAN: I have observed a direct correlation with people’s professional choices and their version of fame. If they didn’t love and respect their choices, and then they become famous, it feels like a betrayal. Every time someone says, “God, I loved you in x-y-z,” it’s a dagger. The worst thing that can happen is to become incredibly successful for something that you don’t respect.
TAYLOR-JOY: I’ve made three movies in my lifetime and all three have had three things: One, do I love my character so much that I’d do anything for her? Two, did the script give me that insane feeling in my body? And then three, would I follow the director to the end of the earth? Yes? Okay, I want to do it. I think about the relationship between an actor and a director like an Olympic athlete and their coach. Like, I am completely vulnerable and open and ready to create your vision and allow you to mold me. I’ve been so lucky with the people that I’ve worked with. You’ve taught me so much about so many things, as a human being and an actor.
SHYAMALAN: If you could plan the next 10 years, and it went exactly like you wanted, what would it be?
TAYLOR-JOY: Making movies that I’m unabashedly proud of. Growing. I want to keep working with all the people I want to work with. I also write a lot of music, I write a lot of poems, and I’d love to do something big for animals. I really love animals—the only thing that makes me properly mad is the mistreatment of an animal. I see complete red.
SHYAMALAN: A random thing popped into my head, and you can tell me to shut up when I bring this up. You can be like, “I can’t believe you brought this up on this Interview interview.” But when we started you on Split, there was a moment when we were in my office, and then you left for the weekend, and you left your script in my office.
TAYLOR-JOY: Oh, my God. Night. [both laugh]
SHYAMALAN: And you came back on Monday, and I let you have it. I just laid into you. I have to say you responded incredibly to it, but I just wanted to hear your side of it.
TAYLOR-JOY: I had already panicked. I knew it was in the office. I knew how much it was going to matter to you. But, also, when people yell at me, I am calm.
SHYAMALAN: [laughs] Well, I didn’t yell at you. I was disappointed.
TAYLOR-JOY: No, you didn’t. But I took it as a challenge. I realized how serious you were. I was just like, “I’m going to prove myself to this guy.” I was going to be the most dedicated actress you’d ever worked with. And, because we’d already had that, I knew our relationship worked. Does that make sense?
SHYAMALAN: It does. I mean, I’m very strict in terms of dedication to the craft of it all. But, you know, you are a very unusual actor. I could do take after take after take, and you seem to have an unending pool of emotion. That’s very unusual. You’re like an exposed, raw nerve. But I don’t want you to rely on that—whatever that is, call it a gift. If you bring craft to that, the sky’s the limit for you.
TAYLOR-JOY: Well, you made me an infinitely better actor—I hope so, anyway. [laughs] So thank you.
SHYAMALAN: I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for you when The Witchopens. How does your family feel about your decision to go into acting, and then these astronomical opportunities that have happened like magic?
TAYLOR-JOY: Magic is my favorite word. And it does feel like magic. I have a lot of brothers and sisters, but they’re all a lot older than me, so my parents and I are very close. We’ve been through everything together. They always supported me. I was like, “I’m going to act,” and people would be like, “But how is it going to happen?” And I was like, “I don’t know. I’m going to be in the right place at the right time, and this is going to work.” And so when I actually started doing it, my parents were obviously immensely proud of me, like, “Hell, yeah. There’s our girl, doing what she loves.” But then I dropped out of school. That wasn’t that great for them. [Shyamalan laughs] But you would have laughed so hard how I did it. I wrote a five-page-long essay that was like, “I am 17 and you can’t tell me what to do, and this is why I want to leave school to become an actor.” [laughs] Luckily,The Witch came straight after that, so it all just kind of snowballed, and I’m getting to share it with them. It’s strange. My dad cries a lot randomly. Like, he’ll be really proud and start to cry. They’ve been so great and they’re complete rocks, and they’re so happy about it.
SHYAMALAN: That letter you wrote, was it running from something or running to something?
TAYLOR-JOY: It was running to something. I was done with school. I never got along with people my own age. People at school kind of didn’t get me. I had these wonderful teachers. I also have a very good short-term memory, and so I could do exams really easily, but it just, I was feeling so uninspired. I love to learn. I read a ton, I’m always fascinated …
SHYAMALAN: I’m going to stop you there. Everything you just said felt like running from.
TAYLOR-JOY: But if you’re running from something, and you already have the place that you’re running to, what are you doing? I was running from school towards the life that I wanted. And I’m very determined. I’m very stubborn. Once I set my mind towards something, it’s going to happen. By hook or by crook. And it all ended up happening, kind of miraculously, and in a randomly simple, complicated way. It just all sort of worked out.
SHYAMALAN: Well, I am the biggest believer in what you’re talking about. We’re all basically antennas, and if you’re putting that much focus into something with that much belief, it will manifest in some form. You’ve heard those stories, like, Jim Carrey writes a check to himself for $20 million when he was poor, wanting to be an actor, and he put it in his wallet … Did you hear this story?
SHYAMALAN: So he writes a check to himself saying, “To Jim Carrey, for acting services rendered, $20 million,” and keeps it in his wallet. And guess what happens? He becomes the first actor in the world to get paid $20 million.
TAYLOR-JOY: Damn. That’s cool.
M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE SIXTH SENSE, SIGNS,THE VISIT, AND THE FORTHCOMING SPLIT, AMONG OTHER FILMS.
Young Barack Obama Film Casts Devon Terrell, ‘The Witch’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy
The film sees Obama as a college student exploring the Big Apple.
The story of a young Barack Obama trying to find his way in 1981 New York City has found its two leads.
Devon Terrell and Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of the hit horror movie The Witch, will star in Barry, an indie drama being directed by Vikram Gandhi, a Vice correspondent who made the documentary Kumare.
Black Bear Pictures (The Imitation Game) is producing with Cinetic Media. The movie is expected to begin shooting in April.
Barry explores the time when Obama was a college student in New York City and forged key relationships, including with a fellow student (Taylor-Joy).
The script was written by Adam Mansbach, the author perhaps best known for the adult children’s book Go the F*** to Sleep. He also tackled race with his novel Angry Black White Boy.
Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Ben Stillman are producing the pic along with Cinetic’s Dana O’Keefe as well as Gandhi.
Barry is the second young-Obama tale making its way to the big screen. Southside With You, a film about the early years of Obama’s relationship with first lady Michelle Obama, premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. Miramax and Roadside acquired the project, which stars Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter as Barack and Michelle.
Taylor-Joy became a bit of a Sundance sensation when The Witch debuted at the festival in 2015. A24 recently released the film in theaters in the U.S., where it took in $8.8 million in its debut.
The actress has already shot lead roles in Morgan, Fox’s sci-fi thriller directed by Luke Scott (Ridley Scott’s son), and M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Split. Next up for Taylor-Joy is the drama Huntsville opposite Shea Whigham. She is repped by CAA, UK’s Troika and Felker Toczek.
Terrell was discovered by 12 Years of Slave filmmaker Steve McQueen, who gave him the lead role in his HBO pilot, Codes of Conduct, after undertaking an exhaustive worldwide talent search. Barry will be his film debut. The actor is repped by CAA and IMC in Australia.
Gandhi, whose Kumare won the audience award at SXSW in 2011, is repped by UTA and attorney Victoria Cook of Franklin Kurnit. Mansbach is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.
Hollywood’s Next Big Thing: ‘The Witch’ Breakout Anya Taylor-Joy Goes From Ballet to Studio Thrillers
The actress (and secret rapper) has parlayed Sundance buzz into lead roles and almost-“it” girl status.
A version of this story first appeared in the Feb. 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Anya Taylor-Joy became one of those brief Sundance sensations in 2015 with her very first movie role, playing the eldest daughter in a Puritan family threatened by witchcraft in The Witch. A year later, A24 finally is set to release the film Feb. 19. But she’s used the time well. Raised in Argentina and the U.K. as the youngest of six children, the former ballet dancer already has shot lead roles in Morgan, Fox’s sci-fi thriller directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott’s son, and M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller Split. Next up is the drama Huntsville opposite Shea Whigham.
What do you love about acting?
I never feel happier than when I’m on set. I never fit in as a kid. I always felt that there was something different about me. And when I’m on a movie set, it sounds cheesy, but I really do feel complete.
How did you get the role in The Witch?
I put an audition on tape. I read the script the night before, which was dumb because I did not sleep. In the script, my character was written as sort of plain, and I thought, “I’m sort of weird looking,” so I didn’t think I would get it. I later found out that I was the first tape [director] Rob [Eggers] saw, but he thought, “It can’t be that easy,” so then he watched 1,000 more tapes before he gave it to me.
What filmmakers would you love to work with?
Everyone? (Laughs.) I would love to work with [Quentin] Tarantino. I’d love to work with the Coen brothers. And Steven Spielberg. E.T. was big for me.
What was your first audition?
Maleficent. As the biggest Disney fan, I was dying. I was so nervous, I was shaking. I cried for a very long time after I didn’t get it.
Whom have you been starstruck around?
Dan Romer, who scored Beasts of the Southern Wild. I listen to that soundtrack all the time. And I would die if I met Saoirse Ronan. When I was 15, I watched all of her movies in one day.
Do you have any secret talents?
I’m a surprisingly good rapper. I was hanging out with the director of my next film [Huntsville’s Eric England], and he put on “Rap God” by Eminem, and I rapped the fast bit. I love it. It wakes my brain up in the morning.
What are you looking for in the future?
I’ve been very lucky with the roles that I’ve played in that they were wonderful roles for women. They’re incredible, flawed characters that I really gravitate toward. I just never want anybody to be able to put me in a box.
Big break Sundance 2015 hit The Witch (Feb. 19)
Reps CAA, Troika and Felker Toczek
“I never fit in as a kid. I always felt that there was something different about me. And when I’m on a movie set, it sounds cheesy, but I really do feel complete,” says Taylor-Joy
“I’m a surprisingly good rapper,” said Taylor-Joy of her secret talent. I love it. It wakes my brain up in the morning.”
Welcome to Anya Taylor-Joy Online at anyataylorjoy.org, your first online source for all things Anya Taylor-Joy. She is an American-born Argentine-British actress and model. She is best known for her role as Casey Cooke in "Split" (2017), her lead role as Thomasin in "The Witch" (2015) and another movie "Morgan" (2016) as Morgan with Kate Mara. Here you will be able to find the great quantity of information, photos, videos, news and a lot more about the actress. Here is a fact of fans for the fans. If you have any questions and/or comments please be sure to visit our contact page and contact us regarding anything. Thanks for visiting!
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