V caught up with the actress to talk about her next thriller, Thoroughbred.
For an actor, the biggest perk of working with a director who comes from a theater background is that there are usually rehearsals, a surprisingly rare practice on most shoots. And when Anya Taylor-Joy signed on for playwright Cory Finley’s Thoroughbred, a wicked dark comedy about two childhood friends who reunite with potentially deadly consequences, the first-time filmmaker took things a step further. “Cory, Olivia [Cooke], and I sat in a room over the course of two or three days,” the actress recalls. “And rather than focus on the script and the scenes directly, we fleshed out the relationship the characters had prior to this momentary snapshot that you get of them in the movie: what they experienced together, how they kind of grew apart.” All of that work increased the tension once the cameras started rolling. “The dialogue between these two women who are just continuously trying to usurp the other using just their words…It was just Olivia and I combating with each other verbally.”
With credits like The Witch, Morgan, and Split behind her, this new film is hardly the first time the actress has delved into suspenseful territory, but the projects are high caliber enough that she skirts the scream queen label. Her choices do beg the question, though: why all the scary stuff? “I guess I like people who have been outcast from society,” she muses. “I feel like everyone’s story deserves to be told [even if] it’s not the conventional one or the likable one. In Thoroughbred, Lily isn’t the easiest person to love, but I love her.”
Taylor-Joy feels that same affection for all of her characters. “The worst I had was with Thomasin for The Witch, because I didn’t know that [characters] were real for me yet,” she says. “So, when the movie ended, I was devastated and I couldn’t really figure out where that devastation was coming from. I missed spending time with her, and she was gone. But when I saw the movie, I realized that the character went on within it.” Never mind that Thomasin makes a deal with the devil at the end—it’s still a sweet sentiment.
Source: V Magazine