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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 more recently in "The Queen's Gambit" (2020) playing Beth Harmon. Enjoy your stay!
Written by admin on May 24, 2024

VOGUE – This time two years ago, Anya Taylor-Joy was knee-deep in the rust-red earth of Broken Hill making the epic Furiosa. During the five months of production, Taylor-Joy fell in love with Australia and in particular Sydney, seeking out secret harbourside beaches, seeing movies at the Randwick Ritz, walking most Sundays from her rental in Paddington all the way to Newtown. Taylor-Joy has barely been back in the city for 24 hours and already she’s visited SWOP, the thrift store in Darlinghurst, and bought an oversized T-shirt emblazoned with Remy, the cartoon character from Ratatouille.

Today, the 28-year-old fashion darling—she is Dior’s global ambassador for women’s fashion and beauty, house ambassador for Tiffany & Co. and global ambassador for Jaeger Le-Coultre—is wearing her new purchase like a dress, accessorised with a pair of molten gold Tiffany & Co. cuffs. Sitting opposite Taylor-Joy in her hotel suite, among the breakfast detritus (fruit platter and an empty French press) is her Furiosa co-star, Chris Hemsworth. As the pair prepare to share their Mad Max prequel with the world, we listen in on their wide-ranging conversation.

CHRIS HEMSWORTH: “Anya, here we are in Sydney again. How does it feel to be back?”

ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: “Amazing. I didn’t realise how well I know this city. Yesterday, we were walking around and I was like, oh, I don’t use Google Maps here at all. My feet just know the way.”

CH: “What do you remember about meeting [director] George [Miller] for the first time?”

ATJ: “I got a text from [filmmaker] Edgar Wright that said, ‘George Miller’s going to call you.’ And I was like, ‘Random. But exciting.’ We just had a really long two-hour conversation about all of these things, which now, looking back, makes a lot of sense, but at the time felt pretty random. He was like, ‘How are you about stunts, and do you like motorbikes, and would you be okay with this, and tell me about your background as a dancer.’”

CH: “Had you seen any Mad Max movies before? What impression of Australia had they given you?”

ATJ: “Fury Road was my first introduction to the world, and I just remember being really struck by the colours. I could not wait to get out to Broken Hill and see the red earth. I actually took some. You know in Pirates of the Caribbean when he’s like, [sings] ‘I got a jar of dirt!’ I took a jar of dirt from Broken Hill and it stays in my house, with different little flowers I’d found, because I wanted a bit of Australia with me.”

CH: “Mentally, how did you process taking on such an epic character, in such a big film in a beloved franchise?”

ATJ: “I don’t know if you have this, but my brain doesn’t allow me to think about things that would potentially cause me to not do something, until it’s way too fucking late. And then you’re doing it, and it’s only afterwards that I’m like, ‘Oh no! This is big. And intense. And there’s a lot of expectation on it.’ At the time, it just feels like your life, you don’t necessarily bring outside forces into it, but then as soon as it’s over, I have a full-blown panic attack.”

CH: “I’m the same. I always find I get to the press tour and people start asking me questions, and I’m like, ‘Did I take it seriously enough?’ I think it’s self-preservation mode.”

ATJ: “What do they put on racehorses?”

CH: “Blinkers.”

ATJ: “Blinkers! Just go towards the finish line.”

CH: “Just a couple of racehorses, we are.”

ATJ: “Thoroughbreds, baby.”

CH: “And you were ready to shave your head, but George wouldn’t let you?”

ATJ: “I was so fucking psyched.”

CH: “I was psyched!”

ATJ: “I have been wanting to do it forever, my whole life. Other people have an attachment to my hair and that’s like, ‘Fuck you, I want it gone.’ I called up everyone on my team, called up Dior, called up Tiffany, and I was like, ‘Listen, I’m gonna be bald, and it’s gonna be great.’ And George saw me, and he just grabbed my hair and went, ‘Oh, it’s too beautiful. We can’t cut it.’”

CH: “So you get to Australia to make Furiosa. What were your first impressions of Sydney?”

ATJ: “The birds. Waking up in the morning and going, ‘What the fuck is that? That’s amazing!’”

CH: “And then we went further afield to Broken Hill. How was that for you?”

ATJ: “I knew that Furiosa was going to be the job that I got my cat on…I’m going to need something to love. So [my cat] Kitsune is very proudly Australian and it was just the two of us in this very isolated house in Broken Hill and he came to work with me every day. It’s just magical. I know you guys are bored of hearing it, but if you’ve never seen a kangaroo, it’s like, ‘Holy fuck!’”

CH: “No, it’s still cool.”

ATJ: “And the stars you get out there. Wild. So, so beautiful. I think about that house a lot. It was a very special time for me.”

CH: “I really enjoyed the Broken Hill section. Sydney is always nice, but it’s the city. Something about being removed from everything, like you’ve stepped back in time. The dust, the dirt…How did you cope?”

ATJ: “Loved it. Dirtiest I’d ever been, easily…[Because] the way that George shoots, I guess it’s the lens he has on the camera, dirt doesn’t show.”

CH: “I didn’t realise that.”

ATJ: “When you looked at my face, did you not go, ‘Woah!’”

CH: [Laughs] “You just fit the setting!”

ATJ: “There’s a couple of scenes where we’d be missing a bit of red dirt and I’d just go outside and roll around in it and go, ‘Okay! I’m ready to go.’”

CH: “There were big days, long hours. How did you unwind afterwards?”

ATJ: “Oh god. Did you? I struggled, really. I just kind of rolled into the next day. I loved the drive home, that was helpful. But having Kitsune around, I had to go home and feed him, and make sure he’s okay, and that was my way of winding down.”

CH: “You have said that you haven’t chosen to be a method actor, nor would you want to be. What appeals to you about being able to step away from roles?”

ATJ: “This, I think, is a misinterpretation. What I say is I have not chosen to be a method actor—but I know that you connect with this—you don’t have a choice if they come home with you or not. Each of my characters have massively impacted me for the period of time that I’m in. On this one, I remember having a conversation with my husband and he was like, ‘I’ve never heard you so angry.’ And I was like, ‘Good! I am angry!’ That was her, almost, gift to me… From the moment I read the script of Furiosa, I knew it was going to be real time. I knew I would go through it and hopefully it would show up on screen. I can’t imagine wanting to be a method actor, making the conscious choice to terrorise my family.”

CH: “And the entire set.”

ATJ: “Exactly! And the entire set. We’re all here, it’s hard enough as it is.”

CH: “What did you learn about yourself making Furiosa?”

ATJ: “I wanted to be put in an environment where I had to understand my own mettle, and really be pushed. It’s almost George’s whole philosophy, what are you like in extremis? Without sounding bleurgh, I’m a very giving person and I’ll often let people take more than I can give, and I remember a moment where I was like, thank you for pushing me so hard I have no choice but to stand up, and it’s impacted my life in a huge way. I now stand my ground a lot harder.”

CH: “Do you miss Furiosa?”

ATJ: “Yeah. I don’t know if you feel this way, but [characters] go at different times. I’m still grieving Beth from Queen’s Gambit, I still can’t go near a chessboard, I’m like, nope! But with her, I wonder if there will be a sense of relief of handing her over to the audience, where I can think, she’s taken care of now.”

CH: “Let’s take it back. Tell me a little bit about growing up in Buenos Aires.”

ATJ: “When I close my eyes and picture myself as a kid, I’m in the countryside, in Argentina, looking up at the sky like wow, imagination! There’s so much space! I’m sure your kids have this, from being lucky enough to grow up where they’re growing up—you can’t beat a childhood outdoors.”

CH: “What is your favourite phrase in Spanish that doesn’t exist in English?”

ATJ: “I’ve always loved the word empachar. It’s usually to do with food, but I can take it as an emotional experience as well. I had so much of the thing that I loved, that I can’t have it anymore… Or if you drink a bunch of booze and you can never have it again. People have that experience with port.”

CH: “Or tequila. Favourite Spanish swear word?”

ATJ: “Cos my mum says it, coño… [It means] damn, I guess? You can use it in conversation, almost like a full stop.”

CH: “I’ve heard that one in my house. You took your dad to the Oscars this year. You promised to do that when you were 12, if you were ever invited. How special was that? What did you guys get up to?”

ATJ: “It was fucking awesome. Well, we hung out with you.”

CH: “I was gonna say, I didn’t see your dad when we were hanging out at five am!”

ATJ: [Laughs] “Daddy went home for the after-hours portion of the evening.”

CH: “That was a fun night.”

ATJ: “I think I would have found it very overwhelming if I’d been there alone, but to be there with my dad, I was so focused on taking care of him that it put my energy somewhere else and I was able to enjoy it.”

CH: “So at 12, you were envisioning this career already? What was your dream?”

ATJ: “I can’t imagine ever wanting to do anything other than being an artist, it was a chip in my brain. I watched a lot of the movies that my brother and sister were raised on and it was all adventurous quests, like Jumanji or Free Willy, and I was like, I wanna be the kid that rides the whale! That’s a job? Fuck yeah, I want to do that. I wanted to be in a situation where I could explore different worlds and have adventures, and that still doesn’t go away.”

CH: “Where do you think your passion and drive comes from?”

ATJ: “My dad’s a power-boat racer, so that’s where my competitive streak comes from… It’s something that as a kid, people found it very difficult, and as I’m growing up, I’m starting to appreciate it more about myself. I’m just massively passionate. If I love something, I really love it. I was talking about this with my mum the other day. I’ve not had the opportunity to rest that much, but I’ve realised that if I don’t rest, but I see something marvellous that I can be passionate about, that feeds me as much as getting a good night’s sleep.”

CH: “You were scouted as a model walking your dog in London.”

ATJ: “Yeah! I remember I was about to go to my first grown-up party and I was wearing my mum’s heels because I wanted to practice and I had to get it right. Such an intense child. I thought this car was following me and I was like, Anya, your parents are watching too much 24, there’s no way this is happening. And as I started to run and the car picked up speed I was like, oh no, it’s happening! And then this guy stuck his head out the window and screamed, ‘If you stop, you won’t regret it.’”

CH: “That sounds like 101 bad guy!”

ATJ: “The crazy thing is, [my mum’s] got this video of me at like, five, and she’s asking me, ‘What are you going to be when you grow up, and are you going to go to drama school?’ And I’m like, no! I’m just gonna be in the right place at the right time and it’s just going to happen. I just stopped, and when he explained modelling, I’d never considered modelling before, but I’d heard of models who’d become actors, so I’m going to follow this.”

CH: “You still love fashion. I’m about to attend my first Met Gala.”

ATJ: “Woo hoo!”

CH: [Laughs] “What do I need to know about fashion’s night of nights?”

ATJ: “The first time that I went, I was so young and I hadn’t been working enough to know anybody and I remember feeling really isolated and very scared, but I think what this party is, is you get the chance to see all of the people you know and love, so you are going to have the best time… Just enjoy it. Also, the taxi situation afterward is hell.”

CH: “You recently celebrated your second wedding anniversary. Congratulations.”

ATJ: “Thank you!”

CH: “What have you learned about your husband over the past two years being married, and about your relationship? Right decision, wrong decision?”

ATJ: “I’m about to be so annoying and I don’t even care. I did not know it was possible to love somebody more and more every single day. And the most beautiful thing about finding your person is they do exist. One should never settle, because if you settle, you’re then going to meet them and you’re going to have to get divorced and that’s going to fuckin’ suck. It’s the most beautiful, life-expanding situation ever, because, of course, you accept people for who they are, but I am better every day for being a better partner…I can learn to be more compassionate, I can learn to be more patient. I am just so grateful. He is the best.”

CH: “I love him, too. I fall more and more in love with him each time I meet him.”

ATJ: “He has that effect on people.”

CH: “What’s something you haven’t done yet you’d love to do?”

ATJ: “I’d love to do a musical. It would be fun to do something that required so much of you. I’d love to wake up in the morning and go, oh, I have to go to choreography for four hours, and then I have singing lessons. I miss—I was about to say adult films, I don’t mean the porn industry—I miss films that are beautiful meditations on what it means to be human, and they were big. Like, a Titanic, a Forrest Gump. Movies that take really big swings and just accept that the audience wanted to go on journeys with them…But I think they’re on the way back, you know. People have underestimated audiences for long enough and I think that’s why something like Furiosa is so exciting, because it doesn’t.”