• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2021: Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma.” and “The Queen’s Gambit”

This year Anya Taylor-Joy received two Golden Globes nominations from the journalists of the Hollywood Foreign Press, as Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for Emma., directed by Autumn de Wilde from the 1815 novel by Jane Austen, and as Best Actress in a Television Limited Series for The Queen’s Gambit created by Scott Frank from the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis.
About playing Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit, she said: “because of the unusual circumstances of her upbringing, whilst she is a woman in the 1960s, her brain doesn’t compute it. So, it was very liberating to play a character who is genuinely baffled whenever people brought up her gender and didn’t understand why that was something of interest. That’s a really beautiful vision of the future, the idea that, regardless of your gender, you are allowed to be passionate and follow your dreams.”
She feels grateful that she managed to leave some of her own personal darkness behind with Beth, it was a cathartic experience for her to be able to move into the light.” 
About the Jane Austen heroine in Emma., Taylor-Joy told us: “She was forceful, she was going to be exactly what she was going to be. She had found a very clever little loophole in a society that did not allow women to have any agency whatsoever, in the sense that her mother is no longer around and her father is a valetudinarian, so she really is the mistress of the house. And when she marries a man she loves, he moves in to live with her and her dad and he allows her to be the way that she is. So Emma gets the best of both worlds, which is pretty great.”
The actress counts among her mentors actor Bill Nighy who plays her father in Emma., and the director Autumn de Wilde. Also, Scott Frank, creator of The Queen’s Gambit and director Roger Eggers, cast her in her first film The Witch and directed her in the upcoming Viking revenge saga The Northman. Among other actresses, she loves Angelina Jolie and Tilda Swinton.
Taylor-Joy, born in Miami, was raised in Argentina until the age of 6, her father being a Scottish Argentine from Buenos Aires, then moved to London, her mother’s parents being from England and Spain. She remembers her beautiful childhood as a tomboy, playing with animals outdoors, cats and dogs, horses and ducklings. She felt confused and displaced after arriving in London, and she refused to learn English for two years hoping that her parents would take her home. As a consequence, she didn’t feel like she fit in anywhere, she was either too Argentine in London or too English in Buenos Aires. So she found her home on movie sets, where she felt like she belonged and could finally be herself. 
Taylor-Joy is the youngest of six brothers and sisters, so she grew up around adults. She said that her older siblings were cooler than she was and didn’t want to play with her, so she was always going off into the woods and creating characters in her head, she had too many feelings, and that made her determined to become an actress at a young age.  When she was 14, she was having a bad time at school and bought herself a plane ticket to New York to study acting, and she was amazed that her parents supported her decision. She still considers them her best friends, and now she loves London and the British sense of humor. She got into acting so that, through empathy, she could give other people a voice, make them feel seen and heard. 
Taylor-Joy first trained as a ballet dancer and started working as a model at age 16, then acted in horror films, like Split directed by M. Night Shyamalan and the sequel Glass, played Magik, a Russian mutant with sorcery powers in The New Mutants, the final installment of the X-Men film series from Marvel Comics. She was Marie Curie’s daughter in Radioactive directed by Marjan Satrapi, opposite Rosamund Pike. Her next role is a young Furiosa, the character played by Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road by George Miller, in the origin story of this formidable female warrior, which seems fitting for this formidable young actress.