When offered a Disney pilot and The Witch on the same day, Anya Taylor-Joy says she just knew what to pick
At the onset of Anya Taylor-Joy’s career, she was faced with a choice between two paths: getting the best of both worlds, or living deliciously. Speaking with Harper’s Bazaar‘s Frances Hedges, The Menu star reveals that in choosing to pursue The Witch—a master class in gothic horror, and her breakout role—she passed up another major opportunity with Disney.
“I remember it was the same day I got asked to be in a Disney Channel pilot, and it was so exciting to be offered anything at all that I ran around the house like a loon,” she says of the day she was cast in Robert Eggers’ 2015 movie. “But I just had this really good feeling about The Witch that made me willing to forego the Disney experience for the thing that felt unknown to me, the thing that felt sacred.”
Taylor-Joy also says that filming The Witch in a remote location six hours from Toronto was an absolutely formative experience in her career, and revealed to her the kind of working environment she wanted to pursue.
“It gave me the cornerstones of the way I work now, which is essentially the idea that there is no hierarchy on set: you work hard, you stay on top of the shots and you don’t assume anyone else is going to do that for you,” she says. “Your title doesn’t stop at actor—you’re a creative on this film, and that’s how you need to approach it.”
Taylor-Joy went on to work with Eggers again in 2022, starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman in his Norse epic The Northman. Although she was at one point attached to the director’s upcoming Nosferatu revamp (cue a canned laugh track), she’s since stepped away—Lily-Rose Depp and Bill Skarsgård are now set to star.
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