Anya Taylor-Joy made her film debut six short years ago, but she’s already worked with some of the most talented directors around, including Robert Eggers, M. Night Shyamalan, and Edgar Wright. Next up is David O. Russell (along with Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, Taylor Swift, John David Washington, and Zoe Saldana) and George Miller. Taylor-Joy will play the younger version of Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa in a prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the best movies of the 2010s.
Miller cast The Queen’s Gambit actress after seeing an early cut of Wright’s Last Night in Soho (out October 29), where she plays a stylish 1960s singer.
“I’d known about Anya but I’d never seen her in a film until I saw her in Soho,” he told Wright in a discussion for Empire. “And I remember thinking, ‘Gee, she’s interesting.’ I started to say to you, ‘I’m looking for someone to cast as Furiosa,’ and I barely got the sentence out before you said, ‘Don’t go any further, she’s great, she’s gonna be huge. She’s fantastic to work with.’ You were so emphatic about it.” Miller and Taylor-Joy still haven’t met in person due to the pandemic (“We’ve spoken many, many times now”), but he knew she was the one after she nailed her audition:
“I said to her, ‘I’d like you to do a very simple test, which is read something to camera.’ And it was the speech from Network. The ‘I’m mad as hell’ speech. Apart from the brilliance of the writing, it’s a piece that can be done to camera. It doesn’t need an acting partner. Anya did one version, which was really good. Then I gave her just a couple of simple notes about intention and she just absolutely nailed [it]. I think it was done on an iPhone. I sent it to the studio. I explained why I thought she was right for the role. I said I was really happy to talk about it but it was so persuasive that we didn’t need to talk. The studio said, ‘Tick.’”
That’s all well and good, but George, c’mon, you really need to see The Witch. You’ll never be able to live deliciously without it.