Quick question that Anya Taylor-Joy and I are dying to know the answer to: Who, in their perverted wisdom, was the first person to wear red lipstick? Which God-fearing person thought, You know what would be cool? If we painted our mouths bright red — really dialed up the pigment 5,000 percent so that you could see our lips from a great distance!
Cursory Internet searches tell me that it could have been the ancient Sumerians, or the Egyptians, or the Romans, but none of this is satisfying enough. Was it for glamour? Intrigue? Sex? A really good going-out look?
“Dude, I think about that stuff all the time!” Taylor-Joy says breathlessly. We are just wrapping up our interview when we stumble upon the topic we both want to talk about forever. “The ‘first people’ question gets me. Who was the first person to decide that pasta would be fun if it was tubular? And coated in butter? That person’s a genius. Who cut up an avocado and was like, I’m going to eat this green stuff on the inside?”
I wonder aloud: Who decided eyelids should be blue? She laughs. “I think we should bring blue eye shadow back.” She is kidding — and the beauty director of this magazine later informs me that it is already back, so her point is actually moot.
But Taylor-Joy suggests it in a kind of conspiratorial way that is partly whimsical and partly illicit, and in that moment I think, Absolutely, let’s do this new thing you just thought of. This is a woman who only started acting in movies four years ago (at age 18), whose second film was a critical hit (The Witch), whose fifth was a financial success and a critical hit (M. Night Shyamalan’s Split), and whose Marvel movie debuts next year (it’s X-Men, The New Mutants, and she gets top billing). That last one just might catapult her into the celebrity stratosphere, which is both exhilarating and anxiety-inducing for her. Now, in the period before her star crystallizes, she can do anything she wants.