LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a span of seven months this year alone, Anya Taylor-Joy played a meddling British brat in “Emma,” a Russian mutant with teleportation powers in the latest “X-Men” film, and an American orphan who turns out to be a chess phenom who can checkmate grown men by the time she’s 8 in “The Queen’s Gambit.”
She’s just getting started.
The 24-year-old just wrapped shooting “The Northman” alongside Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe and Ethan Hawke. In October, Warner Bros. announced that Taylor-Joy will play Furiosa in the highly anticipated prequel to “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Oh, and she’ll have another movie coming out in April: Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller, “Last Night in Soho.”
“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was go to Narnia and, you know, fly to Neverland and go to all of these incredible places,” Taylor-Joy recently told The Associated Press, which named her one of its Breakthrough Entertainers of 2020. “And now as an adult, I’m like, ‘I live in Narnia. Like, this is amazing.’”
Taylor-Joy is “the busiest person I’ve ever met,” said Marielle Heller, who plays Taylor Joy’s foster mother in “The Queen’s Gambit” and directed “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“I don’t know how she’s doing so many projects at the same time. It’s really kind of mind-blowing,” Heller said.
Netflix says “The Queen’s Gambit” was its biggest scripted limited series ever and “Emma” received critical and box office acclaim, as did her big screen debut as a lead in Robert Eggers’ 2015 horror hit “The Witch,” which won Taylor-Joy a Gotham Independent Film Award for breakthrough actor. She’s also drawn praise for her performances in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Split,” the dark comedy/thriller “Thoroughbreds” and BBC One’s “Peaky Blinders.”
All that success could easily have gone to Taylor-Joy’s head, but Heller said she has managed to stay humble.
“The danger of young people having a career take off when they’re really young — you can turn into a jerk. But she hasn’t,” Heller said. “She’s a real joy to work with. You don’t get that many roles back-to-back if you aren’t somebody who’s good to work with.”
Taylor-Joy is so well-liked among those who’ve directed her, they’ve formed what’s almost a club of adoration, calling each other and talking about how she’s doing, said Autumn de Wilde, who directed Taylor-Joy in “Emma.”