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Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy by Patrick Lovell, January 2019.jpg
Taylor-Joy in 2019
Anya-Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy

(1996-04-16) 16 April 1996 (age 27)
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Occupation Actress
Years active 2013–present
Awards Full list

Anya-Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy (/ˈænjə/ ANN-yə; born 16 April 1996) is an actress. She has won several accolades, including a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, in addition to a nomination for a Primetime Emmy Award. In 2021, she was featured on Time magazine's 100 Next list of "emerging leaders who are shaping the future".

Born in Miami and raised in Buenos Aires and London, Taylor-Joy left school at the age of 16 to pursue an acting career. After small television roles, she made her film debut with a leading role in the horror film The Witch (2015), before starring in the horror film Split (2016), its sequel Glass (2019), and the black comedy Thoroughbreds (2017). She won the Trophée Chopard at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Taylor-Joy has since appeared in the fifth and sixth series of the television drama Peaky Blinders (2019–2022), and played Emma Woodhouse in the period drama Emma (2020), which gained her a Golden Globe nomination. The same year, she received critical acclaim for her performance starring as Beth Harmon in the Netflix miniseries The Queen's Gambit (2020), winning several awards, including a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.

Early life

Taylor-Joy was born on 16 April 1996 in Miami, Florida, to Dennis Alan Taylor, a former banker, and Jennifer Marina Joy, a psychologist. She has stated that her birth in Miami was a "fluke", since her parents had been holidaying in the city at the time; because of her birthplace, she holds American citizenship due to the country's jus soli nationality law. Her father is an Argentine of English and Scottish descent, the son of a British father and an Anglo-Argentine mother. Her mother was born in Zambia to an English diplomat father, David Joy, and a Spanish mother from Barcelona. She is the youngest of six siblings, four of whom are from her father's earlier marriage.

Taylor-Joy lived with her family in Buenos Aires and attended Northlands School until the age of six, when the family relocated to the Victoria area of London. She is fluent in both Spanish and English. Taylor-Joy experienced the move as "traumatic" and refused to learn English in hopes of moving back to Argentina. She attended Hill House International Junior School and Queen's Gate School, acting in school productions. She left school at the age of 16, citing bullying from her fellow pupils as the reason; she recalled:

Argentina is all green and I had horses and animals everywhere. All of a sudden I was in a big city and didn't speak the language. I didn't really feel like I fit in anywhere. I was too English to be Argentine, too Argentine to be English, too American to be anything. The kids just didn't understand me in any shape or form. I used to get locked in lockers. I spent a lot of time in school crying in bathrooms.

Taylor-Joy initially trained in dance, studying ballet until the age of 15. Aged 17, she was scouted as a model by Storm Management founder Sarah Doukas, while walking her dog outside Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, London. She signed with the agency on the condition that acting was her passion and pursuit. During a modelling shoot promoting the television series Downton Abbey which she had almost rejected because she was studying for her GCSE examinations, Taylor-Joy was noticed by the Downton Abbey actor Allen Leech running errands for the crew and reciting the Seamus Heaney poem "Digging" for a forthcoming screentest. He later introduced her to his agent, with whom she signed as an actor.


Early work and breakthrough (2013–2019)

Taylor-Joy was removed from the final cut of her first acting role as a background 'Feeder Girl' in the 2014 fantasy comedy-horror Vampire Academy, with her role left uncredited. She made her television debut as Philippa Collins-Davidson in an episode of the detective drama series Endeavour, and followed this appearing in a multi-episode arc of the 2015 fantasy-adventure drama series Atlantis. Her breakthrough role was in The Witch, a period horror feature film directed by Robert Eggers, which tells the story of a Puritan family that encounters forces of evil in the woods beyond their New England farm. It premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, and Taylor-Joy's performance was praised. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker wrote, "Taylor-Joy is remarkable in the role, her wide-eyed innocence entwined with a thread of cunning—proof either of her quick wits, scarcely unusual in a clever and curious girl, or of some fell purpose." The film was a commercial success, and she won the Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor and the Empire Award for Best Female Newcomer.

Anya Taylor-Joy by Gage Skidmore
Taylor-Joy at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.

The following year, Taylor-Joy starred in Luke Scott's science fiction horror film Morgan, playing the title character. It received negative reviews and was a commercial failure, but Booth Michigan's John Serba wrote that "Taylor-Joy disarms us with a performance that keenly teeter-totters between little-girl innocent and dead-eyed viciousness." She next starred in the drama film Barry, which focused on a young Barack Obama during his first year at Columbia University in 1981; it premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. The same year, Taylor-Joy's likeness was licensed from Storm Management to represent the character of Valkyrie Cain on the tenth anniversary book cover of Skulduggery Pleasant, and subsequently the covers of the seventh, eighth, ninth, and fourteenth books in the series, before she appeared in the music video for Skrillex's remix of GTA's song "Red Lips".

In 2016, she was cast opposite James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan's Split, where she played Casey Cooke, a teenage girl abducted by a man with multiple personalities (McAvoy). It was a commercial success, grossing $278.5 million on a budget of $9 million. Her next film that year was Cory Finley's directorial debut Thoroughbreds. It co-starred Olivia Cooke and Anton Yelchin in his final film role. ..... It premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; David Ehrlich of IndieWire called her performance "captivating". Her third release in 2017 was Sergio G. Sánchez's horror mystery Marrowbone, whose ensemble cast critics praised; Tasha Robinson of The Verge wrote that Taylor-Joy brought "a shy, appealing warmth" to an inconsistent character. Taylor-Joy was nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and was awarded the Trophée Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival that year. In December 2017, she portrayed Petronella Oortman in the BBC One period drama miniseries The Miniaturist, based on Jessie Burton's novel of the same name.

Taylor-Joy reprised her role as Casey Cooke in the 2019 psychological superhero film Glass, the final film in the Unbreakable film trilogy, appearing with McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson and Sarah Paulson. It was a commercial success, grossing $247 million worldwide, but received mixed reviews, unlike its predecessor. Later that year, she appeared in the documentary film Love, Antosha, on the life and career of her late co-star Anton Yelchin; and in Hozier's music video for his song "Dinner & Diatribes". Her next two 2019 films, the animated musical adventure film Playmobil: The Movie and biographical drama film Radioactive, were commercial failures. She also voiced the character of Brea in the Netflix animated fantasy series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. In her final role of 2019, she played the starring role of Gina Gray in the BBC One period crime drama series Peaky Blinders.

Rise to prominence (2020–present)

In 2020, Taylor-Joy starred as Emma Woodhouse in Autumn de Wilde's directorial debut Emma, an adaptation of Jane Austen's 1815 novel of the same name. Reviewing the film, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone deemed Taylor-Joy "incandescent". Taylor-Joy also portrayed Illyana Rasputin/Magik, a Russian mutant and sorceress, in the superhero horror film The New Mutants. It was originally intended for release in April 2018 but experienced several delays; it was released in 2020.

..... The series and her performance received widespread critical acclaim. On 23 November 2020, Netflix announced that it had been seen by 62 million households since its release, becoming its "biggest scripted limited series to date." Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly called Taylor-Joy's performance "darkly fascinating" and noted how she "excels in the quiet moments, [with] her eyelids narrowing as she decimates an opponent, [and] her whole body physicalizing angry desperation when the game turns against her." Similarly, Caroline Framke of Variety found her "so magnetic that when she stares down the camera lens, her flinty glare threatens to cut right through it." Taylor-Joy received numerous accolades for her performance, including winning a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild and a Critics' Choice Television Award.

In 2020, she next appeared in the drama film Here Are the Young Men, directed by Eoin Macken and based on the novel of the same name by Rob Doyle; it wasn't released until April 2021. In 2021, she starred in Edgar Wright's psychological horror film Last Night in Soho, released in October 2021. In the film, she performs a version of the Petula Clark song, "Downtown"; a music video of Taylor-Joy performing the song out of character in a recording studio was released to coincide with the film's release.

In 2022, Taylor-Joy re-teamed with filmmaker Robert Eggers for a starring role in the historical epic The Northman, which was described as “a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century”. The film was released in April 2022 to a positive critical reception. She next appeared in David O. Russell’s period comedy Amsterdam, which was released in October 2022 to poor critical reception and box office. Released on the following month is Mark Mylod’s The Menu, which Taylor-Joy starred opposite Nicholas Hoult. It premiered in September 2022 to positive reviews.

Forthcoming projects

Taylor-Joy is set to portray the titular character in the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa. Since 2017, Taylor-Joy had been attached to star in Robert Eggers' remake of F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu, but in September 2022 it was reported Taylor-Joy had dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. That year, she was also cast in the drama film The Sea Change. In December 2020, Scott Frank, the writer-director of The Queen's Gambit, announced that he hoped to film an adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel Laughter in the Dark starring Taylor-Joy. In September 2021, she was announced to have been cast as the voice of Princess Peach in Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic's The Super Mario Bros. Movie, set to be released on 7 April 2023. In October 2022, Taylor-Joy joined the cast of Scott Derrickson's "action love story" The Gorge.

Media image

Anya Taylor-Joy by Vogue España, 02
Taylor-Joy in 2021

The Hollywood Reporter named Taylor-Joy on their list of 2016 Hollywood's Rising Stars 35 and Under, and she was included in a similar list compiled by W magazine in 2017. In 2019, she appeared on the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 list, a compilation of "the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in the world". In 2020, she was named "Breakthrough Entertainer" of the Year by the Associated Press and "Breakout Star of 2020" by the New York Post. In 2021, Time magazine included Taylor-Joy on its 100 Next list of "emerging leaders who are shaping the future", with a tribute written by former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov.

She has been an ambassador for brands including Viktor & Rolf, Tiffany & Co. Dior's fashion and makeup, and Jaeger-LeCoultre.



Denotes films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Notes
2015 The Witch Thomasin
2016 Morgan Morgan
Barry Charlotte Baughman
Split Casey Cooke
2017 Marrowbone Allie
Thoroughbreds Lily Reynolds
2018 Crossmaglen Ana Short film
2019 Glass Casey Cooke
Love, Antosha Herself Documentary
Playmobil: The Movie Marla Brenner Live-action and voice roles
Radioactive Irene Curie
2020 Emma Emma Woodhouse
Here Are the Young Men Jen
The New Mutants Illyana Rasputin / Magik
2021 Last Night in Soho Sandie
2022 The Northman Olga
The Menu Margot
Amsterdam Libby Voze
2023 The Super Mario Bros. Movie Has not yet been released Princess Peach (voice) Post-production
2024 Furiosa Has not yet been released Furiosa Post-production


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2014 Endeavour Philippa Collins-Davidson 1 episode
2015 Viking Quest Mani Television film
Atlantis Cassandra Recurring role, 6 episodes
2017 The Miniaturist Petronella "Nella" Brandt Miniseries, 3 episodes
2019–2022 Peaky Blinders Gina Gray 11 episodes
2019 The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Brea (voice) Main role, 10 episodes
2020 The Queen's Gambit Beth Harmon Miniseries, 7 episodes
2021 Saturday Night Live Herself (host) Episode: "Anya Taylor-Joy/Lil Nas X"

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role Ref.
2015 "Red Lips (Skrillex remix)" GTA (featuring Sam Bruno) Girl
2019 "Dinner & Diatribes" Hozier Wife

Awards and nominations

Taylor-Joy has received several accolades, including winning the Empire Award for Best Newcomer and being nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor in 2016, a nomination for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and winning the Trophée Chopard in 2017, and winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film, the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries in 2021.

See also

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