Anya Taylor-Joy is one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young actresses, and her versatility and fearlessness are no doubt part of why. The 26-year-old actress just wrapped production on “Furiosa,” the hotly anticipated prequel to George Miller’s 2015 action hit “Mad Max: Fury Road.” For her first blockbuster outing, Taylor-Joy will step into Charlize Theron’s combat boots as Imperator Furiosa, one of the greatest action heroines of all time.
“I’ve been on a different planet for the last seven months,” Taylor-Joy told IndieWire during a recent interview about shooting “Furiosa” in Australia. “I think I need to sit down and attempt to try and digest what’s happened over the last seven months. But I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of it, and so proud of all of the people I got to work with, and just the amount of love and effort and work that went into it, I’m excited to see it.”
Taylor-Joy made her first screen appearance the same year “Fury Road” came out, in Robert Eggers’ revered debut feature “The Witch.” Set in 17th-century New England, the folk horror film established Taylor-Joy as an actress who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. By her own admission, they’ve never been quite this dirty.
“It’s the dirtiest and the bloodiest I have ever been, which is saying something, genuinely saying something,” she said. “Any time I get to be dirty or bloody and not perfectly prim and pretty, I’m just having a ball, that’s where I feel most comfortable. So yeah, ‘Furiosa’ was definitely right up my street.”
Oddly enough for playing a character known for her gutsy driving skills, Taylor-Joy doesn’t actually know how to drive. Chalk it up to working consistently on film sets since she was a teenager.
“I don’t actually have a license, so I can’t drive. I can’t on a highway, I can’t parallel park, but if you need me to do a juicy 180 in a truck, I can do that and not hit the camera people, which is great,” she said. “Eventually, I will be in a place long enough to get a driver’s license and then I’ll be really happy, because then I can play. But in terms of first cars, I think I’m quite spoiled in the fact that they were built by the ‘Mad Max’ art department.”
Wherever she eventually decides to get licensed, they better have lenient traffic laws.
“That’s the other thing, if a driving instructor gets in a car with me, all I know how to do is crazy stunt driving,” she said. “I’m planning on getting my stunt driver’s certificate…so then I’ll be able to do all of my driving in all films, which would be great. But I fear for the poor man or woman that is taking the test with me, because gentle, I am not.”