After collaborating on “The Witch” and “The Northman,” Anya Taylor-Joy and Robert Eggers are an inseparable duo in the minds of many cinephiles. But if one day in Taylor-Joy’s life had gone differently, that collaboration may have never come to fruition.
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Taylor-Joy recalled the experience of being cast in Eggers’ “The Witch.” The film was the actress’ first major screen credit, but she almost made her acting debut on a very different kind of project. As it turns out, she was offered the role in “The Witch” on the same day she received another major offer to lead a Disney Channel series.
“I remember it was the same day I got asked to be in a Disney Channel pilot, and it was so exciting to be offered anything at all that I ran around the house like a loon,” Taylor-Joy said. “But I just had this really good feeling about ‘The Witch’ that made me willing to forego the Disney experience for the thing that felt unknown to me, the thing that felt sacred.”
The actress has absolutely no regrets about the decision she ultimately made. In addition to the artistic success of “The Witch” and the fame that it gave her, she appreciates the experience for teaching her how to think about filmmaking.
“It gave me the cornerstones of the way I work now, which is essentially the idea that there is no hierarchy on set: you work hard, you stay on top of the shots and you don’t assume anyone else is going to do that for you,” she said. “Your title doesn’t stop at actor – you’re a creative on this film, and that’s how you need to approach it.”
“The Witch” effectively launched Taylor-Joy’s acting career, before her role in “The Queen’s Gambit” turned her into a bona fide superstar. Her latest film, “The Menu” opens on November 18 and she has plenty of high-profile films in the pipeline. She’ll voice Princess Peach in next year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” alongside Chris Pratt before leading the “Mad Max: Fury Road” spinoff “Furiosa” in 2024.