Anya Taylor-Joy opened up about bullying and why she decided to almost quit acting before her iconic role in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit.
The actress appeared on the cover of ELLE’s May 2021 Rising Stars issue. She discussed everything from growing up in Buenos Aires, Argentina to her experience in Hollywood. The actress revealed that she jokes about it but she is serious when she says the characters in Harry Potter were her friends.
She further shared that she spent two years in England playing hand-clap games with plants. The actress said, “I joke about this, but I’m kind of serious when I say that the characters in the Harry Potter books were my friends. I spent the first two years in England playing hand-clap games with plants — if you slap them hard enough, they clap back — and learning how to read.”
Anya further shared that it was her existence and she didn’t hang out with other kids. She jokes that she was clearly a very normal child. The actress was also trapped in lockers and was made fun of for having wide-set eyes. However, she says she no longer wants to give these stories the airtime.
The actress shared that it pushed her just like her character in The Queen’s Gambit needed chess, she needed acting. She revealed that she needed to believe in a place where she could be valued and appreciated. “It just really pushed me. Much the same way as Beth needed chess, I needed acting,” she says. “I needed to believe in a place where I could be valued and appreciated, and actually have something to contribute rather than constantly feeling like, ‘What is wrong with me, and why do I not fit in?'”
Anya On Her Bond With Mia Goth
Elsewhere in the interview, Anya talked about her tight-knit bond with Emma co-star Mia Goth. The actress shared that Mia gave her some helpful advice when she considered quitting acting. She revealed that Mia was the first actress she met who was close to her age. The actress shared how her friendship with Mia is. She said, “She was the first actress close to my age that I met, and we had a very cool conversation where I was like, ‘I love you,’ and she said, ‘I love you.’ And I said, ‘I’m always going to have your back.”
The actress further shared, “She was like, ‘I’m always going to have your back.’ It was like, ‘OK, cool. Let’s progress in this very wild industry, knowing that we’re going to take care of each other.'” She revealed that she had been working back to back as before Emma she had done two projects at the same time.
Anya also revealed that she was going through some “emotional” relationship stuff. She said she was broken and scared of everything at the beginning of 2019. The actress shared that Mia and she were driving from rehearsals and Anya revealed to her that she is quitting acting. But Mia looked worried and then she said something to encourage her.
Anya On The Possibility Of A Second Season For The Queen’s Gambit
She shared, “I turned to her and said, ‘I think I’m going to quit acting. I don’t think I can do this.’ And I’ve never seen Mia look so worried in my life. She was like, ‘But…that’s what you do. You can’t not…what are you talking about?’ I was like, ‘I think I need to back out now and just let it be and try to take care of my heart.’ And she was like, ‘No, that would be really bad. You can’t not have the thing that is your oxygen.’ I’m really glad she said that.”
Anya had talked about the possibility of the second installment of her hit Netflix series after winning Best Actress in a Limited Series for Television at the Golden Globes. She had said she does not want to disappoint anybody but there ‘maybe’ another season but they haven’t thought about it. the actress said, “It was always a sapling to tree transition. You see her grow, you leave her in a good place. So we were genuinely surprised when people were like, ‘Where’s season 2?'”
The actress further shared that she adores the entire team that made it and would jump at the chance of working with them again.