Anya Taylor-Joy, known for her roles in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit and Emma (2020), has recently given fans some insight into the choices she’s had to make as an actress and how those choices have affected the rest of her career for over fifteen years. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Taylor-Joy explained how and why she decided to star in The Witch (2015) over a Disney channel pilot and what kind of effect that decision has had on her Hollywood career since.
Released in February 2015, The Witch: A New-England Folktale is a folk-horror film directed by Robert Eggers that is set in 1630s New England and follows a puritan family as they’re banished from their colony and left to settle a farm on the edge of a secluded forest, only to be faced with a mysterious witch that steals the family’s youngest child, Samuel, and proceeds to tear the family apart, entangling them in her clutches one by one. Anya Taylor-Joy starred in The Witch as Thomasin, the family’s eldest daughter who is eventually suspected of being a witch herself – though she denies it initially, Thomasin embraces the witches’ dark magic in the end.
Anya Taylor-Joy and How ‘The Witch’ Helped Her Career
Anya Taylor-Joy made her film debut in The Witch, but the actress’ career could have looked very different – according to Variety, Taylor-Joy was offered an unnamed Disney pilot on the very same day she was offered her role in The Witch, but she chose to turn down the Disney pilot, stating that “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.”
Anya Taylor-Joy certainly doesn’t seem to regret not taking the Disney offer, either, with the actress citing her role in ‘The Witch’ as one that not only gave her “the cornerstones of the way [she works] today,” according to an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, but also her first heartbreak, according to Variety.
In the fifteen years since her appearance in Robert Eggers’s The Witch, Anya Taylor-Joy has gone on to star in roles like Petronella Brandt in the TV miniseries The Miniaturist (2017), and hold roles in many well-known Netflix series, like Brea Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019), Beth Harmon The Queen’s Gambit (2020), and Gina Gray in Peaky Blinders between 2019 and 2022.
Some of Anya Taylor-Joy’s upcoming roles include acting as the voice of Princess Peach in the Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) and an unnamed role in Furiosa, a 2024 prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).