Disney’s long-standing reputation had nothing on the supernatural and the latter was what had drawn the keen senses of the emerging star, Anya Taylor-Joy. Offered a role on a Disney Channel show the same day as Robert Eggers’ movie came along, the actress rejected the security offered to a rising actor by the brand value of the Walt Disney Company to go after something more niche, and The Witch was it for her.
Now an established actress with a world to conquer, Anya Taylor-Joy recalls her first crossroad, the heartbreak upon failing to meet her own expectations, and what being on the set of a film taught her.
Also read: The Greatest Witch Movies of All Time
Anya Taylor-Joy Recalls Choosing The Witch Over Disney
It all began with The Witch. As a young and aspiring actress, the A24 production had come across as an opportunity the same day Anya Taylor-Joy received an offer from Disney. But the supernatural horror thriller called out to her and securing the leading role in a Robert Eggers film is by no means a lesser feat. As she recalled during her interview with Harper’s Bazaar,
“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. 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.”
Her first appearance on the big screen, The Witch (2015) taught Anya Taylor-Joy more than what a Disney pilot could have, and even though she now realizes the potential of her performance, it was not so when the film first came out.
“I thought I’d done a really bad job, and I saw myself failing miserably with this dream I’d had for such a long time. I guess I’m not always the best judge of my own work.”
The Witch was not only critically and commercially successful but its lead star, Anya Taylor-Joy received ubiquitous praise. Her on-screen portrayal of an innocent girl giving into the temptations of evil was chilling, poignant, and haunting and reverberated among the lovers of the supernatural and horror genre.
A still of Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch (2015)
Anya Taylor-Joy’s Career Trajectory After The Witch
It must not have been an easy choice, especially for an actress who hadn’t starred in any major projects and was looking to build her resume, to decide which path to tread. And when encountered with two choices on the same day, the event became symbolic of The Road Not Taken. Anya Taylor-Joy chose the road less traveled. And it really made all the difference. Flooded with major projects soon after, the actress hasn’t looked back once. The legendary Frost proved right once again as way led on to way and Taylor-Joy now stands as one of the exponentially famous film and fashion enigmas within 7 years of her Hollywood debut.
Also read: 5 Best Anya Taylor-Joy Film and TV Roles
Her Hollywood career is speckled with roles that range from political drama [Barry, 2016], horror thriller [Split, 2016], historical fiction [The Miniaturist, 2017], thriller comedy [Thoroughbreds, 2017], Peaky Blinders, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (2020), the Foxverse film The New Mutants (2020), the widely acclaimed historical drama The Queen’s Gambit (2020), Hozier’s music video of Dinner & Diatribes, and the recent ’30s-era ensemble mystery, Amsterdam, directed by David O. Russell. Anya Taylor-Joy reunited with director Robert Eggers once again for The Northman in 2022.
The actress is now set to feature in a leading role in the George Miller-directed post-apocalyptic action-adventure film, Furiosa as the titular character, Imperator Furiosa. Set to premiere in 2024, the film will serve as a spin-off as well as a prequel to the Academy Award-winning masterpiece, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
The Witch is available for streaming on Hulu, HBO Max, and Prime Video.
Source: Harper’s Bazaar