“I used to get locked in lockers”: The Super Mario Bros Star Anya Taylor-Joy’s Disturbing Confession About Getting Bullied Because Of Her Waardenburg Syndrome

"I used to get locked in lockers": The Super Mario Bros Star Anya Taylor-Joy's Disturbing Confession About Getting Bullied Because Of Her Waardenburg Syndrome
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Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Pratt’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie is minting money at the box office. As per Variety, the film is expected to gross $368 million in its opening weekend. But this is just one feather in Taylor-Joy’s filmography. She has starred in notable films like The Witch and Split. However, she rose to global fame with Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. 

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With worldwide fame came attention and it was not always positive. For a long time, Taylor-Joy was made fun of for her wide-set eyes. She got compared to fish and even became a meme. While many found these jokes to be harmless fun, for the actress it was akin to getting bullied again. Just that this time, it was all online.

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Anya Taylor-Joy Reveals Her Trauma From Childhood Bullying 

Drew Barrymore and Anya Taylor-Joy
Drew Barrymore and Anya Taylor-Joy

In 2022, actress Anya Taylor-Joy sat down for an interview with Drew Barrymore from The Drew Barrymore Show. There, the rising Hollywood star made some uncomfortable confessions about her childhood. She revealed that since she never fit anywhere so school kids bullied her when she was a child. She said:

“Argentina is all green and I had horses and animals everywhere – all of a sudden I was in a big city and I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t really feel like I fitted in anywhere. I was too English to be Argentine, too Argentine to be English, too American to be anything. The kids just didn’t understand me in any shape or form. I used to get locked in lockers.”

Read More: “No one wants to do that”: Charlize Theron Forgives Anya Taylor-Joy For Not Contacting Her After Getting Cast as Furiosa in Mad Max Prequel

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Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy

The actress revealed that it left a long-lasting impression on her self-esteem. She said that “I spent a lot of time in school crying in bathrooms; I was so lonely as a kid.” That feeling didn’t lessen as she grew up because she still got bullied. Just that this time it was online. In 2016, the actress revealed to W Magazine that her insecurity started up again when she was tagged in a Facebook meme. Taylor-Joy said:

“I can definitely remember when Facebook was a thing and I was never aware that my eyes were far apart and then someone tagged me in a picture with a fish and they were like, ‘This is you ’cause your eyes are like here.’ And I was really upset about it and I didn’t enjoy it and I kind of stopped looking in mirrors for a very long time. I still don’t really spend a lot of time in front of mirrors because I don’t really have to deal with my face.” 

A lot of people wonder if Anya Taylor-Joy has Waardenburg Syndrome because two of the prominent markers of it are wide-set eyes and pale skin. The actress has never confirmed if she suffers from the condition but fans remain convinced. As for her self-confidence issues, the actress has said that she is getting better at ignoring the trolls and moving ahead.

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Read More: ‘Now she’s gonna say she can’t play chess’: Mad Max Prequel ‘Furiosa’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy Reveals She Got the Part Despite Not Knowing How To Drive – “I can’t parallel park”

Anya Taylor-Joy Speaks On Overcoming Online Harassment 

Anya Taylor-Joy at The Super Mario Bros. Movie premiere
Anya Taylor-Joy at The Super Mario Bros. Movie premiere

In the interview with Drew Barrymore, Anya Taylor-Joy revealed that she is thankful that her parents stood by her when she was bullied in her childhood. The actress expressed that “I was very, very lucky with my parents because when I was bullied for my looks my mom always said ‘You look at the inside of somebody, you don’t look at class, you don’t look at anything like that.'” 

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Read More: “I just had this really good feeling”: Anya Taylor-Joy Rejected Disney to Star in The Witch, Was Not Interested to Become a Disney Princess

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the star expressed that over time she has come to appreciate her unique eyes and facial features. As per her, “I would say that I’ve grown to love my eyes. I was really bullied for them when I was little. Now, it seems they’re the thing people want from me. So yeah, it’s a funny story.” On the work front, it looks like Taylor-Joy is going from strength to strength because after The Super Mario Bros. Movie, she has Furiosa and Nosferatu coming up.

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie is now playing in theaters.

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Source: ET and Drew Barrymore

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Written by Ishita Chatterjee

A literature graduate who loves sharing her views on everything pop-culture and entertainment. Ishita especially loves dreaming about superheroes and comic books when she isn't day dreaming about them everyday either way.