Anya Taylor-Joy is an American actress who is best known for starring in the films The Witch (2015), Split (2017), and Emma (2020). In 2020, she struck stardom with Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit in which she played the role of Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy.
Anya Taylor-Joy was born as Anya Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy on Tuesday, April 16, 1996 (age 25 years; as of 2021), in Miami, Florida. Anya spent her early childhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she attended Northlands School in Olivos. Later, at the age of six, she moved to London, England along with her family. Traumatized by the move, Anya refused to speak English for two years, hoping her parents will consider moving back to Argentina. In London, she did her schooling at Hill House International Junior School in Chelsea. For higher education, she attended Queen’s Gate School, South Kensington. Thereafter, at the age of sixteen, Anya dropped out of school to pursue a career in acting.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color: Black
Family & Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Dennis Alan Taylor, is a former international banker who switched his career to become a professional racer in offshore powerboat racing. Her mother, Jennifer Marina Joy, is a psychologist. Anya Taylor-Joy is the youngest among six siblings.
Relationships, Husband & Children
In 2014, Anya Taylor-Joy made her television debut with the British detective series ‘Endeavour’ in which she played the role of Philippa Collins-Davidson. In 2015, she played the recurring role of Cassandra, a young woman from Atlantis who is preparing for her future as an Oracle. in the British fantasy-adventure show ‘Atlantis.’
In 2017, she appeared in The Miniaturist as Nella, a young woman who realizes that the dolls in the dollhouse gifted by her husband are foreshadowing her own fate.
Later, in 2019, she played the secondary antagonist Gina Gray, a scheming wife of Michael Gray who plans to take over the Shelby family business, in BBC One’s critically acclaimed series ‘Peaky Blinders.’
Although Anya Taylor-Joy made her film debut with the fantasy comedy horror film Vampire Academy, her scene was deleted during the final edit. In 2015, she came into the limelight with the American horror film The Witch in which she played the breakout role of Thomasin. The film, as well as Anya, received critical acclaim, and she won various accolades including the Gotham Independent Film Award in the category of the Breakthrough Actor.
In 2016, she played the titular role in the science fiction horror film ‘Morgan.’ In the same year, she played the role of Charlotte, Barack Obama’s fictional girlfriend in the Netflix series ‘Barry,’ a biopic about Obama’s life at Columbia University during the 1980s.
In 2017, she gained further recognition with the horror-thriller film ‘Split’ in which she played the role of Casey Cooke, a teenage girl abducted by a mysterious man with multiple personalities.
Later, she appeared in various films like Thoroughbreds(2017), Marrowbone (2017), Glass (2019), etc. In 2020, she played the protagonist in the period comedy-drama film Emma.
In 2019, she made her digital debut with Netflix’s fantasy drama series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance in which she played the role of Brea. In 2020, she struck international stardom with Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit in which she played the protagonist Beth Harmon, a chess prodigy questing to become the world’s best chess player.
- Won Gotham Independent Film Award (2016) in the category of ‘Breakthrough Actor’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Won Phoenix Film Critics Society Award (2016) in the category of ‘Breakthrough Performance’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Won Fright Meter Awards (2016) in the category of ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Won New Mexico Film Critics Award (2016) in the category of ‘Best Young Actress’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Won Empire Award (2017) in the category of ‘Best Female Newcomer’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Won Seattle Film Critics Society Award in the category of ‘Best Youth Performance’ for the film The Witch (2015)
- Nominated for BAFTA Rising Star Award (2017)
- Won Trophée Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival (2017)
- Food: Truffles
- Singer(s): Rihanna, Beyonce, Dan Romer
- Actress: Saoirse Ronan
- Anya Taylor-Joy is an insomniac, i.e. someone who finds it difficult to sleep. In an interview, she said
I don’t sleep. I’ve been an insomniac since I was seven. I used to be very frightened of that alone time. But then I was like, it’s more time to create: I can read, I can write, I can sing. It’s a superpower. I need very little sleep.”
- Anya began her career as a model after being chased down by Sarah Doukas, the founder of the British model agency Storm Management, while she was walking past Harrods in London. The legendary model scout Sarah Doukas is the one who discovered veterans like Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. Anya was terrified as soon as she realized that she was being stalked by a black car. In an interview, she said,
I thought ‘Oh shit, this is the end,’…So I picked up my dog and started to run…”
Thereafter, a guy stuck his head out of the window and shouted, “If you stop you won’t regret it… please, there’s someone in this car who would really like to meet you.” Inside was Sarah Doukas who handed over her business card to Anya.
- After switching his career from being an investment banker to a professional powerboat racer, Anya’s father, Dennis Alan Taylor, won two Union Internationale Motonautique world championships.
- While filming for the movie Emma (2020), Anya shot the iconic scene in which her character was supposed to suffer a sudden nosebleed during a moment of high emotion. Surprisingly, Anya suffered a real nosebleed while filming the scene. At first, the crew was concerned, however, they decided to continue with the shot and it was included in the film. In an interview, when asked how did she induce a real nosebleed, she answered,
I have no idea how to explain it…The spirit of Emma just showed up and made the scene. Johnny and Autumn were freaking out. They were like, ‘Oh my God! Are you okay?… What should we do?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean, what do we do? You keep rolling!
- She is the brand ambassador of the ‘Flowerbomb’ collection launched by the brand Viktor and Rolf Fragrances.