Anya Taylor-Joy Advocates for Authentic Female Rage in Movies

Anya Taylor-Joy, known for her intense and dynamic roles, has been a vocal advocate for portraying genuine female rage on screen. In an interview with British GQ, the actress revealed that she often challenges directors when she feels the scripted emotional responses of her characters, particularly crying, do not align with their true feelings of anger and frustration.

“I’ve developed a bit of a reputation for fighting for feminine rage,” Taylor-Joy said. “I’m not promoting violence, but I am promoting women being seen as people. We have reactions that are not always dainty or un-messy.”

Also Read: ‘Furiosa’: Anya Taylor-Joy & Chris Hemsworth Wows Cannes 2024 Crowd

Anya Taylor-Joy
Image Courtesy: The Seattle Times

This stance first emerged during the filming of her debut feature, Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch.’ A scene called for her character, Thomasin, to cry while being dragged through a farmyard. However, Taylor-Joy felt that tears were not appropriate. “Eventually I said, ‘She’s angry; she’s pissed. She’s been blamed time and time again, and she’s not doing anything. We have to stop with the crying,’” she recalled. Eggers agreed, allowing her to portray the raw anger she believed was authentic to the character.

Taylor-Joy’s advocacy continued in ‘The Menu,’ where she rejected a scene that required her character to cry upon discovering a deadly plot against her. “What planet are we living on?” she questioned. “I was like, ‘Let me explain to you: I am going to leap across the table and try and literally kill him with my bare hands.’” Director Mark Mylod and co-star Nicholas Hoult supported her perspective.

Anya Taylor-Joy
Image Courtesy: The playlist

Her collaboration with Eggers on ‘The Northman’ also saw Taylor-Joy pushing for intense, defiant moments. She suggested a powerful scene where her character uses her menstrual blood to ward off an aggressor, which Eggers found to be a “very strong, defiant and memorable choice.”

Despite her advocacy for these intense scenes, Taylor-Joy insists she is not naturally angry. “For a long time, the only time I ever got angry was on other people’s behalves. I’ve always internalized this thing of ‘I’ve done something wrong. If you treat me badly, it’s because I am the problem,’” she explained.

Anya Taylor-Joy
Image Courtesy: Spotlight Report

In her latest role in George Miller’s ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,’ Taylor-Joy continued to push boundaries. She fought for three months to include a scream in a scene, despite Miller’s initial strict vision of Furiosa’s stoic war face. While she won that battle, not all her suggestions made it to the final cut. A scene where her character cuts out another’s tongue was filmed but ultimately left out of the theatrical release.

‘Furiosa’ opens in theatres nationwide this Friday, promising to showcase yet another powerful performance by Taylor-Joy, whose dedication to portraying authentic female emotions continues to shape her roles and the films she stars in.

-Gayathri J