Photo Sessions > Photoshoots from 2022 > Session 007
VOGUE AUSTRALIA – In Sydney to headline the biggest Australian movie ever made, and with two star-studded films about to hit cinemas, Anya Taylor-Joy is on the unstoppable ride of her life, and she’s doing it all her own way.
After sunset, Anya Taylor-Joy slips beneath the surface of Bronte rockpool. It’s the middle of August and the water is a bracing 16°C. Taylor-Joy, who spent a good chunk of the pandemic in Ireland filming the Viking epic The Northman, submerged in a sea so deep it looked almost black from the surface, is used to such temperatures. Cold doesn’t bother her. But she isn’t used to the current, the way that our Australian oceans rise to meet you, engulfing you in their embrace, at once both fearsome and totally alive.
“The swell today is crazy, because of the full moon,” explains Taylor-Joy, now sitting at home in her Sydney base, two sheaths of silvery blonde hair hanging wet over her shoulders. She speaks with complete conviction on every subject and that, along with the intensity of her piercing, otherworldly gaze, is a mesmerising combination; an evening in her company passes like the tide. “There’s no distinction between the ocean and the pool,” Taylor-Joy continues. “And I’ve never been in a pool that has a current before, so it was rather enlightening.” A serene smile crosses her face. “I definitely feel more awake than I did an hour ago.”
This has become a ritual of sorts for the actor in the past few weeks. She first landed in Australia in May, out of the frying pan of Los Angeles and into the fire of Furiosa, a prequel to the tour-de- force action film Mad Max: Fury Road, in which Taylor-Joy stars as a younger version of the character first played by Charlize Theron. For months, Taylor-Joy has been caked in mud and grime and engine oil but now there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Night shoots are complete. The 3.00 am wake-up calls are over. On a good day, if she’s lucky, Taylor-Joy might finish work on time and she can slink off to the coast and dive straight into the ocean. Secret beaches are her favourite, the kind where a tiny staircase at the bottom of a residential cul-de-sac leads you into a whole other world. “If you see people in neighbouring houses, they just smile and wave at you, and semi-applaud you for getting in the water when it’s that cold,” Taylor-Joy says. “There’s no, ‘You’re not supposed to be there!’ Which I really like.”