Build Series Presents “Split”


“Split” New York Premiere

“Split” New York Premiere

“Split” Madrid Photocall

“Split” Milan Photocall

Nylon December/January 2017 Interview

Nylon December/January 2017 Interview

Success At Sundance And A Role In ‘Barry’ Are Just The Beginning For Anya Taylor-Joy

The 20-year-old actress discusses her latest projects

The following feature appears in the December/January 2017 issue of NYLON.

The first thing Anya Taylor-Joy wants to talk about is her dog. She brings up Kala, a big ball of black fluff, with puppyish enthusiasm herself, describing her as “the most ridiculous thing in the entire world” and “a teddy bear brought to life.” It’s a drizzly morning in West London, but inside this particular neighborhood café—with its bleached walls, mellow background music, and juice bar—the atmosphere is considerably sunnier. She barely sits down before pulling out her iPhone to show me a video. “You are going to have to deal with my cooing noises,” she says.

Fresh-faced and makeup-free, the incredibly busy 20-year-old actress looks reinvigorated after six days at home here in London. Born in Miami to a Spanish-English mother and an Argentinian-Scottish father, she is the youngest of six children, “the baby by a long way,” says Taylor-Joy, whose youngest sister is seven years older than her. Though her accent is as British as mine, her first language is Spanish, and she’s in the process of learning French. Growing up between England and Argentina, she’s been living “pretty much alone” in her childhood home in West London since dropping out of school at age 16 to pursue acting.

“When I say the past two years have been mad, it’s, like, legitimately mad,” she says of a schedule that includes six movies shot back-to-back following her breakout in Robert Eggers’s indie horror The Witch, which terrified and delighted audiences at Sundance earlier this year. Since then, she appeared as the titular character in the sci-fi thriller Morgan, and can be seen as Barack Obama’s sharp-witted college girlfriend in the Netflix biopic Barry, which premieres on December 16. But Taylor-Joy’s most visible role to date will come in January, as part of M. Night Shyamalan’s latest horror experiment, Split. In it, she stars alongside James McAvoy as Casey, a smart, steely heroine who, when abducted by McAvoy’s character Kevin—a sociopath with 23 competing personalities—must work with her two friends to outwit him. When asked what it is about the horror genre that draws her in, Taylor-Joy insists that neither Split nor The Witch nor Morgan are actually horror movies. They’re thrillers, she says, films that allow her to “really scream” and “exorcise a lot of feelings without becoming a psycho.”
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