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Anya Taylor-Joy may be known as a scream queen in the Sundance favorite The Witch and psychological drama Split, but her only screams these days are of, well, joy. The latest was a “little squeal” when she found out she’d won the Chopard Trophy, which is given to young actors each year in Cannes.
For her first Cannes, she came armed with a variety of looks for the red carpet as varied as a throwback Burberry prairie dress for The Meyerowitz Stories premiere, a Dolce & Gabbana flora mini dress for the Chopard terrace luncheon and a Miu Miu halter gown for the evening awards and soiree.
Taylor-Joy wrapped the BBC miniseries The Miniaturist just two days before hitting the Cannes red carpet, and with a few days to soak in the sun, cinema and Croisette scene, she’s off to the futuristic X-Men: New Mutants set.
The 21-year-old caught up with Pret-a-Reporter to dish about her late-night packing and how she learned to love the corset.
Pret-a-Reporter: This is your first Cannes. What do you think so far?
Anya Taylor-Joy: I love it because I thought it would be scarier. It’s actually really relaxed and really lovely. I underestimated the beauty of the setting and how good it makes you feel to wake up and see the ocean. It’s obviously very different from Sundance and Sundance is so tied to the mountains and the snow that it feels like you’re on an adventure, and Cannes feels like a different adventure.
How was shooting on The Miniaturist?
It’s so crazy because I wasn’t prepared for the corsets. I didn’t expect the way it would just change everything. The first three days I was like literally I cannot do this job, I am in proper pain. And then the corset gave a little bit and then I gave a little bit and now we are friends. We were together 12 hours a day, no lunch breaks, six days a week for eight weeks. Actually now I have phantom corset. I keep putting my hands on my waist because I feel like I am not being properly held up.
How did you pack for so many red carpets and galas?
I packed at 3 in the morning. Which is also how I tried these dresses on for the first time, so it’s quite funny. My stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, has photographs of me at 3 in the morning looking very grumpy in these beautiful gowns. So I’m happy that I’m here and wearing them with love. I’m away from London for the next nine months, and so I just threw things into a bag and now I’m praying that I have everything I need.
You’re off from here to the set of X-Men: New Mutants in a couple of days. What are you expecting?
I’ve never worked with a director who is already my friend, so I’m really excited to go work with [director] Josh [Boone], who is a brilliant man, really intelligent, and has great music taste. His cultural references are off the chain. We send each other songs. I just introduced him to Mura Masa — they’re awesome — it’s electronic music that’s really funky. We respect each other a lot and that’s really quite helpful in something that could be really daunting. So I’m seeing it as just going to go work with my friend.
How does it feel to receive the Chopard award and have this crazy Cannes experience?
I haven’t really wrapped my head around it and I’ll probably go home and be like, “What just happened?” But luckily my parents are coming. All of the awards I’ve won live with my dad. I really admire my parents so much and they’ve been so great and so supportive that I see the awards as belonging to them. So it will become real when I give it to my dad.
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