Anya Taylor-Joy and director Edgar Wright discuss Last Night in Soho
- Last night, I saw something in my dreams.
KEVIN POLOWY: There's a really interesting dichotomy in this film where the main character, played by Thomasin, romanticizes 1960s London only to be transported there and discover it was not necessarily a great time, especially for women. Is that something that you could relate to? Like, do you find yourself romanticizing about the past, only to have that sort of awakening?
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: I'm a huge history buff, so there was definitely a long period of time where I thought I wasn't born in the right era and then you have to remind yourself that we've technically never had it as good as we have it now. You know, just in terms of medical science, in terms of the conversations that we're having. I think it's nice to look back and pick out the good things, but it's also nice to look back to see where we've come from and make sure that we don't go back there again. I think it's very important to keep an eye out on the past.
KEVIN POLOWY: Between stuff like "Queen's Gambit" and "Soho", you have spent a lot of time in the past as an actor performing. As an actor, what do you enjoy about this kind of period work?
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: Time travel. Who doesn't want to time travel? Also the sets. It's so much fun to walk around a period set, because everything is so perfectly crafted and you just-- it's almost like being in a museum, but you're a living part of it.
KEVIN POLOWY: Do you find yourself romanticizing about the past, only to have that awakening?
EDGAR WRIGHT: I think that the dangers of romanticizing the past is to sort of suggest that everything was great and nothing was bad. Like the phrase, the good old days, is like a fallacy. It's impossible. There was no perfect decade and people bandy around different times as, like, sort of like a golden age.
So that was something that I kind of-- I felt it was a good sort of sharp reminder. Because even the '60s itself, it gets kind of reduced by some people to just kind of images. Like if you said to some people, hey, what do you know about the '60s? They'd go, like, "Austin Powers"? Rather than actually, you know, it's obviously an incredible decade in terms of how much changed in culture, in everything, in society, but there was obviously, as much as there were glamorous, cool things, there was a darker side to it.
KEVIN POLOWY: And there are certainly a prevalent theme of creepy, male toxicity, predatorial behavior. What can you say about how you guys wanted to explore gender and especially sort of sexual predatorial roles?
EDGAR WRIGHT: Well, I guess the-- the bleak truth of it is that in a sad way, like the movie shows kind of like how little has changed and I think sort of what was kind of-- You know something, back in the '60s, obviously, the victims didn't have a voice and those things wouldn't necessarily be talked about in public and certainly wouldn't be printed in the press.
- I have a few rules. Don't take smokers.
- I don't smoke.
- No male visitors after 8 o'clock.
KEVIN POLOWY: The movie is dedicated to the late, great Diana Rigg, who plays a key role in "Soho". She was, you know, so well known for the "Avengers" TV series and "Bond" but killed it, I mean, right up until the end in stuff like "Game of Thrones" and now as we're seeing it in "Soho". What was your experience like getting to share a set with her?
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY: What a woman, just what a woman. Whip smart, excellently filthy sense of humor, just a wonderful person to be around, like truly, we really, really miss her.
EDGAR WRIGHT: Something I'm just really sort of proud that I got to know and work with her at all. And in fact, even did some work with her in her final weeks, which was really-- And not a sad memory, like a happy memory, because she was, like, fierce and funny right to the end. And the last time I saw her in person, a couple of weeks before she died, she was making me laugh so much. And so my last memory is, like, a happy one and so I'll forever be grateful for that.