Anya Taylor-Joy Recalls Being 'Bullied for My Looks' and Her Mom's 'Really Helpful' Advice

Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy

Dia Dipasupil/WireImage

Anya Taylor-Joy is thankful for her parents' support.

During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show this week, The Menu actress, 26, told host Drew Barrymore she was bullied for her appearance when she was younger. Taylor-Joy credited her parents for giving her advice that helped her see past any negative interactions with her peers.

"I was very, very lucky with my parents because when I was bullied for my looks, my mom always said, 'You look at the inside of somebody, you look at the inside of somebody,' " she said. "You don't look at class, you don't look at anything like that. You don't look at what they do for a job. It's just: 'Do you like that person's heart?' "

The Queen's Gambit star told Barrymore she wanted to "give a big shout-out to my mom for that [advice] because it was really helpful."

RELATED: Anya Taylor-Joy Says She and Charlize Theron Will Swap Furiosa 'War Stories' Over Dinner Soon

Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy

Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty

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During the interview, Barrymore, who's no stranger to twisted movies with roles in films like Scream, complimented Taylor-Joy's new thriller The Menu as "so unlike any film I've seen in a very long time."

"With The Menu, you really— I had no idea where it was going," Taylor-Joy said of the new film, which follows her character Margot as she and several other guests arrive at a highly exclusive island restaurant and encounter Ralph Fiennes' mysterious chef, who crafts a delectable — and sinister — lineup of dishes for his guests.

73rd Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals
73rd Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals


"If you've seen that final scene, who on Earth could possibly see that coming?" Taylor-Joy said. "I was so excited by the prospect of being on something that original but also collaborating with these incredible performers."

Taylor-Joy's The Menu costar Nicholas Hoult called the actress "incredible" at the film's New York City premiere Monday and told PEOPLE he has been a fan of hers since watching The Witch and her Netflix series The Queen's Gambit.

"To see the dedication she brings to her characters — she's always seeking the truth in how to make each moment the best for the story, so it was a real joy to watch her and be a scene partner with her," Hoult said.

The Menu — which also stars Hong Chau, Janet McTeer, Judith Light, John Leguizamo, Reed Birney — is in theaters now.