Emma and The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy reveals why she almost quit acting right before breakout roles

·2 min read
Emma and The Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy reveals why she almost quit acting right before breakout roles
Anya Taylor-Joy at a Dior fashion show in Athens, Greece, on 17 June 2021 (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Anya Taylor-Joy at a Dior fashion show in Athens, Greece, on 17 June 2021 (ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Anya Taylor-Joy has revealed why she almost quit acting right before her breakout roles in The Queen’s Gambit and Emma.

The actor was asked about that moment in her career during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Taylor-Joy, who is now 25, explained that she began having doubts after booking a series of roles and having “put all of [her] energy into fleshing out other people” as opposed to her own identity.

“So I got Jane Austen’s Emma as a job, and that really panicked me, because it was a role that was supposed to be beautiful from the offset, and I hadn’t done that — I’d played creatures, outsiders, whatever,” she told the publication.

“For some reason I guess that triggered some childhood trauma and I was like, ‘I can’t do it. There’s no way, I’m going to really let people down.’”

She explained that she ended up working almost through a whole year in order to star in Emma, Last Night in Soho, and The Queen’s Gambit.

“I had, collectively, a week off that entire year; it was crazy, and I was already starting off at an emotional space where I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can do this,’” she said. “But it’s the year that has most changed me. I just fell in love with my job again.”

Asked whether she actually considered stopping acting around that time, Taylor-Joy replied: “I know it sounds crazy now, but yeah, I was.”

In February this year, Taylor-Joy won the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film for her performance in The Queen’s Gambit. She was also nominated in the Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musicalcategory for her role in Emma.

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