The Witch Star Says She Was "Devastated" by Her Performance the First Time She Saw It

Actor Anya Taylor-Joy's breakout film was 2015's The Witch, as she would go on to join a number of other genre projects before earning immense praise for her Netflix series The Queen's Gambit, but she recently revealed that she was "devastated" by watching her own performance and her follow-up projects nearly saw her quit acting entirely. Despite also earning acclaim for her performance in M. Night Shyamalan's Split, she was apprehensive about taking on the title role in Emma., though she admitted that filming that project, along with Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho and Queen's Gambit in almost immediately succession, forced her to reevaluate her career and made her realize she needed more time off in between projects.

"[Director] Rob [Eggers] showed us the film maybe two hours before the audience screening, and I was devastated," Taylor-Joy revealed to The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast. "I thought I’d never work again, I still get shivers thinking about it. It was just the worst feeling of, 'I have let down the people I love most in the world. I didn’t do it right.' And I’m quite verbose, I like to talk, I like to communicate. I did not talk, I just cried. I couldn’t handle seeing my face that large."

She added, "What it was about is it took me a second to realize that the people around me weren’t working the way that I was working. I thought everybody finished a job, got on a plane, and started the next job. And I am incredibly grateful that that’s the way that I learned how to work. But these are pivotal years in my development as a person, and I had put all of my energy into fleshing out other people, and I suddenly got to a point where I had no idea who I was, trying to hold on to relationships, and trying to build a home without having any kind of root or tether, because I hadn’t figured out that I had to be that for myself."

To say the actor was busy in the following years would be an understatement, as being in The Witch also resulted in her starring in Morgan, Thoroughbreds, Marrowbone, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, The New Mutants, and Peaky Blinders, among other projects. Clearly she has managed to work through her personal struggles and how she views her performances, as she's reuniting with Eggers for the upcoming The Northman and will take on the title role in the Mad Max: Fury Road prequel Furiosa.

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Last Night in Soho is set to hit theaters on October 22nd.

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