Anya Taylor Joy on ‘Furiosa’: ‘I’ve never been more alone than making that movie’

Here are some photos of Anya Taylor Joy in Hollywood last week, and Cannes this week (the big hat pics). Anya and Chris Hemsworth have already traveled to several countries to promote Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, and they will premiere the film at Cannes on Wednesday. I actually forgot that Cannes starts this week. Last year’s festival ended up being kind of…boring. I wonder if the festival will pick up some energy this year.

Anyway, George Miller’s films are notoriously difficult to shoot. On Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron had the worst experience of her life, not just because they were all stuck in the Namibian desert for a year, but because Tom Hardy was a complete douchebag to her and to everyone who worked on the film. Would it surprise anyone to learn that Anya also went through some things while filming Furiosa? This is how she discussed it with the New York Times:

How did she feel in late 2022, when she finally wrapped the arduous production?

“Like I knew I was going to need the two years that it took for the movie to come out to deal with it,” she said.

Taylor-Joy told me that championing Furiosa often felt like a solitary experience.

“I’ve never been more alone than making that movie,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “I don’t want to go too deep into it, but everything that I thought was going to be easy was hard.”

Her reticence reminded me of when I first spoke to the actors who had made “Fury Road”: During that shoot, the desperation of the characters bled into their real lives, and unpacking that experience took a very long time. Sensing that she was skirting a sensitive issue, I asked Taylor-Joy what exactly it was about “Furiosa” that had proved more difficult than she expected. For five long seconds, she contemplated giving me an answer.

“Next question, sorry,” she said. There was a faraway look in her eyes, as if a part of her had been left behind in that wasteland. “Talk to me in 20 years,” she said. “Talk to me in 20 years.”

[From The NY Times]

A few years ago, there was a book/oral-history about the making of Mad Max: Fury Road and how dysfunctional everything was for months, almost entirely because of Tom Hardy. Charlize had to repeatedly demand a female producer because she felt threatened by Tom, who was chronically late, chronically unprofessional and chronically threatening Charlize. I came out of the piece sort of hating George Miller for not being “in charge” of the production and for not taking care of Charlize and the other actresses (who all hated Hardy). I’m not saying that the exact same thing happened on this film – I doubt Chris Hemsworth would behave that way, and he and Anya seem to get along – but I bet Anya wasn’t “taken care of” or nurtured by anyone. I bet she felt very, very alone.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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19 Responses to “Anya Taylor Joy on ‘Furiosa’: ‘I’ve never been more alone than making that movie’”

  1. Kitten says:

    It was Hardy and also the film location–endless days in the unforgiving desert made the actors and folks on set start to feel like they were trapped in that apocalyptic setting. You can absolutely see how that could happen, given how atmospheric and immersive that movie is. Plus all the stunts are REAL and not CGI. I think overall it was a pretty toxic, intense and brutal situation for all involved.

    • Megan says:

      Filming in Namibia must be hard because it’s the size of CA, WA, and OR put together with just two million people. There is literally no where to go if you want to leave the set and you can drive for hours without seeing another human. It’s very isolating.

      • Joyful Liluri says:

        As an American – the absolute undersell of Africa during my “education” to the grasping understanding of Africa as an immense continent has taken years of active unlearning and active re education.

        And then I am reminded of something like this – about how large it is but also the population density in certain areas – and I’m just like …. Wow. Amazing. I don’t even know if my brain is getting the concept.

      • Kitten says:

        Very isolating plus there were endless sand/dust storms that kicked sand into their eyes and mouths. I think they were filming for 4 or 5 months out there. Charlize deserves a boatload of credit for both her professionalism and her influence on making the Furiosa character so amazing. She’s so freaking talented.

  2. Teddy says:

    Apparently she only has 30 lines of dialogue in the whole film.

  3. sevenblue says:

    “Talk to me in 20 years,”

    If this movie’s director was a woman, it would be the talk of the town. There is no way a woman director would get away with such treatment of the talent. The director had excuses for Tom Hardy’s unprofessional behavior if I remember correctly. It was Charlize who had to talk to Tom about his behavior, making everyone wait for 2-3 hours to start shooting under difficult conditions. As the saying goes, the fish rots from the head.

  4. tealily says:

    Wow, I somehow missed all the Fury Road hubbub. That’s really disappointing. I do hope that in twenty years ATJ can look back and think that doing this film was the right decision an that it did something for her or got her somewhere that she wanted to be. And I hope that she’s able to talk this stuff out with Charlize too.

  5. yellowy says:

    George Miller is responsible for this, it’s his set and he needed to lay down the law to Tom Hardy.

    That it happened again shows he is the problem.

    • Concern Fae says:

      Nope. Haven’t read the oral history, but if Hardy was being an ass, that’s on him.

    • Kitten says:

      Hardy isn’t in this movie though.
      And I wouldn’t just assume that AJT’s feelings are directly related to something George Miller did or didn’t do. I mean, it may have been but it could just as well have been due to the notoriously grueling nature of the Mad Max films. I have a feeling that most of the cast and crew felt similarly if the last film is any predictor.

      Charlize was originally supposed to reprise her role as Furiosa but because this is a prequel, they would have to do CGI or heavy makeup to make Charlize look far younger and they ultimately decided against it. That tends to indicate that whatever happened on the set wasn’t enough to prevent Charlize from wanting to work with Miller again.

      • Snoozer says:

        I know someone who worked on this film. They’ve worked on many films. George is their all-time favourite director. A really nice guy.

        They were out at Broken Hill for a while; but they also filmed a lot of it on soundstages in Sydney.

        Who knows what Anya is alluding to here. I don’t think people should jump to conclusions.

  6. ohwell says:

    I love the burnt orange dress and hat! One of her best looks.

  7. Kaye says:

    I really like ATJ and am always glad to read articles about her. She is so interesting to me.

  8. Hihello says:

    I think that some of her outfits are actually the artistic costumes that make it impossible to touch or go near her. The arrows dress at last weeks premier and the hat with the orange dress above are two examples.

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