Anya Taylor-Joy Breaks Down Dance Sequence – The Hollywood Reporter

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Before she plays The Queen’s Gambitof Beth Harmon in 1960s Kentucky, Last night in Soho Star Anya Taylor-Joy portrayed Sandie in Edgar Wright’s version of 1960s London. Wright’s psychological horror film revolves around Thomasin McKenzie’s Ellie these days, as she begins to have sex. vivid dreams involving a talented singer from the 1960s played by Taylor-Joy. The latter not only shows off her dancing prowess in the film, but she’s also turning heads with an a cappella performance of Petula Clark’s “Downtown”. Taylor-Joy credits Wright with the “rhythmic” achievement, along with his vast musical knowledge and predetermined needle drop.

“I like him to know what the music will be before doing the scene. As a performer, that places you perfectly in the realm, ”said Taylor-Joy. Hollywood journalist. “I’ve definitely had times where I’ve watched a movie and I’m like, ‘Oh, if I had known it was going to sound like that, I would have calibrated it a little differently. “So having the music in advance might be something I keep going [to my own set, someday]. “

Last year Taylor-Joy starred in George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road prequel, Furiosa, as the eponymous lead character, and even though they’re still in the early stages, she’s already in awe of Miller’s unique sensibility.

“Even at this point in the process, working with him is like going to college,” Taylor-Joy shares. “I love the conversations we have. I love the way we talk about not just the character but the story as a whole. Love him already and haven’t even met the man in person yet.

In a recent conversation with THR, Taylor-Joy also reflects on mirroring McKenzie, as well as an elaborate dance sequence the two shared with co-star Matt Smith.

Your list of illustrious collaborators continues to grow. With that frame of reference in mind, what is Edgar’s superpower among this group?

Wow, the amount of references he has in both music and film. But also, he stages in beats, and as an actor who started out as a dancer, I see my scenes in beats. And being able to collaborate with someone who spoke the same language as me that way was wonderful. Truly.

Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise and Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie
Courtesy of Focus Features

For the many thinking shots involving you and Thomasin [McKenzie], have you both learned the choreography to reflect this way?

Yeah, we had a wonderful choreographer called Jennifer White, but she kind of left the direction to us. It was almost about becoming each other, and the beautiful thing is that Thomasin and I like to be calm, very calm sometimes. And this is the meditation that you have to get into so that you can anticipate someone’s movements before your own and have that very calm yet vibrant connection of energy between the two of us. It was something I had never experienced before, and it was so much fun to do.

The opening dance number was also amazing as you and Thomasin kept going in and out. Was this quite the process to put in place?

Yes and no. We were really like little children after each take. We would run up to the monitor and say, “Oh my God! We have succeeded. It’s amazing! ”The backstage of this is almost better than what’s in the movie because it’s kind of funny how we managed to be where we needed to be for the perfect moment. isn’t just a dance between Thomasin, Matt and myself; it’s also really a dance with the camera. At one point, our cinematographer [Chung-hoon Chung] jumped in with a few lights and that’s when it was pretty wild. Having four people moving around each other so quickly was quite extraordinary.

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Director Edgar Wright and Actress Anya Taylor-Joy
Courtesy of Parisa Taghizadeh / Focus Features

We’ve already talked about your cinematic aspirations and how you treat every set like film school. Is there anything in particular that you learned from Edgar’s ensemble that you could apply to your own ensemble someday?

I like him to know what the music will be before doing the scene. As a performer, that places you perfectly in the realm. You can really understand what it is. I’ve definitely had times where I’ve watched a movie and I’m like, “Oh, if I had known it was going to sound like this, if that was the audio information that I was going to get, j would have calibrated that a little differently. So having the music in advance might be something I keep going.

Even though Sandie is presented as a projection in the dreams of Thomasin’s character, did you still approach this character as you would any other of your characters?

Yes, Sandie was a very real person to me. I had to play it that way. I invest so much in my characters that I really have to get to know them. Each character presents themselves in such a different way, and it’s really not clear how this point of connection that I’ll have with them is going to play out. For Sandie, I could feel this desperation. As someone who didn’t know anyone in the entertainment industry, I understood this desire to be a part of this world and needing someone to give you a break. It is not enough to have the talent; you need so much luck and so many specific doors to open for you. So I felt I could give her that kind of hunger. Unfortunately her story is quite different from mine and I’m so thankful for having a nicer story.

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Anya Taylor-Joy as Sandie and Thomasin McKenzie as Eloise
Courtesy of Parisa Taghizadeh / Focus Features

I believe you went straight from Sandie in Sixties London to Beth Harmon in Sixties Kentucky. So whatever your experience on Soho be useful on The Queen’s Gambit?

Ooh, interesting. If I’m perfectly honest, I started in January 2019 half terrified of how I was going to shoot three feature film projects with a day off in between. So I just remember when I wrapped up Soho, I said to myself: “I just have to take care of one character”, because I have lived with three for so long. It’s wild enough to pass from an Austen heroine [in Emma] – where touching someone’s hand through gloves meant so much – suddenly being Sandie and being dressed like a puppet, performing a striptease for 500 extras. So it was pretty wild. (Laughs.) So when Last night in Soho finished, I just thought, “I only have one character to give my all to”, and that was a relief.

There was some very exciting news last year regarding you and George Miller. Since Furiosa announcement, have you had more and more time to choose your particular brain?

Yes, I’m so lucky, frankly, to say I did. Even at this point in the process, working with him is like going to college. I love the conversations we have. I love the way we talk about not just the character but the story as a whole. Love him already, and haven’t even met the man in person yet.

Interview edited for length and clarity. Last night in Soho opens in theaters on October 29.


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