By Phebe Wahl By Phebe Wahl | November 16, 2022 | People Lifestyle Feature
Anya Taylor-Joy's brilliant star continues to rise thanks to her poised and pensive approach, both on screen and as the face of Dior.
Dior dress and earrings, dior.com. Makeup: Diorshow On Set Brow in No. 032 dark brown and Diorshow Maximizer 3D.
“I was completely unaware of fashion and beauty growing up,” shares actress Anya Taylor-Joy. “I was a real tomboy. The only time that I remember wearing lipstick was to draw a cat nose and whiskers on my face every day. It wasn’t really something I was aware of until I got into this industry, and then seeing the transformation that was possible because of hair, makeup and clothes—it was unbelievable. I was suddenly a different person.”
Dior dress, jacket and shoes, dior.com. Makeup: Dior Rouge Blush in No. 219 Rose Montaigne, Dior 5 Couleurs Couture in No. 649 Nude Dress and Dior Vernis in No. 108 Muguet.
The acclaimed actress is known for her captivating performances and spellbinding beauty, so it is no surprise that brands like Dior have made her a global ambassador. Today, she has transformed into a standout style star and red carpet regular who is always the highlight of award show season. “In terms of the red carpet, it was something that was rather frightening to me until I realized that that was another form of performance art,” she shares. “So now I love clothes. I love fashion. And with this job, you kind of have to take an interest in taking care of your face because it’s your job. So I feel lucky that I’ve been able to do that more recently.”
Dior dress, shoes, belt and earrings, dior.com. Makeup: Dior Forever foundation in No. 1N, Diorshow mascara in No. 798 brown and Dior Addict in No. 100 Nude Look.
Taylor-Joy shares how her beauty routine has also evolved over the years. “I had never experienced breakouts before because I hadn’t worn makeup. So now I’m always double cleansing. You need that first layer to be gone, and then you can actually clean your skin,” she advises. “I started using this beautiful eye cream from Dior that I love because it feels like little treatments. It feels like a massage,” she says of the Dior Prestige Le Micro-Sérum de Rose Yeux advanced eye serum.
Dior top and jacket, dior.com. Makeup: Diorshow On Set Brow in No. 032 dark brown, Diorshow Maximizer 3D and Dior Addict in No. 100 Nude Look.
As an ambassador for the House of Dior, Taylor-Joy has taken her trademark academic approach. “I’ve now studied up so much about the House of Dior, just because I’m a history buff and the house is so storied,” she says. The actress shares a similar reverence for the Dior woman of today and the feminist vision of Maria Grazia Chiuri. “The Dior woman, to me, is someone who appreciates grace and elegance, but also understands that she can have it on her own terms,” she says. “It can be more risqué. It can be more classic. You don’t have to necessarily conform in order to fit in. It’s actually more exciting to be able to choose who you want to be. But it is always elegant in some way, shape or form.”
The casting is spot on in terms of a talent who exquisitely embodies the maison’s strong spirit. “I think we’re in this really interesting space and time where we as women have more choices than we’ve been allowed to have before, or certainly not at a point of equality,” Taylor-Joy says. “And that’s only going to happen through consistent pressure because it’s going to take time for societal norms to change—and for things to be acceptable in terms of equality.”
One of six siblings, the Miami-born actress moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, when she was very young and then later to London. She made her debut on screen in 2014 as a mere teen in the drama detective series Endeavor, yet her stratospheric rise is most often marked by her breakthrough performance as Beth Harmon in the Netflix limited series The Queen’s Gambit. The accolades have poured in ever since, including a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice Award, a SAG and a Primetime Emmy Award—with more to come ahead, no doubt. In such a short time, Taylor-Joy has racked up scene-stealing performances in The Northman, Peaky Blinders, Last Night in Soho, The Miniaturist and Emma, as well as the moonshot success of The Queen’s Gambit, just to name a few.
Dior jacket, dior.com. Makeup: Dior Forever Skin Correct in No.00, Dior Rough Blush in No. 219 Rose Montaigne and Dior 5 Couleurs Couture in No. 649 Nude Dress.
Most recently, Taylor-Joy starred in the David O. Russell film Amsterdam starring Christian Bale, Margot Robbie and John David Washington—and now the dark comedy The Menu. In the film, Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult play a young couple who visit a remote destination restaurant where an acclaimed chef (Ralph Fiennes) has prepared a tasting menu. Shocks and surprises ensue.
“Margot is definitely the odd one out of the group in terms of social class, in terms of her ideas about food,” Taylor-Joy says of her character. “The best part about making this film for us was that it was such an ensemble. Every time the camera was rolling, you were on because you didn’t know if the camera was going to turn to you or not. Everyone was improvising the whole time—and it was just so much fun to watch everybody,” she says. “As Margot, I got to be the eyes of the audience and play the absurdity of all of it.” Taylor-Joy also enjoys how experiential the film is in terms of the collective experience in the theater. “I’m someone that loves the cinema. I love to go. I love the whole experience. I love the ritual of it—and I like sharing that experience with a roomful of strangers because you end up having a collective experience,” she says. “This movie—people seem to love going to see it at the cinema. ... There’s your personal experience watching it, but there’s also the creature that you become with everyone else in the room. That’s an experience that you just get to share with all of these people that you tend to not really talk to aft er the film. It’s ephemeral in that way. It’s just supposed to be enjoyed all together.”
The project also offers a commentary on privilege—skewering the pretension of culinary culture in the most delicious way. “I think there’s a certain point where if you have gorged yourself on experience—naturally—one becomes apathetic,” Taylor-Joy says. “We’re skewering everybody, but I think the point is food and life is supposed to be enjoyed. If it has become so exclusive and so pretentious that it can’t be enjoyed, what’s the point? It’s supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to enjoy yourself. It shouldn’t be privileged for the sake of privilege’s sake.”
Taylor-Joy offers equally thoughtful insights about the meaning of luxury as well. “It’s about the joy and the beauty of it,” she says. “The costume designer that I’m working with at the moment, Jenny Beavan... did the costumes for a movie, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, about Dior. I watched it with my family, and just the joy that this woman is given by this dress is like this encapsulation of dreams. That is the point of luxury. The point is that it’s supposed to make you feel wonderful. And if it’s not doing that, then why, right?”
Dior dress and earrings, dior.com. Makeup: Dior Forever foundation in No. 1N, Dior Forever Skin Correct in No. 00 and Diorshow mascara in No. 798 brown.
Perhaps it is this insightful nature that grounds the stunning starlet as she gracefully navigates a packed production schedule. Up next, she takes a turn as Princess Peach in The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Always one to do her research, she says she wasn’t a gamer before, but is now. “So now I am a gamer, and it’s really fun. Ideally, I like playing at arcades, because, again, it’s like cinema; I love the ceremony. I’ll go with a whole bunch of friends. And we’ll just spend hours at the arcade.”
She has also recently wrapped filming the Mad Max prequel, Furiosa, in Australia. “I knew that it would be a very isolating experience,” she says of filming. “And I knew that it would be very tough, both emotionally and physically. So I made a luxury gift to myself as I got myself a cat, which has really helped. He’s just been a huge help. Because at the end of the day, you’d have to take care of them—and that puts things in perspective for me,” she says of the addition of her kitty, Kitsune, to her family. “He’s absolutely the chillest cat you’ve ever seen. He’s just incredible.”
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAN JACKSON STYLED BY TONY IRVINE MAKEUP BY PETER PHILIPS, CREATIVE AND IMAGE DIRECTOR, DIOR MAKEUP