Anya Taylor-Joy has been acting, obviously, for longer than a year. But a year ago, Anya Taylor-Joy wasn’t at the top of the magazine cover wish list, not even, necessarily, after the release of Emma.. Hollywood insiders certainly were well aware that she was one of the most exciting young actors on the scene, but the general public wasn’t. Not until last fall, and the release of The Queen’s Gambit. And it had to be on Netflix too. This is a separate discussion but I’m not convinced that TQG would have been as big of a deal in the culture if it was on any other platform. 


Back to my point though and the rise of Anya Taylor-Joy, who is coming up on a year since The Queen’s Gambit, and who is definitely a recognisable face now because so many people binged the series, but sometimes I wonder if she has name recognition to match her face. Like how many people, if you stopped them on the street and showed them a picture of her would say, “that’s Anya Taylor-Joy” and not “that’s the girl from The Queen’s Gambit”? 

That’s actually what Anya talks about in her new InStyle cover feature– how she has experienced in real time going from someone who looks like she might be a model or actress to someone who people know instantly on airplanes and at cafés to what’s about to come next… beyond The Queen’s Gambit. Because she is super booked and super busy and is following up her career-boosting performance as Beth Harmon in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, which premiered the other day in Venice and will open in theatres pretty much a year to the date that The Queen’s Gambit dropped on Netflix. 


Reviews that I’ve seen so far of the film have been generally positive and – no surprise – there’s been a lot of praise for Anya’s performance. And also versatility. Consider her last three projects: Emma., a Jane Austen adaptation, then The Queen’s Gambit, and now Last Night in Soho which is horror and camp and time travel and weirdness. The connective tissue here might be the period vibe. She’s in period costume in all three films. But don’t get too comfortable there because she’s also prepping to play Furiosa in the Mad Max prequel which is dystopian and edge, so we are definitely not seeing her in a polka dot dress in that movie. 

For now, though, that’s definitely the energy. And we saw it in Venice as Anya was there to promote Last Night in Soho, in which she plays Sally, a woman from the 1960s who wants to be singer…before sh-t gets f-cked up the way only Edgar Wright can f-ck some sh-t up. So Anya’s in full ingenue mode for the festival with her wardrobe, created of course by Law Roach. 


Seriously, Law Roach. As if it wasn’t enough what he did with Zendaya over the last few days, he was also working with Anya and Tiffany Haddish for Venice and every look was flawless! 

Specifically for Anya though, they were working with a mood, a timeless mood. So that if you’re looking at each outfit but you aren’t sure of the date, it works for any decade – and it certainly could pass for a starlet in the fifties and sixties. If you told me their inspiration was Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina, I’d totally buy it. 

Here’s a brand new trailer for Last Night in Soho that was just released today. And for more of Anya in InStyle, click here