Anya Taylor-Joy

1 min read
Photo courtesy of Greg Williams

Anya Josephine Marie Taylor-Joy was born 16 April 1996 and is an American-born Argentine-British actress.

She was born in Miami, Florida, the youngest of six children. Her mother, born and raised in Zambia, is a psychologist of British and Spanish descent. Taylor-Joy’s father is Scottish-Argentine and was an international banker until he changed careers to become a professional motorboat racer. 

Taylor-Joy moved to Buenos Aires as an infant, lived there until age six and moved to Victoria, London at age eight. She found the move to the United Kingdom traumatic and refused to speak English for two years because she believed this would force her parents to move the family back to Argentina. She attended the preparatory school Hill House in Chelsea, then Northlands School in Argentina and Queen’s Gate School in South Kensington. She has training in ballet.

At age 14, she moved to New York and later shared time between USA and England, also visiting Ireland. At age 16, she was scouted as a model while walking outside Harrods Department Store by Sarah Doukas of Storm Management. It was through her modeling work that she met and signed with an acting agent.

She first became known for making appearances on the fantasy series Atlantis (2015), and had her breakthrough with the period horror film The Witch (2015), for which she earned several accolades. She gained further recognition and praise for her role as Casey Cooke in the psychological horror films Split (2016) and Glass (2019), Lily Reynolds in the black comedy Thoroughbreds (2017) and Emma Woodhouse in the comedy-drama Emma (2020).

Taylor-Joy also had starring roles in the BBC One drama miniseries The Miniaturist (2017), the BBC One crime drama series Peaky Blinders (2019), and the Netflix fantasy drama series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019). She garnered critical acclaim for her performance in the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit (2020).