The stars of “Emma” have reunited.
In the latest episode of Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” series, Anya Taylor-Joy and Josh O’Connor sit down for a virtual chat about working together on the 2020 Jane Austen adaptation, and breaking out with “The Queen’s Gambit” and “The Crown” respectively.
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“You were a nightmare on ‘Emma’ because you were the only person I could not stop laughing at,” Taylor-Joy recalls.
“You really couldn’t handle me,” O’Connor jokes. “I know. It was terrible.”
“You made me feel so unprofessional,” she tells him. “From the moment I met you, I was like, ‘Oh, this is going to be a nightmare. He’s going to make me look so bad.’”
O’Connor also talks about the complexity of playing a young Prince Charles on “The Crown”.
“Prince Charles is a tricky one. I think you have to part ways with the real version of him in order to capture something unique or different,” he says. “There’s the sacrifice you sometimes have to make. I just remember there was this amazing thing that Peter Morgan, the writer, said to me very early on. He was like, ‘Just try to remember that this boy shares his mother with an entire nation of people.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God. It’s a terrible affliction on some young kid.’ So every time someone says, ‘Is that a bit harsh the way you’re playing him?’ I go, ‘No. I think he’s going through the wringer.’”
He adds, “The other thing that kind of slightly caught me off-guard is with Prince Charles. Obviously, the real Prince Charles, who knows what he’s like? But I think the character, he’s kind of nasty by the end of season 4. We were going around doing press, and the journalists were finding it hard to carve me from Prince Charles. And being like, ‘I don’t like you. You were nasty to lovely Emma Corrin.’ I was like, ‘I promise you, I wasn’t.’ I think it’s really hard.”
Meanwhile, Taylor-Joy is still dealing with Beth Harmon from “The Queen’s Gambit”.
“I will always keep her with me because I’ve never given so much of myself to a character before,” she explains. “I usually think about characters as so different from me, and I make a real point to make them walk differently, to have a different caliber of voice, to laugh differently, to cry differently. I want them to be their own person. But for Beth, it was the first time that I just thought the only way to tell this accurately is to give bits of myself up. That’s kind of strange now, because I’ll be sitting at a restaurant, and I’ll hear someone say, ‘Oh, she holds her face the way Beth does.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh gosh. Me? Beth? What. Ah!’”
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O’Connor then asks about “Mad Max”: “You’re doing a prequel. Is it ‘Furiosa’? Have you started shooting it now?”
“No. I’ve got a grace period until August, and then I will be working back to back until mid-2023,” Taylor-Joy tells him.
“Hear me out about this. Everyone thought I was mental doing ‘Emma’, Edgar, and ‘Queen’s Gambit’. And to be fair, I was. I recognize that. It was a wild thing to do, but I had to do it. I’ve realized now how unhealthy I am, and the way that I’m thinking about it is if I can get a routine where I exist off of something other than Diet Coke and cigarettes and I can do this and be happier. The thing that makes me most excited about ‘Furiosa’ is, No. 1, George Miller. That brain is incredible. I’m also really excited to do something physical. To physically become something else is something that will weirdly give me a lot of peace.”