Anya Taylor-Joy Was Exposed To The Mad Max World While Filming Another Sci-Fi Movie

One weird thing that happens with long-running franchises is that they eventually reach a point where the creatives leading the new movies grew up as fans of the old ones. Sometimes this is a bad thing — it arguably leads to an increase in lazy fan-service at the expense of any bold, innovative creative decisions — but other times it just makes the whole thing feel even more exciting. To know that the new people in charge truly care about the lore can go a long way in keeping viewers on board. 

Even outside the writing and the directing department, it's fun when the actors involved love the series, as was the case with "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" star Anya Taylor-Joy. Although it doesn't sound like she's a die-hard fan of the original "Mad Max" films from the '70s and '80s, she does clearly have a ton of respect for "Mad Max: Fury Road," which is all you can really ask for from the woman playing the new Furiosa. As she explained to Entertainment Weekly:

"I was shooting [the 2016 sci-fi thriller "Morgan"] in Belfast, and I went to see ['Fury Road'] with the cast. I remember finishing the movie and standing up and clapping — it blew my mind so much." 

When Taylor-Joy was first watching "Fury Road," she had no idea that she'd one day get to play a younger version of Charlize Theron's iconic character. Not only was Furiosa's beloved status not yet set in stone, but Taylor-Joy herself was not yet famous enough to feel like an obvious choice. This was before "The Queen's Gambit," when the biggest project on Taylor-Joy's résumé was her lead performance in 2015's "The Witch" — a great horror movie, but not a mainstream hit.

Anya Taylor-Joy was not an obvious choice for Furiosa in 2016

Still, the seeds for Taylor-Joy's eventual entry into the "Mad Max" universe had already been sown. "The Witch" established her ability to not just play a lead role in a film with strong feminist themes, but to play a woman who responds to injustice specifically with anger rather than sadness. One of that movie's best scenes is when her character, Thomasin, finally lashes out at her father for constantly accusing her of being a witch. "Eventually I said, 'She's angry; she's f**king pissed. She's been blamed time and time again, and she's not doing anything. We have to stop with the crying," Taylor-Joy recalled telling director Robert Eggers. 

Even for "Morgan," a film that has unfortunately not stood the test of time as well as "The Witch," there are still hints of the future "Furiosa" star to be found. There, she plays a gender-less robot who rebels against her human creators — a fitting early role for a star who'd play so many female characters who casually rebel against gendered expectations down the line. 

There was one clear mark against Taylor-Joy's "Furiosa" prospects, however: the actress mentioned not liking the heat. "I also just don't do well in heat. If I'm hot, I'm either crying or I'm screaming at someone," she said in a 2016 press tour for "Morgan." With "Furiosa" spending so much of its production in the Australian desert, let's hope her hate of the heat has mellowed out since then.