Anya Taylor-Joy Asked Directors to Change Crying Scenes When Her Characters Were Actually ‘F—ing Pissed’ and ‘Angry’: ‘What Planet Are We Living On?’

Anya Taylor-Joy said an interview with British GQ that she has often fought for her characters to express rage on screen. It turns out there have been several films where in the script her character is supposed to cry, but Taylor-Joy just didn’t think that was the right emotional beat. She decided to speak up for herself and successfully convinced her directors to let her character have more rage.

“I’ve developed a bit of a reputation for fighting for feminine rage, which is a strange thing, because I’m not promoting violence – but I am promoting women being seen as people,” Taylor-Joy told the publication. “We have reactions that are not always dainty or un-messy.”

More from Variety

Taylor-Joy first fought for her character’s rage on her feature acting debut, Robert Eggers’ “The Witch.” It was written that her character, Thomasin, would cry during a scene in which she is dragged through her family’s farmyard after she’s accused of being an evil presence inside her home. Taylor-Joy couldn’t muster up the tears during each take.

“Eventually I said, ‘She’s angry; she’s fucking pissed. She’s been blamed time and time again, and she’s not doing anything. We have to stop with the crying,’” Taylor-Joy remembered telling Eggers.

The director approved, and Taylor-Joy not only was able to rage during the screen but also learned that sometimes speaking up for yourself on set is the right thing to do. She’d do it again during the making of “The Menu” when the script called for her character to have a single tear rolling down her cheek when she discovers that her date has brought her to lavish private dinner with the intention of having her die.

“What planet are we living on?” Taylor-Joy asked when she found out she had to cry during that scene. “I was like, ‘Let me explain to you: I am going to leap across the table and try and literally kill him with my bare hands.’”

Taylor-Joy’s “The Menu” director Mark Mylod and co-star Nicholas Hoult were game to let her make that change. Eggers was also open to her advice during the making of their second movie together, “The Northman.” There was a scene where Taylor-Joy’s character has to discourage a man from touching her against her will.

“It was Anya’s idea for Olga to douse her hand with her own menstrual blood before slapping Fjölnir in the face,” Eggers revealed, adding that he knew it was the right call because it was a “very strong, defiant and memorable choice.”

“For all my championing of female rage, I’ve never been an angry person,” Taylor-Joy told British GQ. “For a long time the only time I ever got angry was on other people’s behalves. I’ve always internalized this thing of ‘I’ve done something wrong. If you treat me badly, it’s because I am the problem.’”

In her latest project, George Miller’s “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” Taylor-Joy also lobbied to let out a scream during the filming of one scene. Taylor-Joy spends most of the movie without dialogue.

“I do want to 100 percent preface this by saying I love George and if you’re going to do something like this, you want to be in the hands of someone like George Miller,” Taylor-Joy recently told The New York Times. “But he had a very, very strict idea of what Furiosa’s war face looked like, and that only allowed me my eyes for a large portion of the movie. It was very much ‘mouth closed, no emotion, speak with your eyes.’ That’s it, that’s all you have.”

“I am a really strong advocate of female rage,” Taylor-Joy added. “We’re animals, and there’s a point where somebody just snaps. There’s one scream in that movie, and I am not joking when I tell you that I fought for that scream for three months….With George, it’s a long game.”

But she didn’t win every battle during the making of “Furiosa.” As British GQ reports, Taylor-Joy pitched having her character cut out the tongue of another character during a climactic moment in the film. Miller filmed it, but he decided not to include it in the movie’s theatrical cut.

“Furiosa” opens in theaters nationwide May 24 from Warner Bros.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.