Anya Taylor-Joy Looks Back on the Wasteland and Her First Time Viewing ‘Furiosa’: ‘I Found it Very Traumatizing to Watch’

The wasteland can be a brutal place. Diegetically within the world of George Miller’s “Mad Max” film series and physically for the actors who have to inhabit it. Speaking with Variety for an interview on her upcoming role in “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” star of the much-hyped prequel Anya Taylor-Joy discussed the challenges of taking on this role and how leaning into it was the only way through it.

“I had the earliest call time of my life: 1:45 a.m.,” Taylor-Joy said. “I’d be like, ‘I just wrapped! What do you mean?! It’s a mistake!’”

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Part of that early call time involved Taylor-Joy getting into makeup, a process that required she be covered head-to-toe in the sand and sweat of Miller’s world.

“You will not believe how dirty I had to be for it to read on camera,” she said to Variety. “The first time I looked at myself in the mirror, I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I looked like a creature from the Black Lagoon.”

Taylor-Joy initially studied ballet dancing until the age of 15, but turning into Furiosa required a different kind of muscle.

“I was doing weights and they helped for sure,” Taylor-Joy said. “The stability weights give you, particularly in your shoulders — ballet dancers’ arms are very strong, but it’s all floaty. It was about being able to hold myself up, and to hold these weapons too. I have a slight frame, and these are heavy guns.”

To get past the emotional and physical toll of this strenuous work schedule, Taylor-Joy played off the sandbox she’d been thrown into, accepting the realities the wasteland had to offer and understanding the energy Miller was trying to create.

“This is the wasteland, and any outbreak of emotion is punished by death,” she said to Variety. “Any empathy is punished by death — any kindness, really. It all made sense to me. I think the restrictions that were placed on me by George did create a radiation off the character, because she is being suppressed continuously throughout the film.”

However, by the time she actually saw the film — albeit a rough cut — it was almost too much for her to bear going back to. Taylor-Joy said of the experience, “Within the first three minutes, I’m crying. And afterward, I cannot speak. I found it very traumatizing to watch.”

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