Anya Taylor-Joy Opens Up About Handling a Frightening Paparazzi Experience: ‘I Am Not Prey’


Anya Taylor-Joy is still getting used to her status as a Hollywood A-lister. 

The talented actor, who became a household name last year for her performance as Beth Harmon in the popular Netflix mini-series The Queen’s Gambit, spoke about dealing with adoring fans and the paparazzi in a new interview with Tatler.

“Most people are sweet and kind and just want to have a conversation, and I love that,” she said for their October cover. “There are other times when you’re just one person facing off against 20 and that’s just physically not safe. It can be very frightening when there are whole bunches of men with cameras attached to their faces running after you down the street.”

She opened up further about an experience with photographers that left her in tears while she was in New York City for her appearance on Saturday Night Live. “I went home and cried, but then I figured it out,” she told Tatler.  “The next morning I went out and I said, ‘Hello, my name is Anya. Let’s lower down the camera and let’s meet,’ she recalled. “I am not prey. I don’t want to run. I’d rather be like, ‘I understand this is your job and I hope that you can understand that I am a woman of a certain size and I feel intimidated right now, so can we make it work so you can do your job and I can feel less frightened?'” 


This directness is very on-brand for Anya Taylor-Joy, who told Glamour back in 2020 that she feels quite “confident” in sharing her opinions, especially on set. At one point, while shooting The Queen’s Gambit, she spoke up when creators Scott Frank became “worried that [Beth] was getting too glamorous.”

“I was like, ‘It’s in the show that she loves clothes. She can also be a chess champion. They are not mutually exclusive. He was like, ‘Sorry, of course!’ and totally down to go with it,” she told Glamour. “I’ve never been very good at keeping my opinions to myself when it comes to my work, and I’m lucky that people seem to want them.” 

She continued, “Beth is very confident in chess and not that confident in real life, and I definitely feel that in my work. Where I feel most confident in my opinions and what I have to contribute is definitely on set, and then the rest of my life I can get a bit more wavy—but on set I’m like, ‘No, no, no. I know what I’m doing.’” That she does.


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