Anya Taylor Joy thought she would never work again after watching her performance in ‘The Witch’

Anya revealed why she almost quit acting in 2019

Sometimes we can be our own worst critics. For actress Anya Taylor Joy, when she looks back at her 2015 acting debut as Thomasin in “The Witch”, she feels devastated by her performance. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress revealed when she saw the film premiere at Sundance, she thought she would “never work again.” Despite her fears, she was nominated for Best Actress at multiple film festivals. It even has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer.’

The Witch director and actress at TIFF©GettyImages
Anya Taylor Joy and ‘The Witch’ director Robert Eggers 2015

The Witch was only Anya’s second audition, the first being for a young Angelina Jolie in Maleficent. She said the Thomasin was described as “plain” which made her think she would never get the part. “Okay, there’s a lot of things that I can do, but I can’t really change my face that much,” she said. But Robert Eggers cast Anya and he made his directorial debut while she made her big acting debut. He showed her the film 2 hours before the audience screening at Sundance and she said was devastated. “… I was devastated. I thought I’d never work again. I still get shivers thinking about it.”

The actress said it was the “worse feeling” of “I have let down the people I love most in the world. I didn’t do it right.” Despite being a person who likes to talk and communicate she said she shut down. “I did not talk, I just cried. I couldn’t handle seeing my face that large.”

Although Anya continued to work, there were reports that she was ready to quit acting in 2019 after the release of M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass. When asked about the situation she said “it took me a second to realize that the people around me weren’t working the way that I was working. I thought everybody finished a job, got on a plane, and started the next job.” She explained, “these are pivotal years in my development as a person, and I had put all of my energy into fleshing out other people, and I suddenly got to a point where I had no idea who I was, trying to hold on to relationships, and trying to build a home without having any kind of root or tether because I hadn’t figured out that I had to be that for myself.”

After working for a year straight with only a collective week off on Jane Austen’s Emma,Last Night in Soho, and The Queen’s Gambit she said, “It’s the year that has most changed me. I just fell in love with my job again. I was just tapped out, and I’d forgotten that the job feeds me. I felt like I’d been feeding it for a little while if that makes sense.”

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