Anya Taylor-Joy reveals why she has finally unlocked her female rage: ‘I’m glad I’m angry’

Anya Taylor-Joy has said that filming George Miller’s forthcoming Mad Max prequel Furiosa helped her embrace her own female rage after years of getting angry on behalf of other people.

The 28-year-old actor stars as the titular character, a younger version of Charlize Theron’s Mad Max character Furiosa, who finds herself on a nonstop battle to find her way home.

Taylor-Joy has said she is “grateful” for her role in the film, because it allowed her to reflect on the ways she had expressed anger in the past.

“For a long time the only time I ever got angry was on other people’s behalfs. I’ve always internalised this thing of ‘I’ve done something wrong. If you treat me badly, it’s because I am the problem,’” she explained in an interview with British GQ.

“And I’m so grateful for Furiosa, because there was a real moment where I started getting angry for myself.”

The actor said people around her had noticed a shift after filming Furiosa, especially her husband Malcolm McRae, who was surprised by the change.

“My husband was like ‘I’ve never heard you be like this.’ I was like, ‘I’m glad! I’m glad that I’m angry!’ If someone steps on me now I’m like, ‘Hey, f*** you!’ That makes me feel good.”

Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘Furiosa’ (© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
Anya Taylor-Joy in ‘Furiosa’ (© 2023 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Taylor-Joy added that women aren’t always “dainty and unmessy”, and that she wanted her character to embody authentic human 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,” she said.

In an interview The New York Times, the Queen’s Gambit actor revealed she and director had Miller disagreed on several occasions over how stoic her character Furiosa should be.

The actor only has 30 lines of dialogue in the two-hour and 28-minute-long film. And while Furiosa endures intense hardships throughout the film, she expresses her emotions mainly through her eyes.

Taylor-Joy said that she had “fought” hard to get Miller to agree to include a scream in the dialogue, and that her character was expected to be “mouth closed, no emotion, speak with your eyes”.

Taylor-Joy said she ‘fought’ to include a scream in the dialogue (Getty Images)
Taylor-Joy said she ‘fought’ to include a scream in the dialogue (Getty Images)

The actor explained: “I do want to 100 per cent 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. 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,” she said. “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.”

“I wanted to make sure that I was never insolent in any way, that it was always a conversation. At the end of the day, this is his vision. I can present everything that I have, but his word goes,” she concluded.

Furiosa will be released in cinemas on 24 May.