Five Favorite Films

Anya Taylor-Joy's Five Favorite Films

The star of The Witch, Split, and Emma loves classic Hollywood, gothic fairy tales, and a quarantine-appropriate horror flick.

by | March 27, 2020 | Comments

Anya Taylor-Joy

(Photo by Michael Tran/Getty Images)

Though casual filmgoers may not know her by name just yet, Anya Taylor-Joy has been quietly establishing herself as one of the most versatile young actors around, capable of jumping from small indie dramas to blockbuster Hollywood fare with ease. Horror fans will recognize her from her debut, 2016’s The Witch, and from M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and Glass, but in between those, she found time to star in a Barack Obama biopic (Barry), a pitch-black comedy (Thoroughbreds), and a sci-fi thriller (Morgan). In the coming year, we’ll also see her in Edgar Wright’s next film (Last Night in Soho) and the X-Men movie New Mutants. And rumor has it she’s in talk to star as a young Furiosa in George Miller’s long-promised Mad Max: Fury Road prequel.

Currently, Taylor-Joy stars as the charismatic lead in Emma, Autumn de Wilde’s new adaptation of the classic Jane Austen novel about a high-society matchmaker who spends too much time on other people’s romances and not enough on her own. The film opened on February 21 but has been made available on VOD for audiences self-quarantining at home, and to celebrate its early access digital release, Anya Taylor-Joy gave us her Five Favorite Films.

They may be less her absolute favorites than the movies she’s binging while in quarantine – her five favorite movies (and one of them actually a TV series) for the very moment. She noted on email to Rotten Tomatoes that she is “continuously amazed at the restorative powers of art. A good or personally treasured film or show offers as much respite to me now as it did when facing my comparatively insignificant worries as a child. May we continue to find hope, faith and solace in them, in the knowledge that the tenacity and fortitude of the human spirit (especially when working together) ensures that we endure.”


The Shining (1980) 82%

The first movie watched during shelter-in-place. Above all else, one must never lose their sense of humor.

Big Fish (2003) 75%

A film I hadn’t seen in forever! I’m a huge fan of Tim Burton and this story had always intrigued me as a kid… I’ve always loved a metaphor and this one has them in spades.

Pan's Labyrinth (2006) 95%

Gothic fairy tales are potentially my favorite genre of film, and Guillermo del Toro is a master. A classic.

Gilmore Girls 86%

My first time watching the series, though I remember my elder sister being obsessed with it. Honestly, it feels very calming and self-loving to listen to a mother and daughter duo discuss coffee and the intricacies of Billy Idol’s pout on his album cover. Simpler times.

Funny Face (1957) 88%

Movies from the ’40s/’50s. Funny Face. Top Hat. High Society. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Bringing Up Baby. Singin’ in the Rain. Sheer escapism.


Emma. is available on VOD now.


Thumbnail image: Warner Bros., Columbia courtesy Everett Collection, Picturehouse courtesy Everett Collection, Saeed Adyani/Netflix