Now that everyone has recovered from the shock that was Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, we can finally acknowledge that plenty of other things took place on Sunday night—such as Anya Taylor-Joy making her red carpet debut with boyfriend Malcolm McRae at Vanity Fair’s annual Oscars after-party. (She wore a netted veil and sheer black evening gown by Christian Dior, while McRae kept things simple in a plain white button-down and black suit.) If you weren’t aware that the 25-year-old star of The Queen’s Gambit isn’t single, that’s because she and her actor and musician beau have kept things relatively low-key since they were first spotted canoodling last May. Things quickly picked up from there; two months later, he Instagrammed a photo of her captioned “I’m besotted.”
So, who is Malcolm McRae? First and foremost, a musician. Born in Alabama and now based in Los Angeles, he makes up half of the band More*, which with fellow actor-slash musician Kane Ritchotte, who was formally the drummer of Portugal. The Man. The pair met shortly after McRae moved to Los Angeles to join his then-girlfriend, and while “the relationship was a disaster,” as the band’s Spotify bio puts it, “the music that followed wasn’t.” Taylor-Joy has gone on to become one of their biggest fans. (She recently shared one of More*’s performances with her millions of followers on Instagram Live, enlisting Diana Silvers and Cara Delevingne to do the same.) McRae, meanwhile, has been open about how Taylor-Joy has become one of his musical influences. “The song was written by Malcolm two days after meeting his Anya,” the band noted alongside the release of “Really Want to See You Again” earlier this month. “Quite intense.”
Before music became his focus, McRae seems to have dabbled in pretty much everything. He got started as an actor after winning a talent competition at age 12, though per IMDb, his most recent role (in the 2020 short film How-dy) was one of only two on-screen appearances in the years since. McRae is also an architecture school dropout, and briefly worked as a paralegal upon moving to L.A.
Importantly for Taylor-Joy, McRae is also a big reader. “I said to my partner the other day that he was my hobby,” she told British Vogue last week. “I see reading as something that I have to do. He loved it because he’s the same. I’ve finally found someone who will happily sit in silence with me reading. We’re basically 80 years old and seven at the same time and it works really well.”