How did Anya Taylor-Joy pull off such a stunning performance in The Queen’s Gambit? The answer, it turns out, is partly thanks to her nose. In a new interview with the New York Times, the 25-year-old actor revealed that she’s something of an amateur perfumer; each time she takes on a new role, she gets into character by developing a scent. “I really believe in the job I am doing—to give that person life,” Taylor-Joy said. “It’s important that their voice is different, the way they move is different and that they smell different. Then you’re creating a real person.”
The fragrance she developed for Beth, a glamorously tortured chess whiz with addiction issues, had a surprise ingredient that confirms Taylor-Joy is a nose. “I did rose, some patchouli, sandalwood, pink peppercorn and a few drops of vodka,” she said. “Our girl was going through it.” She sure was, and we may be too Taylor-Joy doesn’t start a fragrance line soon.
The scent that Taylor-Joy crafted for The Northman, an upcoming Robert Eggers film that also stars Nicole Kidman and Björk, is a bit easier to achieve—at least if you happen to live near a coast like the one where they filmed in Ireland. “The character I played is very connected to nature,” she continued. “One of my favorite things about shooting there was how much time I spent outside. I would swim in the Irish Sea. I burned a lot of Irish moss around the house. I smelled like that—Irish moss and sea salt.”
Thanks to Taylor-Joy’s IMDb page, we have a hunch as to what the actor will be concocting next. It isn’t too difficult to guess what the key ingredient will be when she takes on the role of Princess Peach later this year. As for Furiosa, the highly anticipated Mad Max prequel, we wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor-Joy incorporated some actual dirt.