BEST PERFORMANCES 2017

Split Scream Queen Anya Taylor-Joy Is Terrified of Condensation

The star of the The Witch and M. Night Shyamalan’s Split on her weirdest hang-ups and why doing horror movies is relaxing.


Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Even though she claims not to be a horror movie geek, Anya Taylor-Joy, at all of 20, is quickly become the genre’s leading heroine. The latest indie star to emerge out of Sundance in her critically adored horror film The Witch in 2015, which became a surprise hit last year, the young Argentine-British model-turned-actress has gone on to star in the underrated sci-fi horror film Morgan as well as M. Night Shyamalan’s latest fright, Split, in which Taylor-Joy’s actor falls prey to a terrifying schizophrenic. (In between, she also managed to feature in the Barack Obama biopic Barry, as his collegiate girlfriend.) Here, she reveals her strangest fears, and why making horror movies is kind of therapy—even if she is a “scaredy cat.”

Since you’re a natural blonde, what is it like going to brunette [in your screen career]? Does the world treat you differently as a blonde? Well, I like being a brunette because it actually makes me feel more Spanish—I look more like my mom. My hair was always so white, and my skin was so white that I kind of felt like I washed out a little bit. The dark hair grounds me a lot more, and it actually makes me look older, which is good, because I can go for older roles and stuff like that.

But do you miss being blond, just in general? I mean, I didn’t until we did this shoot. All of a sudden, I was looking at like my really blond hair, like, “Damn, this is what I used to look like. I might wanna do this again one day.”

When do you think you’ll be blonde again, just out of curiosity? Probably for my next role. I mean, hair—anything that is of my body—is always, you know, because of a film. I don’t really do anything for my own pleasure.

Really? Well, there’s been no time recently, and it’s actually so much fun to change into your characters because it just means that when you do look in the mirror you’re, you know, that person. I change the way I dress according to how I look, and it just allows me to get into character better.

So how did Split come to you? Well, actually, M. Night Shyamalan actually offered me the role on the phone, which was crazy. I was pacing up and down, and I was kind of freaking out that he was talking to me on the phone, anyway. And then he just offered it to me. Just stopped completely dead in my tracks and started hyperventilating. I was like, “Yes, I wanna make this movie with you,” and then I started panicking because I realized that I would be playing a kidnapped girl with an actor who at the time was a method actor. I was like, “Ooh, three months of this might be a little bit tricky.” But [James McAvoy] ended up doing the part, and we had a really, really great time on set.

Oh, it was somebody else initially? Yes.

I see. Did you find yourself confused about who he was going to be during different scenes? You do a wonderful job of seeming both confounded and trying to navigate it at the same time. Yeah. I mean, my favorite thing about Casey is that she really believes in all of his personalities, and she treats each of them differently. For me, just being in the room, being able to watch James do all of the characters, it was an absolute pleasure. It’s like watching a one-man show every day. I definitely have favorites in the personalities that I enjoyed spending time with more.

Who were they? Hedwig. I loved him. He’s so sweet. They have a really interesting relationship, Casey and Hedwig. And then Miss Patricia—even though she’s terrifying she was really, really interesting to play with. That’s the incredible thing about the movie, it’s kind of like acting with a whole bunch of different people.

Have you ever felt schizophrenic? I don’t wanna say schizophrenic, just in terms of the mental health disorder. But I definitely lose who I am a lot of the time in going from movie to movie and character to character, because they are so real for me. Sometimes I’ll feel like little traits of one character coming through that are definitely not mine, and that can creep me out a little bit. All of a sudden, I’ll do something, and I’m just like, “That was not me.” But it’s also kind of cool, because you end up with all of these friends that you know very intimately, you know?

And then you’re sad when they go. So sad. I get so depressed. It’s really, really difficult. Actually, when The Witch ended, I lost it. I hadn’t realized the characters were real for me yet, and so I was mourning her. I knew I would see everyone else again, and I knew that I’d made a movie that I was proud of, but I really, really miss Thomason.

So how many nights have you slept in your bed in the last year? Where would you call home if you had to pick a place? Oh, God. Well, this goes back to the schizophrenic question. When I’m in Argentina, I feel too English to be Argentine, and other people see me as too English to be Argentine. When I’m in America, I’m too Argentine or English, so I never really feel like I have a home. I’m always just like a little bit, um, exotic. But the bed that I spent the most amount of time in was the bed in London, and this year I’ve probably slept there collectively maybe 10 days. [Laughs] Crazy.

So what’s the key to that kind of travel? Do you have any travel tips to share with the world? Don’t stress out. Just chill. It’s really not that bad. You go through security; yes, you have to stand in a line for a while. It’s like, “Meh.” Have a killer playlist. And try and sleep. It’s hard, but try and sleep.

Do you watch movies on planes? Well, this is the thing: I say try and sleep. I never sleep. I watch all of the movies, and actually that can get a bit difficult, because if you’re on planes kind of consistently, they don’t change up the movies, so you end up watching them again and again and again.

What have you watched again and again and again? Brooklyn. I loved Brooklyn. Um, what else? Love & Mercy, I watched that movie so many times. Now A Bigger Splash is on British Airways, so I watched that a couple of times. The performances are just astonishing.

Do you think it’s interesting that you’ve been cast in so many movies with so many supernatural people with, shall we say, anger issues? Yes, I don’t think my 12-year-old self would have associated that with the career that I was going to have. But actually now, in hindsight, it’s exactly what I would wanna be doing. Just because I don’t enjoy watching horror movies doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy [making them].

Oh, really? No, not at all. I’m a real scaredy cat. I’m not good at being scared. But actually acting in a horror movie, you get to feel so much more intensely. Your brackets of acceptable emotion are so much wider, and so you get to really, you know, purge yourself of any emotions that you have. It wears me out. It also releases some of my emotions, so it chills me out a lot more. So after a big emotional scene I get to go home and get a good night’s sleep. I’m a lot more stable now that I’m making horror movies, for sure.

Anya Taylor-Joy Is One to Watch on the Red Carpet

Anya Taylor Joy attends The Witch premiere during the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in a shearling coat and opaque tights.

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Anya Taylor-Joy attends the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Chanel Artists’ Dinner at Balthazar in a coordinating white top and skirt.

FilmMagic

The young actress looks bohemian in a long, flowing purple dress with her hair piled on top of her head.

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Anya Taylor-Joy looks like a rock star at the Saint Laurent show in Los Angeles on February 10, 2016.

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Anya Taylor-Joy arrives at the Miu Miu show on October 7, 2015 in a striped coat and embellished skirt by the brand.

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The nude-colored dress has an almost gothic vibe with tattoo-like embroidery that works well against the actress’s fair skin.

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Taylor-Joy arrives at the premiere of her debut film The Witch at ArcLight Cinemas on February 11, 2016 in a frilly blue mini-dress.

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Taylor-Joy attends the Miu Miu show at part of Paris Fashion Week on March 9, 2016 in a long purple coat by the brand.

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Taylor-Joy attends the 11th Annual Chanel Tribeca Film Festival Artists Dinner in Chanel, of course.

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At the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and InStyle’s Annual Celebration of the Toronto International Film Festival, Taylor-Joy was glamorous in an embellished, eclectic gown.

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Taylor-Joy was elegant at the Burberry September 2016 show during London Fashion Week, wearing a floor-length pale blue silk skirt.

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Anya Taylor-Joy attends the [Gucci Spring 2017 show at Milan Fashion Week] in a colorful look that designer Alessandro Michele is known for. (http://www.wmagazine.com/gallery/inside-alessandro-micheles-wildly-colorful-spring-show-for-gucci)

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Taylor-Joy attends the IWC Gala in honor of The British Film Institute at Rosewood Hotel in 2016 in a look that is equal parts goth and girly.

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Taylor-Joy arrives at a screening of her film Split in a festive suit–a fun alternative to the traditional gown.

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The actress pulls off mixed prints with aplomb at a photo call for Split in 2017.

Vincenzo Lombardo

A frilled black skirt and cap-sleeved leopard print top pairs well with a side ponytail. 2017.

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Taylor-Joy took a turn for the dramatic in a feathered Gucci gown emblazoned with a pair of swans and floral print. 2017.

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The actress wore a celestial print jumpsuit by Schiaparelli to the New York premiere of Split. 2017.

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A casual look for the actress, complete with snow boots, at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

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The actress paired a sequined mini dress with black accessories, including ankle-strap pumps and a belt to cinch the waist, for a pre-BAFTAs party. 2017.

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Another Gucci moment for Taylor-Joy, this time in a shocking violet hue, at a cocktail party to launch new film series The Performers. 2017.

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Simple in nude, Taylor-Joy was a true star in this printed number at the BAFTA 2017 Film Gala Dinner.

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A tough take on the ballerina tutu, Taylor-Joy paired a buttoned-up tulle dress with embellished heels. 2017.

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Suiting up in head-to-toe marron, Taylor-Joy took in the Mulberry Fall 2017 runway show as part of London Fashion Week.

Mike Marsland/Getty Images

Taylor-Joy looked super chic in a tuxedo mini-dress paired with architectural booties at the Elle Style Awards 2017.

Karwai Tang

Go big or go home. That was the style motto behind the actress’s 2017 BAFTA dress, a tiered Gucci confection complete with a sequined lion.

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For the Christopher Kane Fall 2017 show, Taylor-Joy paired a leopard-print dress with simple black accessories, including strappy heels. 2017.

Neil Mockford
1/27

I think you have to do a romantic comedy. Yeah, a whole bunch of my friends are like, “I don’t wanna watch any of your movies. They’re really scary. Like, I love you, but no.” They’re all waiting for the rom-com.

And have you looked at a single rom-com? I’ve read a couple of the scripts, but to be honest there’s nothing about the genre that makes me not wanna do a movie or wanna do a movie. It’s all about the character, so if I read a rom-com that read something along the lines of… would you call 500 Days of Summer a rom-com?

Sure. Yeah? Like something along those lines, a really witty script that’s very interestingly shot and tells a real story of relationships. Because real stories are so much more interesting, because real people are so much more multifaceted.

But you’re not a horror movie kind of girl. No, not really. People are gonna kill me. I mean, maybe I need to watch more horror movies. Maybe I need to find my niche.

So what is your biggest irrational fear? My biggest irrational fear? Revolving doors.

Revolving doors? Revolving doors have always freaked me out, and I’m not even claustrophobic. It’s just the speed that it’s going around, and I’m consistently worried that I’m not gonna make it out, it’s gonna cut me in half or something. I mean, people around me will literally see me just tense up and hold my hands and be like, “It’s fine, it’s fine, I’m going through the door, I’m going through the door… and I’m out!”

What’s your biggest pet peeve? Um… when, like, you have a water bottle and it has condensation on the outside. That pisses me off. I don’t know why, but that ticks me off quite a bit. Yeah, I’d say that.

A water bottle with condensation? Yeah. It’s like water bottles sweat, and you don’t wanna touch anyone else’s sweat, so why would you wanna touch like a water bottle that’s all, like, ugh?

Which I think is just water. [Laughs] Well, maybe that’s my irrational fear.

Do you have a new girl crush, or is it still Saoirse [Ronan]? I will always have an incredible amount of respect for her. I’m on my real Tilda [Swinton] kick right now. I know I talk about her a lot, but I think she’s phenomenal.

Have you seen Doctor Strange? No, not yet, but Benedict Cumberbatch is in that, isn’t he? He’s amazing, too. But man crush, I’d say like Ben Whishaw and Bill Nighy, always.

You’ve gotten off of Eddie Redmayne? No, no, no. I will never be off of Eddie, but Ben Wishaw has this sensitivity to him in everything that he does. Like, when you’re watching him, you just feel for him so much. That’s fabulous to watch on screen.

And Bill Nighy, who’s about 100 years older than you? I love him. His the only podcast I’ve ever listened to, and he is genuinely the coolest individual ever. I haven’t even met him, but he just exudes cool and being comfortable in his own skin.

Do you have a favorite birthday? My actual birthday happened on the set of Barry [in which she played Barack Obama’s college girlfriend]. At midnight, you know, I turned 20 or whatever. But I had just done my first sex scene, so it felt sort of amazing to have crossed that bridge. To be like, “I slept with the president on my birthday.”

Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and More Are the Best Performances of the Year

Stone wears Chloé tunic; Wolford leggings; her own rings. Beauty: Covergirl. Affleck wears Louis Vuitton jacket and shirt.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair for Affleck by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Hair for Stone by Mara Roszak for L’Oréal Paris at Starworks Artists; Makeup for Affleck by Peter Philips for Dior; Makeup for Stone by Rachel Goodwin for Chanel at Starworks Artists; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Portman wears Dior dress; Mish New York earrings. Beauty: Dior. Negga wears Carolina Herrera dress; Lalaounis earrings. Beauty: Laura Mercier.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Adams wears Prada shirt; Djula earrings. Beauty: Giorgio Armani. McConaughey wears Burberry shirt.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Driver wears AG T-shirt. Mortensen wears Alternative Apparel henley.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Williams wears Louis Vuitton dress and bodysuit. Beauty: Nars. Edgerton wears Burberry T-shirt; Rolex watch.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Kidman wears Chanel dress; Tiffany & Co. earrings. Beauty: Chanel. Ali wears Simon Miller T-shirt.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; Makeup by Peter Philips for Dior; Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

La La Land

“My real name is Emily Stone, but when I started acting, that name was already taken by another actress, so I had to come up with a different one. For a 16-year-old, picking a new name is an interesting prospect, and back then I said, ‘I’m now going to be Riley Stone!’ So, for about six months I was called Riley. I landed a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle, and one day they were calling, ‘Riley! Riley! Riley! We need you on set, Riley!’ and I had no idea who they were talking to. At that moment, I realized that I just couldn’t be Riley. So I became Emma. But I miss Emily. I would love to get her back.”

Sonia Rykiel sweater; Commando briefs.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair for Stone by Mara Roszak for L’Oréal Paris at Starworks Artists; makeup for Stone by Rachel Goodwin for Chanel at Starworks Artists. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Gold

“I was attracted to Gold because it reminded me of my dad. He loved shady deals. He’d much rather do a shady deal with fun people than a good deal with a bunch of straight-asses. He invested in diamond mines in Ecuador, and there were no fucking diamonds there. It was a scam, but he loved that. That’s the spirit of my character, Kenny Wells. There’s a little poem we have in the movie—‘Bird With No Feet Sleeps in the Wind.’ And that’s it: If Kenny, or my dad, gets the money or not, does it really matter? Would he change? No. Not that guy. These are people who are going to con, finagle, and boot-scoot their way in the side door. They never had the front-door entrance to the American Dream.”

AG jacket; Current/Elliott T-shirt; Levi’s jeans; John Hardy bracelet (right); Ann Demeulemeester boots.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Arrival and Nocturnal Animals

“Tom Ford became my muse on Nocturnal Animals. My character, Susan, was very personal to Tom, and so I based my interpretation on him. Tom would ask on set, ‘Why is Amy using her hands like that?’ And I said, ‘I’m copying you, Tom!’ I used him. I used him up.”

Gucci shirt; Djula earrings.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Jackie

“Playing Jackie Kennedy is scary. I was nervous at first, and I started by doing a lot of research. The biographies on her are all a little bit trashy, but the transcripts of her interviews with the historian Arthur Schlesinger were really helpful. He taped everything, and you can hear Jackie’s voice. Her intellect and her wit and what she’s bitter about are immediately apparent. At the same time, I was going to costume fittings and makeup tests. When I put on the Jackie wig, the physical and emotional sides came together. The hair itself is so iconic that once you have it right, you can start to see Jackie. I don’t really look like her, but I felt like I was in her skin.”

Equipment dress.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Paterson and Silence

Silence is the story of two Jesuit priests on a journey from Macao to Japan in search of their mentor, a priest who may have renounced his faith. When Martin Scorsese asked me to come to his house to talk about the movie, I already knew that for 28 years it had been his passion project. We talked about Silence, but when Scorsese starts a sentence, ‘When we were shooting Raging Bull…’ you can’t help but say, ‘Yeah, okay, tell me everything.’ So we talked for a long time, and finally he asked me if I would be willing to lose weight for the role. It made sense: How can you play a 17th-century persecuted priest while eating great meals? So I lost around 51 pounds. The weight loss was only bad in that, you know, I’d try to figure out how to play a scene and I had no ideas, because I was so damn hungry. Then I’d have a scoop of peanut butter and suddenly everything turned on!”

Dior Homme jacket; Rag & Bone Standard Issue T-shirt and jeans; Rolex watch. On model: Wolford  stockings.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hell or High Water

What was your first audition? My parents were both actors. I had just graduated from college, and my father had gone in for an audition for Gilmore Girls. He told the casting directors, “My son is back in town. Will you have him in for a reading?” So it was nepotism at its best. I can’t remember the role—maybe a boyfriend to someone? I got my start playing boyfriends, husbands-to-be, and princes.

In Hell or High Water you play a kind of modern Western antihero. You don’t speak much. When I read the script, the image that came to mind was of a man on a porch squinting through harsh sunlight into the distance, but not talking. I have a lot of similar memories of my father, where we are sitting next to each other and not saying much. Westerns have a stoic silence I’ve always appreciated. These days, we have so many distractions. I have minor ADD, so if anything grabs me and keeps me from petting my dog or collaging or just daydreaming, I immediately pay attention.

Brunello Cucinelli sweater; Sandro trousers; Loewe shoes.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Michael Kors henley. Model wears Araks robe; Stella McCartney Lingerie bra; Fifi Chachnil briefs; Falke stockings; Gianvito Rossi shoes.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

Loving

“When I auditioned for the part of Mildred Loving, I had to sort of disappear into her character. Usually, I don’t create a costume for an audition, but this time I wore a summer dress. I knew that coming in the door looking like this woman would have an impact. A year later, I learned I got the part. At the premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, I walked up the steps of the Palais in full makeup, and I walked down the steps with mascara dripping. It was such an emotional experience. All I could think was that I needed to blow my nose before it dripped all over my frock.”

Prada top and skirt; Fabiana Filippi  top (underneath).

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hidden Figures

“I’m a pretty good actress. You could say that, right? Well, to play Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who figured out a way to get NASA astronauts into space, I had to be believable as a math expert—and I failed math in college. Precalculus looked like Chinese to me. Even with two tutors, I still failed. So God has an incredible sense of humor, because now I am playing a mathematician! Even on set, they would have a professor there to try and teach me. I said, ‘Show me what I have to write and I’ll memorize it, because I’m not gonna get it.’ Take that, math! I won: I became an actress.”

Monse shirt; La Perla bra; Forevermark by Natalie K earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Rules Don’t Apply

“I never knew Howard Hughes, so I’m able to take liberties, to allow my imagination to go to work. I like to quote Henry Ford, who said, ‘History is bunk.’ I like to quote Winston Churchill, who said, ‘History will be kind to me, because I intend to write it myself.’ And, in Rules Don’t Apply, I quote Mr. Hughes himself. He said, ‘Never check an interesting fact.’ ”

Jeffrey Rüdes sweater.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair and makeup for Beatty by Natalia Bruschi. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Manchester by the Sea

“I used to love movies that made me cry, and now all movies seem to make me cry. I don’t like that so much. I have my own things to cry about. I remember being young and sitting on the floor in my father’s apartment watching The Elephant Man on his black and white TV. When the Elephant Man did his speech—‘I am not an animal’—I started sobbing. That’s a tearjerker. That film made a superstrong impression on me. It set a certain standard in my mind of what was possible.”

Louis Vuitton pants; Falke socks. On model: Alexander Wang sweater.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

A Monster Calls and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“Recently, I seem to be doing a lot of dying onscreen. Lizzie, my character in A Monster Calls, has cancer, and I became obsessed with the way someone’s voice changes as their body deteriorates, and how they change the way they hold their body. Cancer patients would tell me things like, ‘You become obsessed with painting your nails, because your body is out of control.’ It became harder and harder to play Lizzie. I don’t think I’m going to die anymore.”

Giorgio Armani dress; Djula earrings; Tacori  ring.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Allied, It’s Only the End of the World, and Assassin’s Creed

“It might sound weird, but I always cry at the end of Step Brothers. I’ve seen the movie 10 times, and it still touches me at the end, when Will Ferrell sings. You don’t expect to cry watching that type of comedy, but I always do.”

Burberry trenchcoat; Loro Piana sweater; Chopard earrings.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hell or High Water

“I remember doing an interview years ago and being asked if I was one of those actors who takes the part home with me. I answered, ‘No. Not really.’ My wife happened to be in the room, and she started to laugh. Apparently, I had been playing a terrible person—a killer or someone who buries people alive or something—and she definitely noticed. I wasn’t fun to live with.”

Boss coat; A.P.C. jeans; the Frye Company boots.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Lion

“When I was cast in Slumdog Millionaire I was 17. At our first major screening, I walked the red carpet in my school shoes and a terrible suit I found on the high street, in London, with my mum. My costar, Freida Pinto, was very beautiful, very glamorous, and they said, ‘We can’t have this kid walking the red carpet with her! He’s spoiling the whole picture!’ So they gave me a new suit and fixed me up. It was a bit like Pretty Woman.”

Hermès sweater; Frame Denim jeans.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

The Edge of Seventeen

Where was your first kiss? My first kiss was actually onscreen. I was in a graduate-thesis film called She’s a Fox, and I had to kiss two guys in it. I think I was 12. I was very nervous. One of the guys was shorter than me, and he had to stand on an apple box… Awkward! He told me, “I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my mom!” I was pretty sure that’s not the thing you say before you kiss a girl, so I looked at him and said, “Okay, I’m going to pretend I’m kissing my dog!”

Where was your first real-life kiss, then? At my house, by my front door. Which kind of sucks, because every time I walk through my front door I think about it. The kiss was a little messy, and I looked at the guy and said, “No, no, you can do better.” That’s not what you’re supposed to say, but I said it anyway.

Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings; Jimmy Choo shoes.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Max Mara bralette; DKNY pants; Cartier earrings.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer. Retouching: DTouch; Produced by Kyle Heinen and Joey Battaglia for Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Nicholas Ong; Photography assistants: Nick Brinley, Maru Teppei, Kris Shacochis, Brian Bee; Fashion assistants: Ryann Foulke, Sam Walker, Dena Giannini, Schanel Bakkouche; Hiar assistants: Quentin Barnette, Kristin Heitkotter, Louis Orozco; Makeup assistants: Grace Ahn, Miguel Ramos; set-design attestants: Tony Cecilia, Lizzie Lang, Andre Andrews; production assistants: Mike Stacey, Davin Singh, Damian Sanchez, Asli Akal; Special thanks to Quixote Studios, Los Angeles.

The Witch and Split

You say you don’t like watching horror films—so what’s it like for you to act in them? I’m a real scaredy-cat. I’m not good at being frightened. But I do like acting in a horror movie, because I get to feel so intensely. You put yourself in these extreme emotional situations, and it wears you out in a great way. Afterward, I go home and get a good night’s sleep. The work chills me out: I’m a lot more stable since I’ve been in scary movies.

What frightens you? Revolving doors. I worry they’ll cut me in half. Strangers will see me tense up and hold my hand as I’m going through them. I’m constantly worried that I’m not going to make it through the door alive.

Gucci  jacket, shirt, and pants.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Midnight Special, Elvis & Nixon, and Nocturnal Animals

“Doing a sex scene is just like having sex, except without any of the pleasure. The horror, fear, anxiety, sadness, and loneliness of sex is all there to enjoy—but none of the happiness.”

Saint Laurent jacket, shirt, and tie; Tiffany & Co. watch.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Hacksaw Ridge and Silence

“The majority of my process in playing a priest in Silence was praying. I’d never really prayed before, and I developed a relationship with a power greater than myself—call it God, call it love, call it what you will. It became very natural to me, and I realized that we’re all praying all the time. There’s that human impulse to worship and to long for a connection to the divine. Unfortunately, in our culture we are driven to worship things that are false and empty. I had a year of exploring this idea of what we are truly longing for and how we actually go to the places that can feed that longing. We all get glimpses of eternity every day. It’s just a question of whether we’re looking up from our iPhones long enough to notice.”

Alexander McQueen jacket and pants; A.P.C. shirt.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Maggie’s Plan and 20th Century Women

What is your karaoke song? It’s the nerdiest one ever: “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” by Billy Joel. It’s one of those songs that if you were a certain kind of teenage girl—me!—you thought knowing all the words would help you get a boyfriend. And then, about 30 seconds too late, you realize that it won’t. But it remains my song. I had the same thought about “Modern Major General,” by Gilbert and Sullivan. I thought guys were looking for a girl who could memorize a lot of names, but they didn’t care about that. They just cared about getting a hand job or something.

Do you have a cinematic crush? I would have to say Melanie Griffith in Working Girl—the first time she meets Harrison Ford at the bar. She’s all done up and she tells him, “I’ve got a head for business and a bod for sin.”And young Harrison Ford…what a dreamboat! But it’s her I truly love. She’s so compelling and funny. She’s sexy without being plastic. I think a lot of people miss seeing women that way.

Proenza Schouler dress; Guidi boots.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Moonlight

Were you a dramatic child? Yes, I used to stand in front of the mirror and try to make myself cry. I would also try different accents. I was living in an imaginary world, usually with Michael Jackson. He was going to rescue me! I used to draw pictures of me and Michael getting married, and I would send them to his fan club. I would imagine Michael waiting for me at the gate of my school, eager to whisk me away to a happier world.

Why Michael Jackson? I imagined myself as a Peter Pan kind of character, and Michael represented that existence. He was my guy.

Miu Miu coat, sweater, shorts, and shoes.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Manchester by the Sea

“As a little kid, my first love was IMDB [the data bank for movies and television]. I would memorize the birthdays of child actors. I really wanted to be an actor, and I related to the kids in the industry. But now that I think about it, memorizing their birthdays is not cute at all—it’s a little serial killer–ish.”

Prada sweater; Brooks Brothers  boxers.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.

Lion

What was your favorite birthday? When I turned 40, my husband, Keith [Urban], drove me up to the top of this small hill in Australia and sat me down. He had put together this huge fireworks display. It was just for the two of us! It was sexy.

What is your pet peeve? When people say they will do something and they don’t. And I know it’s terribly demanding, but I don’t like it when my husband doesn’t answer his phone. I have to keep calling and calling, and I get anxious. Does that make me high-maintenance?

What movie has made you cry? Last year I saw Room, and I was absolutely devastated by it. I’m raw as I get older. I have to be careful what I let in.

Where was your first kiss? This is crazy: We were playing hooky from school. I had my first kiss while watching The Shining. Is that not weird? And we did a few things other than kiss too! I didn’t see a lot of the movie.

Chanel sweater, dress, shorts, and shoes; Bulgari earrings.

Photographs by Craig McDean. Styled by Edward Enninful. Hair by Orlando Pita for Orlando Pita Play; makeup by Peter Philips for Dior. Manicures by Michelle Saunders for Essie at Forward Artists. Set design by Piers Hanmer.
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