Anya Taylor-Joy has top billing in George Miller’s “Furiosa,” a prequel to 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
But walking onto the Australian set of the post-apocalyptic action film, Taylor-Joy had to fight for the spotlight with her new cat Kitsune, adopted earlier this year when the actress moved Down Under to shoot the movie.
“Oh, I wasn’t the rock star on this film. It was definitely Kitsune,” Taylor-Joy says. “I would hear people whisper, ‘Did she bring the cat? I hear she brings the cat.’ The funny thing also is, I’m tall but I’m relatively small. My cat is a beast. He is big. So I kind of walk in with like, a snow leopard, which feels great.”
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Taylor-Joy, who stars in dining horror satire “The Menu” (in theaters now), plays a younger version of Charlize Theron’s rogue warrior Imperator Furiosa in the upcoming movie, which is slated for release in 2024. Cast and crew members would frequently hang out in the star’s trailer on the “Furiosa” set, mostly so they could pet and play with Kitsune.
“He’s like a dream,” Taylor-Joy says. “He loves everybody, he’s never scared of anything. He was the emotional support animal for everybody.”
In fact, “the hardest thing about having a cat is that I’m currently away from him” while promoting “The Menu,” she says. “He sleeps on my face and I get solid cuddles in the morning, so suddenly being in a hotel room by myself, I’m like, ‘Where’s my baby? I want him back!’ He’s the greatest.”
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Taylor-Joy officially signed on to “Furiosa” in 2020, with Chris Hemsworth co-starring in a villain role. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter that year, Theron said it was “heartbreaking” that she couldn’t reprise her beloved character for the prequel, in part because Miller refused to de-age her using visual effects.
But there are no hard feelings whatsoever between the actresses. Taylor-Joy avoided reaching out to Theron for advice before “Furiosa,” but now that shooting has wrapped on the film, she’s hoping they can meet face to face.
“She’s such an inspiration and such a talented, talented woman,” Taylor-Joy says. “We were both very respectful of one another. I think we both really wanted to reach out and it was that respect that kept us (from doing so). But now that it’s over, I’m really excited to have dinner with her, and just get to know each other and swap war stories.”
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In addition to “Furiosa,” Taylor-Joy will voice Princess Peach in next year’s “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” and co-star with Miles Teller in the action love story “The Gorge.” Her stock continues to rise in Hollywood, too, with “The Menu” pulling in an impressive $9 million at the box office last weekend.
But even with all her success, Taylor-Joy says she still plays second fiddle to Kitsune.
“Genuinely, probably my proudest achievement is that in his short lifespan, he’s been mentioned in like, three Vogue (magazine interviews),” Taylor-Joy says. “That’s my dream: just talking about my cat.”
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