Anya Taylor-Joy Was Cast As Young Furiosa After George Miller Saw Last Night In Soho

Today is turning into "Last Night in Soho" day and that's A-Okay by me. Hot on the heels of the quotes by cast and crew that the upcoming psychological horror/thriller from filmmaker Edgar Wright will attempt to wrestle with topics such as the dangers of nostalgia as well as the exploitation of women, it now appears that the film is also responsible for a key creative choice made in another project entirely: George Miller's upcoming "Furiosa" prequel, a spin-off/prequel to his masterful "Mad Max: Fury Road." 

Miller shocked us all when it was announced that Anya Taylor-Joy had been cast as the young version of Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron in the 2015 film. What we didn't know until now is that her casting in "Last Night in Soho" directly led to her nabbing the coveted role in "Furiosa."

The Wright Stuff

Empire is going all-in on celebrating Edgar Wright in advance of "Last Night in Soho," virtually gathering together acclaimed director George Miller and Wright for an in-depth conversation on each other's films. Miller was able to catch an early screening of "Last Night in Soho" (the perks of being a legend of the industry!), which is where it first dawned on him to cast Taylor-Joy as Furiosa herself. Despite delivering stand-out performances in several great films like "The Witch," "Split," "Thoroughbreds," "Emma," and more, Miller hadn't actually seen any of her movies just yet. As he recalls in his conversation with Wright:

"I'd known about Anya but I'd never seen her in a film until I saw her in 'Soho.' And I remember thinking, 'Gee, she's interesting.' I started to say to you, 'I'm looking for someone to cast as Furiosa,' and I barely got the sentence out before you said, 'Don't go any further, she's great, she's gonna be huge. She's fantastic to work with.' You were so emphatic about it."

Wright's passion was more than enough to convince Miller, pushing him to move forward with the audition for "Furiosa." Conducted online because of the ongoing pandemic, Miller took a fascinating route in getting Taylor-Joy to show off her acting talents. Rather than rehearse any scenes from "Fury Road" (which would be counterintuitive given that, you know, she's playing a version of the character from long before the events of that film), Miller tested her with performing the "I'm mad as hell!" speech from the Sidney Lumet classic, "Network." Miller explains:

"Apart from the brilliance of the writing, it's a piece that can be done to camera. It doesn't need an acting partner. Anya did one version, which was really good. Then I gave her just a couple of simple notes about intention and she just absolutely nailed [it]. I think it was done on an iPhone. I sent it to the studio. I explained why I thought she was right for the role. I said I was really happy to talk about it but it was so persuasive that we didn't need to talk. The studio said, 'Tick.'"

Now that's how you nail a job interview. "Furiosa" is still in pre-production and remains a long way off, but those in need of their Anya Taylor-Joy fix can look forward to "Last Night in Soho," releasing in theaters on October 29, 2021.