Anya Taylor-Joy Opens Up About Terrible Childhood Bullying

Anya Taylor-Joy

EE Bafta Rising Star Award nominee Anya Taylor-Joy left London as a teenager after being bullied at school.

The 20-year-old actress is currently making her mark on cinema audiences in horror films like The Witch, Morgan and the upcoming M. Night Shyamalan thriller Split.

However, life hasn’t always been so rosy for the Florida-born star. As after living in Argentina as a child, she moved to London aged six, where she had a tough time at the prestigious schools she attended.

“When I was younger I didn’t really feel like I fit in anywhere,” she told Britain’s ES Magazine. “I was too English to be Argentine, too Argentine to be English, too American to be anything.”

Anya studied at West London’s Hill House prep school, where Prince Charles attended as a boy, and Queen’s Gate School, whose notable alumni include TV chef Nigella Lawson and actress Tilda Swinton.

“The kids just didn’t understand me in any shape or form, and I was really badly bullied,” she sighed. “I used to get locked in lockers, you know, barred from classrooms, not invited to things. It wasn’t pleasant.”

“(I spent a lot of time) crying in bathrooms. We’re social creatures and we don’t do well when we’re not accepted, or when we feel like we don’t belong anywhere.”

At 14, Anya decided to uproot and move to New York. She quit school two years later to concentrate on acting and admits both decisions “terrified” her family.

The gamble paid off though, and as well as having two new films currently in production, Anya will also be battling it out with Laia Costa, Ruth Negga, Lucas Hedges and Tom Holland at the BAFTA awards on 12 February (17) for the Rising Star gong.