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Anya Taylor-Joy Struggled during Scary Filming of 'Northman' & Happy to Have Survived

Edduin Carvajal
Apr 20, 2022
07:10 P.M.

Being an actor comes with many challenges: you deal with unwanted fame and rejection, you spend months away from home, and if you are Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Northman," you film in brutal weather.


Movie star Anya Taylor-Joy might be young, but she is one of the most influential actresses in Hollywood. Apart from starring in Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit," she portrayed Gina Gray in the final seasons of "Peaky Blinders."

In "The Northman," Taylor-Joy portrays Olga, one of the main characters who help Alexander Skarsgård's Amleth fulfill his goal. Working on the film was so challenging that Taylor-Joy is glad she (and everyone else) survived.

Anya Taylor-Joy in London, on April 5, 2022. | Source: Getty Images

Anya Taylor-Joy in London, on April 5, 2022. | Source: Getty Images

Directed by Robert Eggers, "The Northman" follows a Viking prince trying to get revenge for his father's murder. Apart from Anya Taylor-Joy and Alexander Skarsgård, it stars Nicole Kidman, Willem Defoe, Ethan Hawke, and Claes Bang.


One of the most exciting aspects of the movie is that they shot it in Northern Ireland in freezing temperatures and dangerous landscapes. Even Taylor-Joy, who prides herself on never complaining, had to hurry things up before it was too late.

Anya Taylor-Joy on September 05, 2021, in Venice, Italy. | Source: Getty Images

Anya Taylor-Joy on September 05, 2021, in Venice, Italy. | Source: Getty Images

The actress confessed that she loved being pushed that hard, but one day was notably more brutal. There was so much mud while filming one of the scenes that it covered Taylor-Joy's legs. It came up to about her knees, and it froze. The actress explained:

"I essentially squeaked out a 'Please can we roll?' and [Eggers] was like, 'Oh, Anya is asking if we can roll, we should roll.' But we did it. It's in the movie, and it looks great."


The silver lining was that the weather, mud, and other technical challenges of shooting in Northern Ireland made it easier for the actors to play the scenes.


Taylor-Joy said that, since they didn't use green screens or sound stages, positioning themselves in their character's shoes was easier. Everything – snow, wind, rain – was happening in real-time, so all they had to do was "exist."

Taylor-Joy couldn't avoid feeling proud for not only completing her job but also surviving.


Skarsgård described it as an "immersive" experience. After saying that the locations were extraordinary, he explained that filming in the elements was grueling and intense but exciting and rewarding.

Taylor-Joy admitted the cast and crew members developed a special bond because of how difficult it was to make "The Northman." Everybody knew that they had to overcome obstacles daily, so they ended up with an intense fraternity.


Not even Eggers had it easy. Instead of keeping himself warm in his trailer, the director was also in the mud, getting "absolutely pummeled" by the wind like the rest.

After finishing her long days of shooting, Taylor-Joy couldn't avoid feeling proud for not only completing her job but also surviving. Skarsgård's professionalism also surprised Taylor-Joy.


The actress saw Skarsgård shooting his final fight from her apartment, which he described as his most challenging shot. It was hailing, very late at night, and Skarsgård was almost naked on the base of a volcano, swinging a sword.

Anya Taylor-Joy pointed out that it was a miracle that everyone involved in the film survived, and she also praised Alexander Skarsgård for his impressive performance.

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