Eight­ies charm is crys­tal clear

She was born 14 years after Jim Hen­son’s fan­tasy came out but this ris­ing star was not go­ing to miss out on its re­make, writes David Meddows


With star­ring roles in box of­fice hits such as The Witch, Split and Glass, Anya Tay­lor-Joy prob­a­bly doesn’t need to try too hard at get­ting the at­ten­tion of Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­ers. But there was one show she des­per­ately wanted to be a part of and she was go­ing to work to get it.

The young ac­tor, who has at least seven more projects set for re­lease in the near fu­ture — in­clud­ing the highly an­tic­i­pated The New Mu­tants and a 2020 re­make of Emma op­po­site Johnny Flynn — was so keen to be a part of the Jim Hen­son Com­pany’s Dark Crys­tal re­vival, she sent pro­duc­ers mul­ti­ple au­di­tion tapes.

“I think I was overea­ger, I sent like four dif­fer­ent ver­sions of what I thought Brea’s voice could be like and luck­ily they re­ally liked my en­thu­si­asm,” she laughs.

“It was just another au­di­tion prospect sent to me but when I saw the ti­tle I got so ex­cited be­cause I’m a big fan of the orig­i­nal and de­spite my cine­matic past, I got

into film be­cause I love fan­tasy ad­ven­ture.”

The Dark Crys­tal: Age Of Re­sis­tance, which dropped on Net­flix this week as a 10-part se­ries, is the pre­quel to the pop­u­lar 1982 movie from late pup­pet­mas­ter Jim Hen­son and Death At A Fu­neral di­rec­tor Frank Oz. Set years be­fore the events of the movie, the se­ries has an im­pres­sive cast of voices, in­clud­ing He­lena Bon­ham Carter, Taron Eger­ton, Si­mon Pegg, Andy Sam­berg and Mark Hamill.

As is the case with other voiced films, Tay­lor-Joy didn’t get to meet any of her cast mates dur­ing the mak­ing of the show — not even Bon­ham Carter who plays her mother in the se­ries.

“There was un­for­tu­nately no con­tact with them which is a shame be­cause I’m such a big fan of ev­ery­body in my ‘fam­ily’,” she says.

The se­ries is a throw­back to the Hen­son artistry of the 1980s, shun­ning CGI for pup­petry, with di­rec­tor Louis Leter­rier (Now You See Me, The In­cred­i­ble Hulk) say­ing the only dig­i­tal ma­nip­u­la­tion was to remove the pup­peteers. Tay­lor-Joy, who is the voice of Brea, a Gelfling princess of the Vapra Clan, was still 14 years away from be­ing born when the orig­i­nal movie was re­leased, but she is a big fan of the era and the movies it pro­duced.

“Cur­rently there’s a renaissanc­e of the ’80s movies charm that are geared to­wards a younger kind of au­di­ence that have a re­ally over­whelm­ing universal theme of morals and ad­ven­ture and loy­alty and stand­ing up for yourself and kind of stick­ing it to the man,” she says.

“I think that’s what Dark Crys­tal is, just with pup­pets and this fan­tas­ti­cal world.”

She says in this day and age where “peo­ple are miss­ing com­mon hu­man de­cency”, shows such as The Dark Crys­tal, which have un­der­ly­ing pos­i­tive mes­sages, go a long way to restor­ing faith in peo­ple.

“I think send­ing these hese mes­sages that friend­ship hip pre­vails and stick­ing up for the un­der­dog is a good thing to do,” she says. “I think peo­ple miss that be­cause there’s a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity out there in the world right now and I think it’s nice to be able to es­cape in the e cin­ema or es­cape in the e com­fort of your own home ome and be re­minded that good ood peo­ple do ex­ist.”

Hav­ing largely played dark char­ac­ters in movies un­suit­able for mi­nors, Tay­lor-Joy is also look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to watch some­thing with her young cousins whose ex­po­sure to her ca­reer so far has been through cen­sored trail­ers.

“I’ve got a cou­ple of young cousins who I’m very close to and other than a chil­dren’s movie I just did, they haven’t been able to watch any of my work and they’re all so ex­cited about Dark Crys­tal,” she says, point­ing the blame at Stephen King for her cau­tion. “I re­mem­ber be­ing a kid and see­ing the first It far too early and that re­ally scarred me for life so I’m very cau­tious about what I ex­pose them to.

“I let them know the whole plot line of the movie but they just don’t have to see me killing any­body… yet.”

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