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Emma: Exclusive Interview With Anya Taylor-Joy and Director Autumn de Wilde

Emma: Exclusive Interview With Anya Taylor-Joy and Director Autumn de Wilde


Jane Austen's classic novel of complicated romantic shenanigans is brought back to the big screen in EMMA, which opens on February 21. Anya Taylor-Joy (THE WITCH, GLASS) stars as the entitled Emma Woodhouse, whose attempts at matchmaking for friends and family does more to complicate all their lives than anything else.

At the film's press day, Anya Taylor-Joy explained the pleasure of playing Emma. "Her temperament switches on a dime… it was really fun to be able to flex my actor muscles in that way. The more I dug into her, I realized that any of the cruel things she does… really come from a place of being lonely and wanting to keep her friends around her, wanting to feel like she's in control and to take care of people. By the end of the film, I was more in love with Emma than I ever thought possible."

Co-star Bill Nighy explained his own approach to the material. "I've never read a Jane Austen book, and I was slightly wary because the language is strange and because the trousers are a little uneasy-making — I'm not even kidding! _ but it was a great group, and Autumn de Wilde, the director, whose first movie this is, made everything OK. She's really clever, really smart and really funny, and has a great — and I know this is an overused word — she has great humanity."

As Bill Nighy mentioned, photographer and video director Autumn de Wilde makes her feature directorial debut with EMMA. She used all the aspects of filmmaking, from the script and actors to hair and costumes to tell the story. "I'm really into world creation, so for me the more layers the better. The costumes — her spoiled entitlement starts at the beginning, and things start loosening up towards the end as the wheels come off the wagon."

Watch our full video interview with the cast and crew of EMMA:

Want to know more about EMMA?

All images courtesy of Focus Features.

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