"I joke about this, but I’m kind of serious when I say that the characters in the Harry Potter books were my friends. I spent the first two years in England playing hand-clap games with plants — if you slap them hard enough, they clap back — and learning how to read," she shared. "That was my existence. I didn’t hang out with other kids. I was clearly a very normal child."
Luckily, she found acting during her late teen years, and she suddenly felt like she had found her purpose.
"Much the same way as Beth needed chess, I needed acting. I needed to believe in a place where I could be valued and appreciated, and actually have something to contribute rather than constantly feeling like, ‘What is wrong with me, and why do I not fit in?'" she recalled.
In 2015, she landed her first starring role in the supernatural horror flick The Witch.
Taylor-Joy expressed that stepping on set "felt like taking a breath for the first time in a really, really long time."
Despite her success, the Golden Globe winner admitted she still gets nervous when filming — though she's come to realize that experiencing anxiety is just her body's way of sending her a signal.
"I’ve learned to recognize that feeling of, like, ‘Oh, you care. You really care, and so you should probably do this,'" she explained. "It’s a chemical imbalance in my brain. It’s not a choice. It’s not attention-seeking. If I could not have it, I would not have it, but I do."
She detailed one instance when she had a panic attack on the set of the period drama Emma — but of course, she pulled through.
"I was just like, ‘I’ve got you. Release the corset! Sit the f**k down. We can do this,’" she said she told herself at the time. "It’s when you’re trying to pretend that you’re something you’re not that people get hurt."