Anya Taylor-Joy Was Rejected From Playing the Mermaid in Robert Eggers’ ‘The Lighthouse’

Actor Anya Taylor-Joy is reuniting with director Robert Eggers for his new movie The Northman. Taylor-Joy made her film debut in Eggers’ The Witch. However, she did not appear in Eggers’ second movie, The Lighthouse. Although, that isn’t due to a lack of trying as she asked to play the mermaid in the movie, but was told no. It may have been for the best. 

The mermaid is a disturbing symbol within ‘The Lighthouse’

Anya Taylor-Joy attends a special screening of Robert Eggers' new movie, The Northman
Anya Taylor-Joy | Lia Toby/Getty Images

The Lighthouse is a psychological horror movie from Eggers that deals with a lot of ocean mythology. The film stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as a pair of lighthouse caretakers who begin to slowly lose their sanity as they are stranded on the island during a storm. 

During The Lighthouse, Pattinson’s character finds a wooden carving of a mermaid. As the movie progresses, Pattinson has nightmares and visions of seeing a beautiful, yet disturbing mermaid. This leads to an unsettling sequence where Pattinson imagines having sex with this mermaid. It’s one of the creepiest images in the movie and leaves the audience to interpret what it all means. 

Anya Taylor-Joy wanted to play the mermaid in ‘The Lighthouse’

Taylor-Joy made her feature film debut in Eggers’ first film, The Witch. Released by A24, The Witch became a modern horror classic and made Eggers a director to look out for. Taylor-Joy must have had a great experience working on the horror film because she wanted to work with Eggers again in The Lighthouse

In an interview with NME, Anya Taylor-Joy spoke about reuniting with Eggers for The Northman. She said she was excited to work with him again, especially after being told there was no role for her in The Lighthouse

“I was jumping at it because when he first called me and was like, ‘Hey I’m making The Lighthouse and there’s no role for you. There’s a mermaid…” Taylor-Joy said. “I was like, ‘I can be the mermaid!’ He was like, ‘You really should not be this particular mermaid, Anya.’ I was like, ‘I can be the seagull, I can just be in the background.’”

It’s maybe a good thing she wasn’t the mermaid because this wasn’t similar to Ariel in The Little Mermaid. It would’ve been hard to look at Taylor-Joy the same after playing this particular mermaid. 

Anya Taylor-Joy teams up with Robert Eggers again for ‘The Northman’

The Northman is Eggers’ third movie and stars Alexander Skarsgård as a Viking who is on a mission to get revenge on the man who murdered his father. Taylor-Joy joins Skarsgård in a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Björk, Claes Bang, and Dafoe. 

Early reviews for The Northman are already praising the movie, calling it a visual spectacle and brutal. It’s easily Eggers’ biggest movie as it has a $90 million budget, but early indicators show that Eggers has knocked it out of the park once again. Taylor-Joy also continues to excel in her career and has upcoming roles in Furiosa, the Mad Max prequel, and the animated Super Mario Bros. movie. 

The Northman sails into theaters on April 22. 

RELATED: ‘The Northman’: Willem Dafoe Shares Excitement Towards Reuniting With Robert Eggers