Does Anya Taylor-Joy Really Sing and Dance in ‘Last Night in Soho’?

You’ve heard of the Oscars, but have you heard of the Isaacs? The Isaac Awards, in honor of the great Oscar Isaac, are Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s unique spin on the Academy Awards. However, the Isaac Awards are different from the Oscars in that they celebrate the best movies of 2021 that deserve recognition but will not receive that recognition through Oscar nods. The 2022 Isaac Awards feature five categories: Best Performance, Best Scene-Stealer, Best Crowd-Pleasing Moment, Best Action Sequence, and Fan-Favorite Movie. Voting will be open via this form from March 7-20. Winners will be announced on March 24.

Last Night in Soho is a movie brimming with ambition. While it proved to be a bit divisive, the psychological horror film from director Edgar Wright does bring a lot to the table. One such highlight is Anya Taylor-Joy‘s performance as the mysterious Sandie. The actor brought such command and presence to the role that she earned a nomination for Best Scene-Stealer in Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s 2022 Isaac Awards. But does she do her own singing and dancing in Last Night in Soho?

'Last Night in Soho' star Anya Taylor-Joy wears a gold dress and poses on the red carpet
Anya Taylor-Joy | Matt Winkelmeyer

Anya Taylor-Joy plays aspiring music star Sandie

In the Last Night in Soho plot, Thomasin McKenzie plays a fashion student named Eloise. A recent move to London leads her to retreat even further into her obsession with the 1960s. But she soon finds herself literally transporting back in time each night, where she witnesses an aspiring singer named Sandie (Taylor-Joy).

During these “visits,” Eloise sees Sandie tear up the dance floor. And in a particularly striking sequence, Sandie performs a slowed-down version of Petula Clark’s 1964 single “Downtown.” Some fans watching Last Night in Soho might wonder whether that is actually Taylor-Joy performing the iconic track.

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In ‘Last Night in Soho,’ that’s really Anya Taylor-Joy singing and dancing

Taylor-Joy absolutely does do her own singing and dancing as Sandie. And as she told Tatler, the actor didn’t even endure much preparation for her ominous rendition of “Downtown.”

“It was [intimidating to sing] on the day, for sure. There’s something pretty naked about singing. There were definitely some nerves. But I’ve always sung, and I enjoy doing it. … I’m not great at preparing for things. So I just showed up and was like, ‘Okay, let’s just try this. Hopefully, they won’t hate it.’ It’s been nice hearing the reception to it. I like creepy singing. It’s an enjoyable thing to do.”

Anya Taylor-Joy’s version of “Downtown” even appears on the Last Night in Soho soundtrack. As for the dancing, the former model admits she took ballet lessons between the ages of 3 and 15. And though she hasn’t kept up with it, she credits that more to muscle memory than anything else at this point.

‘Last Night in Soho’ is Edgar Wright’s first horror film

In addition to Taylor-Joy and McKenzie’s performances, Last Night in Soho is worth seeing because of Wright’s direction. The filmmaker is mainly known for comedies. His previous films include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Baby Driver. And with this latest effort, he tries his hand at a whole new genre.

To be fair, many of Wright’s movies do have an element of horror to them. Shaun of the Dead, in particular, is a direct homage to the genre. And in that regard, Last Night in Soho serves as a culmination of sorts. Alas, the movie earned only $23 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. At least fans can vote for Taylor-Joy’s scene-stealing performance in the 2022 Isaac Awards if they so choose.

Vote for the 2022 Isaac Awards here now through Sunday, March 20. Winners will be announced on March 24.

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