“There are times when you’re just one person facing off against 20.”
Most celebrities are used to strangers snapping photos of them in public spaces — often without warning — but the fact that this has become a standard practice doesn’t necessarily mean it’s OK. Recently, Anya Taylor-Joy recalled some negative interactions with photographers that illuminated how toxic paparazzi culture can be.
Fans of The Queen’s Gambit star might remember her guest hosting gig on the latest season finale of Saturday Night Live this past May.
Those who watched the episode know Anya lit up the SNL stage. Unfortunately, in an interview for Tatler Magazine’s October cover story, she said that a scary incident involving street photographers dampened the mood during her visit to New York for the taping.
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“I went home and cried,” she said, after explaining why certain paparazzi confrontations can feel like threats to her physical safety.
“Most people are sweet and kind and just want to have a conversation, and I love that,” Anya noted. “There are other times when you’re just one person facing off against 20 and that’s just physically not safe. It can be very frightening when there are whole bunches of men with cameras attached to their faces running after you down the street.”
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The latter situation played out during her Manhattan trip in the spring. As upsetting as the experience sounds, Anya told Tatler that it pushed her to take control of interactions with photographers when they approached her after that.
“I figured it out,” she said. “The next morning, I went out and I said, ‘Hello, my name is Anya. Let’s lower down the camera and let’s meet.'”
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“I am not prey,” Anya continue. “I don’t want to run. I’d rather be like, ‘I understand this is your job and I hope that you can understand that I am a woman of a certain size and I feel intimidated right now, so can we make it work so you can do your job and I can feel less frightened?'”
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Kudos to you, Anya, for speaking up for yourself. You can read her full Tatler Magazine interview here.
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