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Harper’s Bazaar: Thomasin McKenzie Is Wasting No Time

The star of M. Knight Shyamalan’s new thriller, Old, defies the adage that youth is wasted on the young.

Thomasin McKenzie is only 21 years old, but lately she’s been thinking a lot about the passing of time. “I think I’m someone who really struggles to be in the moment,” says the actress, who stars in Old, the new M. Night Shyamalan thriller. Recently, at her father’s urging, McKenzie took up meditation. (Sam Harris’s Waking Up is her favorite guided app.) Working on Old, the story of a family whose tropical island vacation turns terrifying when everyone suddenly begins to age rapidly (their life spans each reduced to a single day), helped put things in perspective too. “It made me think a lot about being present and taking each thing as it comes.”

For McKenzie, time is a recurring theme right now. In Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, a psychological thriller in which she stars opposite Anya Taylor-Joy, due out in October, she plays a young woman who is mysteriously transported back to Swinging London in the 1960s. In Life After Life, the BBC’s upcoming four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel of the same name, McKenzie’s character dies and is reborn several times over the course of six decades. “Maybe I’m just supposed to be thinking about time these days,” she muses. “Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.”

McKenzie auditioned with Shyamalan for her role in Old over Zoom. It was the early days of the pandemic, and she was hunkered down in her native Wellington, New Zealand. “It was quite awkward,” she recalls. “But obviously it went good enough for him.” McKenzie then had two hours to read the script in its entirety as Shyamalan’s projects are famously shrouded in secrecy. “It’s thought-provoking and unlike anything I’d ever read or seen before,” she says. And while a Zoom audition may have been new territory for McKenzie, acting is in her blood: Her mom is actor and drama coach Miranda Harcourt, her father is the writer and director Stuart McKenzie, and her maternal grandmother is actor Kate Harcourt. The third of four children, McKenzie grew up on far-flung movie sets around the world, from Philadelphia to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. “I think if my family weren’t in the film industry, my life would have been completely different,” she says. “It’s really formed who I am as a person.”

McKenzie herself started acting when she was nine, learning through osmosis rather than through any formal training. Initially, though, she wanted nothing to do with the family business. “I knew that it wasn’t as glamorous a job as you might expect from the outside,” she says. “I wanted to be anything else.” It wasn’t until she was 13, when she played a younger version of sexual-abuse survivor and activist Louise Nicholas in the 2014 film Consent, that she saw the power of storytelling to effect change and decided to pursue acting as a career. “It was a really tough role, and that opened my eyes to the fact that through acting, you get a chance to have a voice.”

It was after starring in Debra Granik’s 2018 film Leave No Trace that McKenzie’s career began to take off. (Granik has a reputation as a star-maker; her 2010 drama, Winter’s Bone, featured a then-little-known actress by the name of Jennifer Lawrence.) A string of critically acclaimed projects followed—David Michôd’s The King; Liz Garbus’s Lost Girls; and Taika Waititi’s Oscar-winning Jojo Rabbit among them. McKenzie’s measured performances consistently stand out, subtle—quiet even—yet soulful and impactful.

McKenzie is building her career by studiously choosing projects that have emotional heft and telegraph larger messages. She’s a compulsive over-preparer. “I’m always scrambling to watch the things that they’re talking about, just so that I come off smart or whatever,” she tells me.

Before filming Last Night in Soho, the director, Wright, sent her a list of some 50 films—horror, classic, and cult, mainly—as suggested viewing to add context and reference points to McKenzie’s preparation; she made it through most of them. “Education is still happening, I feel,” she says. “I’m still learning a lot with every single thing I do.”

Source: harpersbazaar.com





Welcome to Thomasin McKenzie Fan, the latest online resource dedicated to the talented NZ actress Thomasin McKenzie. Thomasin has been in TV shows like "End of Term", "Shortland Street", "Bright Summer Night" and "Lucy Lewis Can't Lose". She has also been in films such as "Leave No Trace", "Jojo Rabbit", "Last Night in Soho", "Old" and "The Justice of Bunny King". This site is online to show our support to the actress Thomasin McKenzie, as well as giving her fans a chance to get the latest news and images.
Site Info
  • Maintained by: Veronique
  • Since: 26 February 2020
  • Layout Photos: Art Streiber & Fabien Kruszelnicki
  • Hosted by: Host4Fans
  • Contact: Email Veronique
Official Thomasin McKenzie Links

Current Projects
Last Night in Soho

Role: Eloise
Release Date: April 2021
When A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
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The Justice of Bunny King

Role: Tonyah
Release Date: 2020?
A triumph over adversity tale about women fighting their way back from the bottom of society.
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The Power of the Dog

Role: Unknown
Release Date: 2021 (Netflix)
A pair of brothers who own a large ranch in Montana are pitted against each other when one of them gets married.
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Untitled M. Night Shyamalan Universal Project

Role: Unknown
Release Date: Unknown
More info coming soon.