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The Menu's Anya Taylor-Joy Was Afraid Ralph Fiennes Would Think She's A Brat After An Unscripted Line

From her breakout role in "The Witch" to her 2021 Golden Globe win for "The Queen's Gambit," Anya Taylor-Joy is a force to be reckoned with in the film industry. However, she's not immune to worrying about what other acclaimed actors — like "Harry Potter" star Ralph Fiennes — think of her creative choices.

Currently, Taylor-Joy can be seen on the big screen alongside Fiennes in the dangerously delicious flick "The Menu." Directed by Mark Mylod and written by Seth Reiss and Will Tracy, this new comedy/thriller follows Taylor-Joy's character Margot and her date Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) as they travel to a remote island with one purpose — to enjoy a lavish meal prepared by Chef Slowik (Fiennes).

However, things don't exactly go as expected. There's violence, secrets, and a menu unlike anything you'll see at the local restaurants in town. While Slowik and his alleged genius enamor Tyler and the other guests, Margot isn't so quick to jump on the bandwagon. This is clear in one particular scene when only condiments, sauces, and oil are brought out as a course.

Margot wants no part of this odd dish and has a rather tense, combative moment with Slowik when he comes to their table to see what the fuss is about. When Margot informs him, "There is no food," he responds, "Please eat. The menu only makes sense if you eat." Margot then insists, "Well, thank you for your concern, but I am perfectly capable of deciding when I eat and what."

As Slowik starts to walk away, Margot utters a simple phrase that was entirely improvised — and instantly regretted — by Taylor-Joy.

Anya Taylor-Joy's passive aggressive thank you to Ralph Fiennes was improvised

Just before Ralph Fiennes' character of Chef Slowik moves away from Margot and Tyler's table, she softly tells him, "Thank you." Though this is typically a phrase of gratitude, it's stated by Margot in a rather passive aggressive manner, making it clear to Slowik that this guest isn't his biggest fan. In fact, the phrase wasn't even part of the script.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Anya Taylor-Joy shared her fear over what Fiennes would think of her small but impactful improvisation: "That little 'thank you' that I gave just before he walked off, I remember doing it and thinking, 'Oh God, Ralph Fiennes is gonna think I'm an absolute brat because that was not scripted.'"

However, Taylor-Joy didn't need to worry — the line was a hit and made it to the final cut of "The Menu." It's another example of how Margot isn't a blind follower like the rest of Slowik's guests. She isn't intimidated by him and is suspicious of the situation she and Tyler are in.

"I love Margot very, very much because she's the character that I've played that's the most comfortable in their skin," she said. "I've never been a particularly passive aggressive person and I deeply enjoyed being passive aggressive."

Among critics, such moments between Margot and Slowik are deeply resonating. On Rotten Tomatoes, where "The Menu" boasts an 89% on the Tomatometer, Bob Grimm of Reno News and Review said, "Fiennes and Taylor-Joy have some scenes together that are among the year's best." Paul Whitington of Irish Independent added, "Fiennes' comic touch is delightful and the scenes he shares with Taylor-Joy's tough and wily Margot are electrifying."