Anya Taylor-Joy has kept her personal life as private as she can manage as her Hollywood profile grows. But ahead of The Queen’s Gambit actress’s Saturday Night Live hosting gig in May 2021, Taylor-Joy was photographed making out with musician Malcolm McRae in New York City. The photos sparked dating rumors—and come after Taylor-Joy spoke about having a partner in her ELLE May 2021 interview.
Taylor-Joy has not explicitly confirmed that she and McRae are dating, but they didn’t exactly hide their romantic connection in the city. According to Page Six, the two were seen holding hands and kissing multiple times while walking around the Big Apple.
Here, all about McRae’s career and what’s known about his relationship with Taylor-Joy.
McRae is a 27-year-old musician and actor.
Per McRae’s IMDB bio, McRae “was ‘discovered’ at the AMTC (talent competition) among 1,100 hopeful actors at age 12, where he won Over All Young Actor, 2006.” McRae starred in a short film, Brotherly, in 2008 and played Gene Grady in 2020’s How’dy!.
Music is McRae’s real focus though. His IMDB bio cites him as playing “guitar and piano” and singing “pop, folk, rockabilly, rock and musical theatre.” On his Instagram, McRae plugs his rock band More‘s music, most recently posting footage of himself playing his song “Settled In” in April.
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More is a two-member group that McRae and Kane Ritchotte (formerly of Portugal The Man) created and that is signed with Warner Records. The band is verified on Spotify and has been together for over three years now. They released the first half of their two-part EP, 1/2, last summer.
In a July 2020 interview with Rain magazine, McRae spoke about his history with Ritchotte and the creation process for 1/2. “The writing process was a span over three or so years,” he said. “Kane and I were doing solo projects individually and had a few songs we had written and recorded separately. We met up and decided it was fun to write together and bring our songs together. So we finished 10 songs over about three years.”
McRae is originally from Alabama.
According to More’s Spotify bio, McRae came to Los Angeles from the South a few years ago. As the band wrote, “Malcolm had only recently fallen in love with a young woman and followed his foolish heart, dropping everything to move to Los Angeles. Well, his heart was mistaken. The relationship was a disaster. But the music that followed wasn’t. Within a week of meeting, the two [McRae and Ritchotte] realized that the music they made together transcended what either was doing alone.”
McRae spoke to American Songwriter 10 months ago about how he worked as a paralegal in Pasadena, California, and wrote song lyrics for “Elaborate Attraction” while at his desk job.
In his Rain interview, McRae spoke more about the inspiration behind “Elaborate Attraction” and how his late father influenced its lyrics. “My dad was an investment banker,” McRae said. “He passed away when I was eighteen, but that song revolves around and is based on some of his life. He studied classics at an Ivy League school and so the reference to Joseph Campbell, that’s what we took the video from. We wanted it to be an antihero’s journey. All 17 points of Campbell’s hero journey… we wanted to make them super menial tasks with an incredibly small reward for each task. It symbolizes what the song is about which is nature versus nurture.” McRae’s brother Keene McRae directed the music video for the single, and its YouTube video has gotten more than 93,000 views.
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McRae told Rain that music helped him and Ritchotte get through the coronavirus pandemic mental health-wise. “I’m grateful for the outlet and you don’t need many resources to write music, you know?” he said. “If we didn’t have that in this quarantine, I would be entirely morbidly depressed and unfulfilled. I mean, I don’t know how anybody’s survived. I don’t know how not everybody is writing an album right now.”
Taylor-Joy first spoke about having a partner in March 2021.
Taylor-Joy and McRae’s exact timeline is not clear nor has either explicitly confirm they’re dating. But the 25-year-old actress spoke to ELLE three days after the Golden Globes, indicating she had a significant other in March 2021 while explaining why she was doing her Zoom interview from her bathroom.
“My partner’s just come back from work, and he’s moving around all of his equipment, so this was the safe spot,” she said. She didn’t offer any more details on who he is, how long they’ve been together, and didn’t confirm outright that they were living together.
Taylor-Joy did open up to Vanity Fair earlier this year about a past relationship ending right before she began production on Emma in March 2019, meaning her relationship with McRae is likely more recent.
“Prior to filming [Emma] I’d just had a devastating breakup, and it had challenged everything,” she said. “I was just incredibly insecure and very, very unsafe in my own skin.” Taylor-Joy had been working constantly during that time, immersing herself in the characters she played while not taking the time to learn about who she is.
She could go into an art gallery and recognize the pieces each character she played would like, “but I had no idea what I liked,” she said. “I had no clue of what I would choose for myself. I’m sitting here talking to you, and for the first time, I’m like, I know what I like. I know what I, as a person, enjoy!… The whole of 2019 was me becoming a woman, essentially.”
Taylor-Joy and McRae both follow each other on Instagram.
In a subtle sign of their ties to each other, both Taylor-Joy and McRae follow each other on Instagram. Neither Taylor-Joy nor McRae have posted about each other though or liked the other’s Instagram posts. It’s a choice that helps keep their relationship as off-line and private as possible.
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