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History Of: Taylor Russell

Attention all cinephiles and fashion enthusiasts alike, we are currently entering into the era of Taylor Russellwho has managed to keep her name buzzing in a sea of Hollywood nepotism babies. The 28-year-old was recently announced global brand ambassador for Loewe and has done an exceptional job promoting the brand since the release of the cannibal romance-meets-wholesome road trip Bones and All in November. 

Image by IMDB

A highlight of the film is the leading lady’s chemistry with A-list co-star Timothee Chalamet for which she won the Marcello Mastroianni Best Young Actress Award at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, and garnered quite a bit of Oscar buzz ahead of the award season. The visual possession of her breathtaking face, accentuated by baby doll eyes all wrapped up and paired with her impeccable fashion sense, has Russell in the running to be crowned the newest “it” girl. 


Image by Ma World Group

She hails from the “Great White North” aka Vancouver, Canada, born Taylor Russell Mackenzie on July 18, 1994. Her family struggled financially which caused them to move 16 times. During this period, she also tried to find a place among her peers. She felt that because of her racial identity, being biracial, it was difficult to fit in. In an article with the Grio, she speaks on race and the unique difficulties presented in Canada compared to America.

“I grew up in Vancouver, which is beautiful but very Caucasian. When I moved to Toronto there were a lot more Black and mixed people,” said Russell, “It can be so confusing, and I think race in Canada is so different than it is in America. It’s complicated in Hollywood…”

Before she hit our screens, Russell began working at the age of 13. This included spending time in restaurants, butcher shops and Amazon warehouses. Over the span of five years, she had saved enough money to purchase a car. In search of opportunity in the entertainment world, she would drive to Los Angeles for auditions.

Breakout Role

Image by Schiaparelli

Unlike other new actors in the early years of their careers, Russell has had the unique opportunity of acting in different genres of film. She landed a major role in Netflix’s television sci-fi series Lost in Space as Julie Robinson and again in the thriller box office blockbuster Escape Room as Zoey Davis. But it was her crushing performance as Emily in Waves written and directed by Terry Edward Shults that caught the eye of Oscar-nominated director Luca Guadagnino who was inspired to cast her as Maren in Bones and All. Waves, starring Euphoria’s Alexa Demie, Luce’s Kelvin Harrelson Jr. and This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown follows the emotional journey of a middle-class Black American family as they navigate through love, loss, and forgiveness. The latter portion of the film focuses on Russell’s plotline and highlights the coruscating cinematography that captivates audiences.

A Passion for Fashion

Image by High snobiety

The enigma of Taylor Russell is her ability to effortlessly serve a variety of looks on any red carpet. During the promotional tour for Bones and All, she turned heads dressed in Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood to name of few which has kept fans and followers intrigued. The 5-foot-4-inch-tall actress and her stylist Ryan Hastings build chic silhouettes undergirded by muted but bold colors such as navy, maroon, and mustard yellow. 

Image by Nylon

It is not just her clothes commanding our attention, it is her hair. Hair has a unique ability to speak in daring ways. Russell’s blunt, not-quite pixie-haircut gives the right amount of edge, that on the surface seems achievable but when attempted can easily go wrong. Her winsome smile and dazzling face with its distinctive birthmark helps sell her signature bob every time. 

Becoming a Polythematic Muse

Image by Homme Girls

Russell’s creative pursuits showcase her versatility as an artist. One consistent accessory for  Russell is an ever-present book in hand. Reading for her is more than a mere prop. She is an avid reader in her daily life. She cites Patti Smith as a favorite author. “Her words are so deeply ingrained in the map of my body,” said Russell in a November 2022 issue of Dazed Magazine. She even went as far as to get a lighting bolt tattoo in honor of the author.

Her work in film does not stop at acting. She made her directorial debut with the documentary, The Heart Still Hums, which she co-wrote with her friend Savanah Leaf. The film follows the hardships of five different mothers. The duo has racked up accolades for the film including Best Short Documentary at the 2020 BlackStar Film Festival

Russell’s burgeoning career does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. She continues to solidify her place as a talented actress and creative artist of this generation. In the meantime, you can watch her on a movie screen nearby eating up her breakout role in Bones and All.  

Featured Image by Teen Vogue

Sources: IMDB, Loewe, Youtube, IMDB, Oscars, The Grio, IMDB, IMDB, A24, IMDB, IMDB, Youtube, IMDB, IMDB, IMDB, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Twitter, Ryan Hastings, Dazed Digital, Youtube, IMDB, Patti Smith.net, BlackStar Festival

Contact Mesgana Waiss with comments at awaiss@bsu.edu or @theganarhea on Twitter.