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 didn’t initially explicitly confirm 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.
In September 2021, the two were photographed kissing again, this time in Venice. And in March 2022, Taylor-Joy spoke about her romance with McRae in an interview and made her red carpet debut with him at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party. In July 2022, the two went further, secretly tying the knot, a source told Page Six. The two ultimately made their first award show debut as a couple at the Golden Globes in January 2023.
Here, all about McRae’s career and what’s known about his relationship with Taylor-Joy.
McRae is a 28-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.
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 26-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.”
In July 2021, Taylor-Joy and McRae were reported to be “practically” living together.
On July 23, The Sun reported that McRae “has practically moved into [Taylor-Joy’s] L.A. home.”
“They are inseparable and spend all of their time together,” a source close to Taylor-Joy told the outlet. “Her schedule is really hectic because she is so in demand following The Queen’s Gambit, but he is always there for her.”
The source added that “Malcolm is practically living with her at her home in L.A. now, and they spend every night together.”
In September 2021, the two signaled their romance was still on with a kiss in Venice.
Taylor-Joy and McRae proved their relationship was still going strong post-Labor Day when the two were photographed kissing in Venice by paparazzi. Taylor-Joy was at the festival to promote her upcoming film Last Night in Soho.
Taylor-Joy and McRae did their first red carpet together in March 2022.
McRae and Taylor-Joy posed side-by-side at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Taylor-Joy was dressed in a black sheer Dior corset dress alongside her partner.
Taylor-Joy spoke about dating McRae to British Vogue in March 2022.
Ahead of their Oscars red carpet debut, Taylor-Joy reflected on dating McRae to British Vogue in her cover story with them. “I said to my partner [the musician and actor Malcolm McRae] the other day that he was my hobby,” she said. “I see reading as something that I have to do. He loved it because he’s the same. I’ve finally found someone who will happily sit in silence with me reading. We’re basically 80 years old and seven at the same time and it works really well.”
She reflected on being long distance with him, as she owns a house in east London and is regularly traveling for film projects. “Yes, it is [hard], but it’s also kind of great because when you’re together you’re really valuing the time that you have. Everyday mundane activities are so full of joy. I love going to the petrol station with him and filling up the car and going to get breakfast.”
Casual dating just wasn’t her style either, she added: “I was not a good dater and I’m quite glad to not be. I hear stories from my friends and I’m like, ’God, I would suck at that.’”
In April 2022, Taylor-Joy and McRae kissed on the red carpet at a screening for her film.
Taylor-Joy and McRae didn’t shy away from showcasing their love for each other during the screening for her film The Northman on April 5 in London. Both dressed chicly, Taylor-Joy and McRae kissed in front of photographers in one of their most public displays of affection yet.
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. Until recently, neither Taylor-Joy nor McRae posted about each other though or liked the other’s Instagram posts, but Taylor-Joy recently tagged McRae in a photo implying he was at the scene. Then McRae went Instagram official!
McRae made things Instagram official in a post
On October 20, 2021, McRae shared two shots of he and Taylor-Joy standing in a window’s reflection, smiling and holding hands. He captioned it, “Oof supremely happy.”
In the photos, Taylor-Joy is wearing a red razor-back tank top with white piping, and a long checkered shirt over it, her blonder hair pushed back with a pair of sunglasses. McRae is in a white t-shirt and black jeans.
Rumors start that Anya Taylor-Joy and Malcolm McRae are engaged in June 2022.
Taylor-Joy was photographed arriving at the Sydney airport in Australia in late June via private jet. As she reached up to brush her hair from her face, a sparkling rock was spotted on her ring finger. Rumors quickly spread that she is engaged to McRae.
A person at the scene said, “She bounded off the plane and then seemed to flash the ring at her driver before getting in the car. She was either showing off the ring or doing a dance move. Either way, she looked ecstatic.”
Her plane outfit included matching purple slacks and shirt and she was carrying her new cat, Kitsune, in a backpack with a window for her pet to enjoy the scene.
On July 18, 2022, a source told Page Six that the two secretly got married.
Taylor-Joy and McRae may secretly be husband and wife. A source told Page Six that the couple quietly got married in an intimate courthouse wedding. On July 18, Taylor-Joy was photographed walking with McRae, wearing her engagement ring on her left ring finger. Neither McRae, Taylor-Joy, or Taylor-Joy’s rep have yet to commented on the wedding reports as of July 19.
On September 1, 2022, the couple were seen walking hand-in-hand in Los Angeles.
On Thursday, September 1, Anya Taylor-Joy and Malcolm McCrae enjoyed a little PDA as they walked through the streets of Los Angeles during a heat wave. The couple held hands as they walked, and were photographed embracing and sharing a kiss here and there on their date night in West Hollywood.
Taylor-Joy was wearing a pale pink sundress with a square neckline with flower details down the front for each button. She carried a green sweater over her left hand, which obscured any potential sighting of a wedding or engagement ring. McRae was wearing a vintage green Nascar shirt over khaki pants.
On October 15, 2022, they were seen out on a date in Sydney, Australia.
Taylor-Joy and McRae were seen in Sydney’s center for a Saturday night out, leaving popular party spot Frankie’s in two stylish ensembles. The actress was wearing a bright purple mini dressed with a leather jacket and lace-up boots. She left her long blonde hair loose down her back, and wore dark red lipstick. By her side, McRae was rocking a grown out shag and a green turtleneck under a blazer with jeans.
The actress has been filming in Australia since may for the film Furiosa, of which she is the lead. After leaving the night club, they were escorted into a car and headed off.
October 18, 2022, Taylor-Joy and McRae were seen kissing on a lunch date.
On Tuesday afternoon, October 18, the couple enjoyed a lunch in Sydney at Mark And Vinny’s spaghetti. As they waited for their food to arrive, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other, leaning in to steal kisses and hug. At one point, McRae even gave Taylor-Joy’s hand a chivalrous kiss in a romantic gesture.
The actress was wearing a vivid with matching lipstick and a pair of white mules with black designs. She covered it in a navy bomber jacket and pair of cat eye sunglasses. McRae was dressed in black jeans, a white t-shirt, and a grey button down over it.
The couple celebrated Christmas together in 2022.
On Sunday, December 25, Anya Taylor-Joy shared a glimpse of her holiday plans on Instagram, posting pictures of herself in bed with MacRae.
MacRae was wearing a dark sleeping mask up on his forehead, and Taylor-Joy seemed to be in a fluffy white hat with ear flaps. On closer inspection, it is actually a white cat with gray ears. They both cuddled under the white sheets of their bed, looking sleepy and happy.
“Merry Christmas to all you filthy animals, from our home to yours,” she wrote in the caption.
Taylor-Joy and McRae started their 2023 by attending the Golden Globes together.
The couple made their award show debut on January 10, posing together at the Golden Globes, where Taylor Joy was a nominee. They showed PDA in front of the photographers.
Taylor-Joy and McRae were also adorable at the Critics Choice Awards a few days later.
Taylor-Joy was photographed on Sunday, January 15, with McRae backstage at the 2023 Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles, held at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. The actress was presenting an award at the ceremony alongside Top Gun: Maverick actor Miles Teller. The couple were photographed sharing an intimate moment before the festivities where McRae appears to be adjusting her necklace.
For the event, Taylor-Joy wore a sheer, nude netted dress over a matching body-suit of opaque fabric and had her long hair piled into a tall knotted updo. She accessorized with diamond jewelry around her neck and one wrist and a pair of sandal heels with a rhinestone strap across her toes. McRae was wearing a traditional suit with an untraditional ribbon cravat under a white button-down shirt.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.