'Where the Crawdads Sing's' Daisy Edgar-Jones on Her First Time Eating Crayfish and Finding Kya in Everyone

"We haven't all experienced living in a marsh but we’ve all experienced hardship."

Where the Crawdads Sing Daisy Edgar-Jones
Photo: Sony Pictures

It's been two years since BBCs adaptation of Normal People brought Daisy Edgar-Jones international fame. The previously unknown Brit has been busy since then, appearing in a number of critic-loved projects including Hulu's black comedy Fresh, and the true-crime television series Under the Banner of Heaven.

But Where the Crawdads Sing, due in theaters next week, is easily Edgar-Jones' biggest role yet.

The 24-year-old stars as Kya in the Reese Witherspoon-produced adaptation of Delia Owens' best-selling book. Kya is a young girl abandoned by her family and left to grow up alone and isolated in the marshes of rural North Carolina. Then, just as she seems to have found her place in the world, she's charged with murder.

As an only child who spent "a lot of time playing on my own and making up imaginary worlds," Edgar-Jones can relate to Kya on a personal level. Then again, so can most people.

"There's a Kya in everyone," Edgar-Jones told Southern Living in a June phone interview. "We haven't all experienced living in a marsh but we've all experienced hardship. She's so human. After so many knocks and hardships… the resilience of the human being is incredible."

An avid reader, she said she understands the added pressure of bringing a literary character to life. In the end, the movie is one she's confident both fans of the book and those who haven't read it will enjoy.

"It's a gripping murder mystery. It's a love story. It's a survival story," she said.

Filming on the movie took place in and around New Orleans between April and July 2021. The production was faced with numerous shutdowns due to extreme weather, which included lightning storms, floods, and heat. A long way from her native London, Edgar-Jones described the humidity, mosquitoes, and alligators as "challenging."

"I never sweated so much in my life," director Olivia Newman told Vanity Fair. "I learned how wonderful linen is."

But four months in the swamps of Louisiana wasn't all bad. In her time there, Edgar-Jones got well-acquainted with the movie's title creature, though she admitted to being perplexed by its many nicknames, as many so often are. And during our conversation, we clarified that crawfish, crayfish, and crawdads are, in fact, all the same.

"Ok, thank you!" she responded with a laugh. "Yes, I had quite a few crawfish boils!" she said, relieved to have cleared that up. "So tasty… though I'm not very good at peeling them."

"I get very hungry, so I would get frustrated when it would take about five minutes to peel," she added. "But they are very delicious."

Where the Crawdads Sing hits theaters on July 15. Tickets are on sale now.

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