Birthdate: July 18, 1994
Birthplace: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Taylor Russell (birthname: Taylor Russell McKenzie) is a rising Canadian-born actor. Russell’s debut feature role (credited as Taylor Russell McKenzie) was in the Allan Harmon-directed Canadian film If I Had Wings (2013) with Richard Harmon, Craig Bierko, and Jill Hennessy. Russell’s next Canadian movie role was in the horror film, Suspension (2015) with Ellen MacNevin, followed by her first American indie film, the Ry Russo-Young-directed Before I Fall (2017), starring Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, and Logan Miller.
Russell continued in the horror genre with a supporting role in the U.S./Spain co-production, Down a Dark Hall (2018), starring Uma Thurman and AnnaSophia Robb. Taylor Russell scored a co-starring role in the Frank Coraci-directed comedy-drama Hot Air (2019), starring Steve Coogan, Neve Campbell, Judith Light, and Skylar Astin, followed by Russell starring in the surprise horror hit, Escape Room (2019), directed by Adam Robitel, and featuring Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, and Yorick van Wageningen, and grossing over $155 million globally.
Russell gained more prestige as a co-star in the critically acclaimed film by writer-producer-editor-director Trey Edward Shults, Waves (2019), which premiered at the Telluride film festival and co-starred Kelvin Harrison Jr., Lucas Hedges, and Sterling K. Brown, with Russell winning Breakthrough Actor from the Gotham Awards and the Virtuoso Award from the 2020 Santa Barbara film festival.
Russell again starred in a prestigious and acclaimed indie film, Words on Bathroom Walls (2020), directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Julia Walton’s novel, co-starring Charlie Plummer, Andy Garcia, AnnaSophia Robb, Beth Grant, Molly Parker, and Walton Goggins.
Striking out as a filmmaker, Taylor Russell was writer-producer-director of her non-fiction short film, The Heart Still Hums (2020), which won the best documentary short at the Palm Springs film festival. Russell revived her role as Zoey in the sequel, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021), in which she starred with Logan Miller, James Frain, and Isabelle Fuhrmann and grossed ($66 million) four times its budget ($15 million) after its much-delayed theatrical release.
Russell’s biggest role to date was opposite Timothée Chalamet and Mark Rylance in producer-director Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal road movie Bones and All (2022), premiering at the Venice film festival. Taylor Russell’s subsequent project was Mother Couch (date to be announced), directed by Niclas Larsson and co-starring Ellen Burstyn and Ewan McGregor,
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Taylor Russell was raised by a white mother and Black father. Her family suffered economically, moving homes over sixteen times (from Vancouver to Toronto), and Russell experienced much discrimination growing up biracial. Russell’s height is 5’ 4½”.
AKA: Taylor Russell has three nicknames—“Russ,” “Tmac,” and “Tay.”