Thomasin McKenzie

Why Do People Hate Thomasin McKenzie?

Thomasin McKenzie is a young New Zealand actress who has quickly risen to fame in recent years for her acclaimed performances in films like Leave No Trace and Jojo Rabbit. However, despite her talent and critical praise.

McKenzie has also faced some backlash and dislike from certain audiences. Here is an in-depth look at some of the potential reasons why some people have expressed negativity towards Thomasin McKenzie.

Resentment Towards “Overnight” Success

One potential root of the dislike towards McKenzie is that her rise to fame in major Hollywood films happened very quickly. She went from relative obscurity to leading roles in high-profile indie films like Leave No Trace in 2018 to a key supporting part in Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit in 2019.

Some audiences may harbor resentment towards actors and actresses who appear to achieve “overnight” success without “paying their dues.” There can be a feeling that McKenzie did not have to struggle for years taking small roles before being handed major critical opportunities.

Perceived Lack of Experience

Related to her quick rise, some audiences may feel that McKenzie is still too inexperienced as an actress to deserve such major roles and acclaim. For example, when she landed her role in Leave No Trace at age 18, she still had very few acting credits to her name.

This perceived lack of experience could fuel a sense that she has not yet “proven herself” enough to warrant the level of fame and praise she has received in a short time period.

Sense of Unfair Preferential Treatment

Along with inexperience, there can also be a perception that McKenzie is benefiting from preferential treatment in the industry. Some may feel that she is getting selected for roles over more seasoned actors due to hype, connections, or favoritism rather than just her acting skills.

If audiences feel that other struggling actors are equally or more talented than McKenzie but are not getting the same major opportunities, it could breed dislike towards her.

Subdued Acting Style

McKenzie’s acting style in films like Leave No Trace and Jojo Rabbit tends to be fairly understated and subdued. She relies more on subtle facial expressions and body language rather than big, dramatic emotional displays.

For some audiences, this low-key acting approach can come across as wooden, boring, or lacking in range. Some may feel she does not show enough visible emotion or dynamism on screen.

Preference for More Expressive Acting

Connected to that point, many mainstream audiences are simply accustomed to and prefer more visibly expressive acting. They equate big emotional moments and meltdowns with great acting.

So McKenzie’s reserved approach may not align with what many casual moviegoers expect or want to see from lead actors, fueling a sense that she is not an engaging screen presence.

Bias Against Subtlety

There can also be an inherent bias that acting which relies on quiet subtlety and minimalism is inherently less skilled than big, showy, expressive acting. Some discount the nuance and depth required for strong subtle acting.

So even though McKenzie’s style aligns with the tone of her films, some viewers may dismiss her performances as requiring less talent.

Association with “Arthouse” Films

The types of films McKenzie has gravitated towards so far in her career tend to be quiet, critically acclaimed independent films and “arthouse” films rather than big mainstream blockbusters.

Leave No Trace, Jojo Rabbit, and True History of the Kelly Gang all fit into the “critical darling” category more than commercial hits. So her choice of projects may automatically turn off audiences less interested in those indie style of films.

Perceived Pretentiousness

Not only has McKenzie appeared in “artsy” films, but some of those films like Jojo Rabbit have a distinctly quirky, idiosyncratic style. While critics tend to praise uniquely original films, some general audiences find this type of filmmaking pretentious or alienating.

By association, those audiences may transfer their disdain for the perceived pretentiousness of the films onto McKenzie herself. Even if they dislike the film style rather than her specifically, she becomes tied to those perceptions.

Films She Has Been In

Here are some of the notable films Thomasin McKenzie has appeared in so far that demonstrate her acting style and choice of projects:

Leave No Trace

This quiet 2018 indie drama featured one of McKenzie’s breakout lead roles. She played the daughter of a war veteran father living off the grid in the Pacific Northwest forests.

Her performance as a girl torn between loyalty to her dad and desire for outside human connection earned widespread critical praise for its subtle depth and sensitivity. But the meditative pacing of the film likely turned off some mainstream viewers.

Jojo Rabbit

McKenzie co-starred in Taika Waititi’s 2019 World War II satire as the sister of a young German boy with an imaginary Hitler friend. She displayed her talent for comedy while also slowly revealing hidden depths and courage in the character.

While the offbeat style, dark humor, and whimsy of Jojo Rabbit captivated many critics and audiences, its distinct quirkiness also alienated some viewers who found it pretentious or flippant.

True History of the Kelly Gang

This recent indie film again demonstrated McKenzie’s draw towards artsy, genre-bending projects. She played the wife of infamous Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly in a highly stylized, fictionalized take on his story. The avant-garde approach likely appealed more to cinephiles than the average biopic viewer.

Acting Style and Skills

Here is more detail on Thomasin McKenzie’s low-key acting approach and the skills it requires:

Subtle Facial Expressions

Rather than big, theatrical reactions, McKenzie excels at conveying thoughts and feelings through delicate facial movements – a slight furrowing of the brow, a small twitch at the corner of her mouth, a pained look in her eyes.

Reserved Vocal Delivery

McKenzie typically speaks her lines in a measured, naturalistic manner without much obvious emoting. Even louder moments come across as grounded outbursts rather than actorly shouting.

Body Language and Gestures

Small physical gestures like nervous hair twirling or uncertain fidgeting add further insight into her characters’ unspoken emotions and vulnerabilities.

Intense Listening

McKenzie listens intently to her fellow actors, staying engaged and present to realistically play off them. This helps heighten the authenticity of her interactions.

Nuanced Layering

While her acting can look deceptively simple from the outside, she actually constructs each performance with nuanced layers of subtext, backstory, motivation, and complexity.

Perceived Lack of Personality

In addition to critiques of her acting, another complaint about McKenzie is that she comes across as overly bland or lacking in charisma and personality during interviews and public appearances.

Some find her rather quiet, serious demeanor off-putting and feel she lacks the charm and magnetic star power expected from breakout actors. They see her perceived awkwardness or standoffishness as reasons to dislike her.

However, this perception may be unfairly harsh and dismissive of her reserved nature. As she has said herself, “I’m not outgoing or bubbly or immediately charming – that’s not me.” Audiences and critics should be more accepting of diverse personality types.

Age and Gender

Unfortunately, the film industry can be particularly harsh in judging actresses based on age, especially early in their careers. Young up-and-coming actresses trying to prove themselves face double standards.

Thomasin McKenzie is only in her early 20s, but already faces inordinate scrutiny and skepticism about whether she has “earned” her current fame. Actors her age would likely not face such questions.

Typecasting Based on Appearance

There is also a risk of McKenzie being pidgeonholed into certain roles based on her youthful appearance, such as the teenage daughter archetype. So even as she tries to showcase her range, she many struggle to break free of limiting typecasting.

Gendered Criticism and Harassment

As a young actress, McKenzie also has to contend with gendered critiques and harassment online and in the media that male actors rarely face, like overly harsh judgments of looks or undeserved accusations of nepotism. This can breed undeserved dislike.


In evaluating Thomasin McKenzie’s talents and career trajectory thus far, it is important to recognize the inherent biases, double standards, and unfair expectations that many young up-and-coming actresses face in the film industry and culture.

While parts of her low-key acting approach and indie film resume may not appeal to all mainstream audiences and tastes, McKenzie has also earned widespread praise from critics for her nuanced and skilled acting talents at just age 22.

As she continues gaining experience and tackling more complex adult roles, Thomasin McKenzie has the potential to grow into a formidable dramatic actress. Audiences would be wise to withhold judgement and allow her the space to fully explore the breadth of her talents in the years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Has Thomasin McKenzie won any major acting awards yet?

While still early in her career, McKenzie has already garnered several Best Actress awards and nominations at festivals and independent award shows for her performances in Leave No Trace and Jojo Rabbit. She is considered a rising star likely to win more major awards.

What upcoming projects and roles does Thomasin McKenzie have planned?

McKenzie has two major literary adaptations currently filming – Edgar Allen Poe’s The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Beryl Bainbridge’s The Love-Charm of Bombs. She also has lead roles in the drama The Justice of Bunny King and Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City later this year.

Does Thomasin McKenzie use social media?

McKenzie does not seem to use any public social media accounts herself. As a very private person, she has spoken about avoiding online attention. Her main publicity comes through official interviews and profiles focused on her acting work rather than her personal life.

How does Thomasin McKenzie’s career compare to other young actresses?

While every rising actress has a unique path, McKenzie’s quick ascension from small indie films to major critical acclaim and roles has parallels to actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, Saoirse Ronan, and Alicia Vikander earlier in their careers. Like them, she is proving herself a versatile talent.

Is Thomasin McKenzie related to any other well-known actors?

Thomasin McKenzie does not come from an established acting or Hollywood family. Her parents are New Zealand film director Miranda Harcourt and stunt coordinator Stuart McKenzie. She has carved out her impressive career thus far entirely through her own talent and merits since starting as a child actress in small NZ films.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *