Anya Taylor-Joy is glad her role in ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ helped make chess “sexy” again

(LOS ANGELES) — Anya Taylor-Joy took home a Golden Globe for her breakout role in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, but there’s another achievement she is more proud of — making chess “sexy” again.

Appearing on the April issue of Vanity Fair, the 24-year-old actress noted how her popular Netflix drama caused chess sales to soar by 125 percent in the weeks after its release.

“We used to joke on set that we were bringing sexy back to chess,” says Taylor-Joy. “We didn’t really think that that’s what people would actually think.”

“I love the fact that people are like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go play this guy at chess, it’s going to be really hot,'” she laughed. “I’m living for it.”

Laughing, the Emma star added, “This is what I mean about how I think in five years I’ll understand… I have reinvigorated the game of chess!”

Taylor-Joy added she shared a connection with her character, Beth Harmon, revealing, “There were some scenes that were just so close to the bone. They were experiences that I had had, or that I had been witness to and it was so real.”

“She’s a voice that I’ve had in my head and in my life for a very long time,” the blonde beauty added, who admits she is still in the process of letting Beth go.

“Different characters have different grieving periods,” adds Taylor-Joy. “Some of them don’t ever really go away. I have a feeling Beth is going to be one of those.”

The Queen’s Gambit was based off the 1983 novel of the same name.  The limited series has since been watched by over 62 million household and is now being developed for a stage adaption. 

By Megan Stone
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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