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Entertainment How Anya Taylor-Joy mastered chess and her craft for Netflix's The Queen's Gambit

09:00  24 october  2020
09:00  24 october  2020 Source:   ew.com

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Anya Taylor - Joy and Thomas Brodie-Sangster in The Queen ’ s Gambit . As the tale of a woman who rises from discovering the game in an orphanage basement to the pinnacle of the chess world, Netflix ’ s new miniseries The Queen ’ s Gambit can’t really fail.

Netflix supports the Digital Advertising Alliance Principles. In a 1950 s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom Anya Taylor - Joy ("Split") stars in this series from Scott Frank ("Godless," "Logan"), based on the novel by Walter Tevis.

When Anya Taylor-Joy arrived in Berlin last year to shoot Netflix’s limited series The Queen’s Gambit, she had just finished filming Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, with only one day off in between. Before that, she had just finished filming Autumn de Wilde’s Emma, with only one day off in between. Needless to say, she was a bit worn out.

a person sitting on a table: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX © Provided by Entertainment Weekly PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX

“She came to us exhausted,” says The Queen’s Gambit co-creator Scott Frank, who also wrote and directed every episode. “She was really worried because she was so tired, but her first take of her first scene, she just nailed it. I was so relieved. She instantly switched gears, and she could do that on set all the time. We could be talking and laughing, and then the camera could roll, and she could be devastated and in tears. She's a real pro.”

Anya Taylor-Joy has all the right (chess) moves in The Queen's Gambit trailer

  Anya Taylor-Joy has all the right (chess) moves in The Queen's Gambit trailer Anya Taylor-Joy has all the right chess moves in the new trailer for Netflix's limited series 'The Queen's Gambit.'The upcoming limited series, based on Walter Tevis' novel, stars Taylor-Joy as Beth, a lonely girl who discovers an astonishing talent for chess through games with the janitor (Bill Camp) at her orphanage. As she hones her skills, she also develops an addiction to the tranquilizers used as a sedative by the state. Transforming into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast, Beth becomes determined to conquer the male-dominated world of competitive chess, even as her personal demons continue to haunt her.

Move over, Bobby Fisher, because chess legend Beth Harmon is about to make some moves on Netflix . The streamer on Thursday released a trailer for its limited series drama The Queen ' s Gambit , starring Anya Taylor - Joy as a pill-popping prodigy who' s mastered the game chess .

Anya Taylor - Joy is proving she can slide seamlessly into any era, and based on the official trailer for Scott Frank’ s adaptation of “ The Queen ’ s Gambit Drawing comparisons to the Barbara Stanwyck feature “Baby Face,” young Beth is considered an anomaly for being successful at chess , considering

Good thing, too: Taylor-Joy’s performance as Beth Harmon, a young orphan who discovers a prodigious talent for chess, anchors the seven-episode series. The actress is in almost every scene, portraying Beth from ages 15 to 20, and often conveys a great deal without dialogue or even much motion, spending long sequences seated at a chessboard. It was a challenge, to be sure, but one Taylor-Joy was eager to tackle from the moment she read the novel on which the show is based.

a person sitting on a table: Here's how Anya Taylor-Joy mastered chess and her craft for her role in Netflix's 'The Queen's Gambit.' © PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX Here's how Anya Taylor-Joy mastered chess and her craft for her role in Netflix's 'The Queen's Gambit.'

“I devoured the book, and then I was supposed to meet [Frank] that afternoon,” the actress tells EW. “I told myself, ‘I'm gonna walk, so I can get myself together, and when I meet him I can present him with a semi-normal human being.’ And maybe five minutes into the walk, I started running, and I do not run. I was bursting with ideas, and passion, and excitement, and I just ran into the restaurant. Luckily Scott was totally into my unbridled enthusiasm.”

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The Queen ' s Gambit is an American drama streaming television miniseries created by Scott Frank and Allan Scott that was released on October 23, 2020 on Netflix .

Netflix has put out an order for a new limited series, “ The Queen ’ s Gambit ,” starring Anya Taylor - Joy , Variety has learned. Based on Walter Tevis’ s 1983 novel of the same name, the six-episode show will be set during the Cold War era and will follow orphan chess prodigy Beth Harmon ( Taylor - Joy ) from

A coming-of-age story at heart, The Queen’s Gambit follows Beth as she rises through the ranks of competitive chess in the 1960s. As the story continues, we watch Beth grow from an awkward outcast into a confident woman, but it’s hardly an easy journey, as she battles sexism and her own personal demons along the way.

“She's the character that I've had the least amount of skin between,” Taylor-Joy says. “I understood her so immediately, and she came forth to me so quickly that it was like, this is slightly harder to handle, because it means that when Beth has a bad day, I will have a bad day. And I have to learn how to say, ‘Okay, this is not mine, this is the character's.’”

Adds Frank, who thought of Taylor-Joy for the role after seeing her in the 2018 indie Thoroughbreds, “The thing about Anya that's amazing is that she's in control of herself in a way you don't often see in actors. Even moving chess pieces, she found interesting ways to do that. Even the way she crosses her arms, or the way she looks away, she's very, very expressive and can do a lot with a little, and there aren't many who can do that.”

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Anya Taylor - Joy has conquered both the indie and studio film worlds thanks to efforts such as “The Witch” and “Split,” and now she’ s set to take television by storm in a huge way with the Netflix limited series “ The Queen ’ s Gambit .” The streaming giant has debuted a teasr and a handful of first look

Netflix supports the Digital Advertising Alliance principles. By interacting with this site, you agree to In a 1950 s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely Limited Series Coming October 23. Anya Taylor - Joy ("Split") stars in this series from Scott Frank

a person lying on a bed: NETFLIX © Provided by Entertainment Weekly NETFLIX

That physicality was key to depicting Beth’s growth over the course of the series. Explains Taylor-Joy, “When you first meet Beth at 15, she waddles. She’s got a very distinctive flat-foot, side-to-side way of moving. And then in my head, she watches her first Audrey Hepburn movie and she sees the way that Audrey Hepburn moves, and that's when the turtlenecks start to come in and the walk starts to become a bit more graceful. It's little things like that, that you just hope people notice.”

Of course, that only went so far: “One of the first questions that Scott asked me was, ‘How young can you play her?’ And I was like ‘Not eight, dude,’” Taylor-Joy says with a laugh. (Another actress, Isla Johnston, plays eight-year-old Beth in the first episode.)

She also strove for authenticity and variation in depicting Beth’s episodes of substance abuse, which reoccur throughout the series as she struggles with alcoholism and an addiction to tranquilizers developed during her youth in an orphanage.

“It was very important for both Scott and I that each episode of binging or partaking in substances was different,” Taylor-Joy says. “You had to understand what it was that she was running to or from, and what it was that she was looking for in the substance. Like, is she drinking because she's lonely, is she drinking because she's celebrating, is she taking pills because she feels so overwhelmed with emotions that she feels like she needs to numb out, is she taking the pills because she thinks she's not brilliant without them?”

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The Queen ' s Gambit . TV Dramas. In a 1950 s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction. Season 1 Coming October 23. Anya Taylor - Joy ("Split") stars in this series from Scott Frank ("Godless Eternia' s Prince Adam discovers the power of Grayskull and transforms into He-Man, Master of the Universe.

The Queen ' s Gambit . TV Dramas. In a 1950 s orphanage, a young girl reveals an astonishing talent for chess and begins an unlikely journey to stardom while grappling with addiction. Season 1 Coming October 23. Anya Taylor - Joy ("Split") stars in this series from Scott Frank ("Godless A behind-the-scenes look at how entrepreneur Daniel Ek and financial partner Martin Lorentzon founded Spotify

As Taylor-Joy points out, Beth discovers chess at the same time she first encounters the pills that will plague her for years to come. “And so forevermore, there's this question of, am I brilliant, or am I a conduit for these things?”

Then, of course, there was the chess, which Taylor-Joy “knew basically nothing” about before being cast. The actress worked with a “sensei,” as she puts it — famed chess teacher Bruce Pandolfini — to familiarize herself with the game and learn the extremely specific moves for each of Beth’s many intense matches.

“It was important to me to understand the theory of chess,” Taylor-Joy notes. “I didn't think I could, in any good conscience, show up and not know what I was talking about. But then the actual reality of playing the game, I couldn't hold all of those sequences in my head without going insane. So I would learn the matches five minutes prior, and I kind of saw it as dance choreography for my fingers.”

Looking back on her packed 2019, and with a full slate of exciting projects ahead — including taking over the iconic role of Mad Max's Furiosa from Charlize Theron — Taylor-Joy feels overwhelming gratitude for the opportunity to bring so many compelling characters to life. But Beth Harmon will always be uniquely close to her heart.

The Queen's Gambit creator on 'bringing sexy back to chess' and the series' long journey to TV

  The Queen's Gambit creator on 'bringing sexy back to chess' and the series' long journey to TV 'The Queen's Gambit' writer-director Scott Frank talks about bringing the Netflix series to the screen after years of trying. “The very first script I ever wrote was [the 1991 film] Little Man Tate, and originally I wanted it to be about the cost of genius, and I didn't quite get there with it,” says Frank, who also penned such films as Out of Sight and Minority Report, and wrote and directed every episode of The Queen’s Gambit. “I was too young, and I didn't quite understand what I was writing about. And when I read [The Queen’s Gambit] I thought, ‘This is a much better way to tell that story.

“To borrow a 2020 phrase, I felt very seen by Beth,” the actress says. “We're very different in a lot of ways, but at our core, we've struggled with a lot of the same things, and one of them [is] being inherently lonely. I think some people just have that thing where they're like, ‘I am separate,’ and it takes finding a place where you feel that you're not separate for you to understand that. So for me it was my art, for Beth it's chess.” And at its core, that's what makes The Queen's Gambit work: You don't need to know a rook from a pawn to relate to it.

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