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Anya Taylor-Joy discusses impact of The Queen’s Gambit on image of chess

Anya Taylor-Joy (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Anya Taylor-Joy (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Anya Taylor-Joy has said people on the set of The Queen’s Gambit used to joke they were “bringing sexy back to chess”.

The actress told Vanity Fair she did not think that is what people would actually end up thinking about the series.

The drama sees Taylor-Joy, 24, play an orphaned chess prodigy during the Cold War era who rises to become a global star of the board game.

Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy (Ian West/PA)

The programme reportedly triggered a rise in chessboard sales and Google searches related to the game.

Taylor-Joy said: “We used to joke on set that we were bringing sexy back to chess.

“We didn’t really think that’s what people would actually think.”

The Queen’s Gambit is based on Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name.

Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy (Matt Crossick/PA)

Taylor-Joy said: “The second I closed the book, it was this dawning of, I’m going to have to give this character so much of myself in order to tell the story right.”

In November Netflix said The Queen’s Gambit was watched by 62 million households in the first 28 days after its release.

Read the full story in the April issue of Vanity Fair, available via digital download and on newsstands from Friday.

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