‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy Ran Away From Home When She Was 14

On the Netflix series Queen’s Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy playing Beth Harmon, a young chess writer. Beth derives her independence from an orphanage and adoption family through a chess world. Maybe the real Taylor-Joy has that like her character.

Queen's Gambit: Anya Taylor-Joy
Anya Taylor-Joy | Phil Bray / Netflix

Taylor-Joy was his guest The HFPA in conversation podcast on January 1 to discuss his role on Queen’s Gambit. Describing her childhood, the actress told the story of how she ran away from home when she was 14.

Before ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ Anya Taylor-Joy didn’t feel at home

Taylor-Joy grew up in Argentina, but her family moved to England when she was six. It was a challenging change for her.

I remember arriving in London and being very upset and very scattered and I just wanted to go home. So I refused to learn English for about two years, thinking my parents had to take me home, which clearly didn’t work out. It’s been really interesting now as an adult, I love London so much. So much of my humor and maybe where I feel so comfortable is wrapped up in being a London girl. It’s been an awfully long road trying to understand that I come from a lot of different places and I’m okay with that. I don’t have to go into one box to make other people feel more comfortable but that took me a long time to learn.

Anya Taylor-Joy, The HFPA in conversation podcast, 1/1/21

When Anya Taylor-Joy ran away

By the time Taylor-Joy was a teenager, she began to make her own decisions. Eventually one of these decisions led her to a successful acting career.

Anya Taylor-Joy in the Queens Gambit
Anya Taylor-Joy | Ken Woroner / Netflix

That man offered her a model job, which gave Taylor-Joy an early taste for acting.

Strangely, I stopped and I think about that moment a lot. I think that was such a dirty move. Who stops when someone sees something so urgent? The girl in horror movies, that is, I believe. It all worked out and I think I only made two shoes as a model just before I was lucky enough to get my acting opportunity, but it was fun because it ‘s kind of acting. You wear the clothes and you usually don’t wear clothes so you have to be the wearer. I got a good boost from collaborating with people. I got a good boost from collaborating with artists for the first time.

Anya Taylor-Joy, The HFPA in conversation podcast, 1/1/21

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