‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Star Anya Taylor-Joy Revealed She Was Bullied as a Child: ‘I Used To Get Locked in Lockers’

The new Netflix hit Queen’s Gambit they recently set a record with 62 million homes watching the series. Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows the chess chess Beth Harmon, an orphan who struggles with emotional issues and substance abuse while trying to become the first chess player female in the world.

Anya Taylor-Joy will lead the show in the starry role. Some may recognize it from previous films include Emma, Glass, and The Witch. The rising star said she has wanted to be an actor since she was a child, where she has fond memories from her school days.

Anya Taylor-Joy of 'The Queen's Gambit'
Anya Taylor-Joy of ‘The Queen’ s Gambit ‘ Photos by Jacopo Raule / Getty

Anya Taylor-Joy considered herself an ‘ugly first Emma’

Despite being found at 16 by the same modeling scout that Kate Moss saw, Taylor-Joy doesn’t think she’s attractive. Describing herself as anything but good, the actress revealed that she is not fond of seeing herself on the big screen.

“I’ve never been and I don’t think I’ll ever think of myself as beautiful,” she said The sun in November 2020. “I don’t think I’m beautiful enough to be in films. It’s kind of patient … but I think I’m weird. I won’t go to the cinema to see my own film, I’ll watch it before. The beauty of being in your own skin is that you don’t have to look at your own face. ”

Starring in Jane Austen’s classic title role Emma, Taylor-Joy recalled her worries about playing the character she felt was beyond her reach.

“I really panicked Emma because I thought, ‘I’m the first ugly Emma and I can’t do this,'” the Netflix star explained. “The first line of the film is, ‘I am handsome, wise and rich’. ”

‘I was as lonely as a child’

Telling her parents that she wanted to be involved when she was just 6 years old, Taylor-Joy and her family moved from Buenos Aires to London when she was 8. The Mushrooms the star found the transition difficult due to the very different environment and foreign language.

“Argentina is all green and I had horses and animals everywhere,” Taylor-Joy said. “Suddenly I was in a city and I didn’t speak the language. I didn’t feel like I was responding anywhere. I was too English to be Argentine, too Argentine to be English, too American to be like anything. ”

Taylor-Joy became a target for bullying from other children in the school, causing her to separate from others.

“The children didn’t understand me in any form,” she said. “I used to be locked in locked cupboards. I spent a lot of time at school crying in bathrooms; I was so lonely as a child. ”

Anya Taylor-Joy relates to Beth Harmon’s ‘sense of loneliness’

As a result of being excluded by her classmates, Taylor-Joy was often alone.

“I felt so isolated that I created this story in my head about loneliness was bad, being alone was bad,” The Witch star shared. “That can be very rewarding, especially if you’ve learned to be afraid of it.”

Her past experiences drew on the character of Beth Harmon, where she read the book in just 90 minutes and immediately made contact with the troubled chess player.

“I felt like I could understand that sense of loneliness,” Taylor-Joy said. “And just trying so desperately to make sense of a world that didn’t come naturally to Beth and her addiction to chess. ”

Finding similarities between herself and Beth, the Thoroughbreds a star knew the character was one she could fully embrace.

“She comes from a backdrop where everyone she’s ever met has been let down in some way, or abandoned,” Taylor-Joy said. “She doesn’t trust people, so she’s really trying to find a place to be. And as a kid I definitely had elements of that, so I was pretty happy with it right away. ”

Queen’s Gambit now streaming on Netflix.

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