Anya Taylor-Joy Wanted To Bring ‘Sexy Back To Chess’ With ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

Thanks to The Queen’s Gambit, chess sets were as hard to find last year as the Playstation 5. The New York Times reported that in the weeks following the premiere of the Netflix limited series, sales for chess sets increased by 125 percent, while an eBay spokesperson “said the company had recorded a 215 percent increase in sales of chess sets and accessories since the debut of the show in October.”

This is exactly what Anya Taylor-Joy hoped for when she signed up for the series.

“We used to joke on set that we were bringing sexy back to chess,” the Golden Globe-winning actress, who played Beth Harmon on The Queen’s Gambit, told Vanity Fair. “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.”

“I don’t think you can be an even kind of sane person and be walking around, like”—she does a parodic hair flip of self-satisfaction and puts on a haughty voice to intone—“I have reinvigorated the game of chess!” Just that morning, one of her best friends had told her that their boyfriend was playing on against a Beth bot. A what now? “Oh, yeah, on you can play Beth Harmon at different ages.” (The Beth bots have, alas, been disabled.)

If only puppets had a chess-like renaissance. Then maybe there would be another season of Taylor-Joy’s other fantastic Netflix series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. There’s still time. Bring sexy back to Skeksis, Netflix!

(Via Vanity Fair)