A new Netflix series is on the way which tells of a young orphaned chess prodigy who fights against personal circumstances – including drug addiction – in a bid to become a champion, with Emma star Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead role.
The Queen’s Gambit is based on a novel by Walter Tevis, and Taylor-Joy is joined in the cast by a slew of stellar supporting stars – read on for everything you need to know about the stars, including who they’re playing and what they’ve been in before.
Anya Taylor-Joy plays Beth Harmon
Who is Beth Harmon? Beth is an orphaned girl in Kentucky who discovers an incredible talent for chess while developing a dependency on tranquilizers at an early age. As she grows into a young woman, fuelled by her addictions, Beth jeopardizes herself and those around her in her determined pursuit of becoming a champion.
What else has Anya Taylor-Joy been in? Taylor-Joy has had a slew of high profile roles of late – including starring as the title character in the recent film adaptation of Emma. Other recent film credits include The Witch, Thoroughbreds, M Night Shyamalan films Split and Glass, and The New Mutants while she is the star of Edgar Wright’s upcoming horror film Last Night in Soho. On the small screen, highlights include the BBC miniseries The Miniaturist and a recurring role as Gina Gray in season 5 of Peaky Blinders.
(Young actress Isla Johnston plays a younger version of Beth Harmon in episode one.)
Marielle Heller plays Alma Wheatley
Who is Alma Wheatley? A lonely housewife with an absent husband and her own vices, Alma welcomes Beth as both her adopted daughter and much-needed companion.
What else has Marielle Heller been in? Heller is most well-known for her work as a director, with her recent work having included the Oscar-nominated films Can You Ever Forgive Me? and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. As far as acting goes, she has previously appeared in MacGruber, A Walk Among the Tombstones and Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.
Moses Ingram plays Jolene
Who is Jolene? A fellow orphan, and host to new residents at the orphanage, Jolene quickly befriends Beth and helps her navigate the rules and regulations of orphan life.
What else has Moses Ingram been in? This is Ingram’s most high profile role to date, while she will also play Lady Macduff in The Tragedy of Macbeth – Joel’s Coen’s take on ‘the Scottish play.’
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny Watts
Who is Benny Watts? Arrogant, confident and calm, Benny Watts, a young chess talent himself, becomes one of Beth’s greatest opponents as well as one of her closest allies.
What else has Thomas Brodie-Sangster been in? Brodie-Sangster first found fame as a child star after appearing as Sam in Love, Actually and Simon in Nanny McPhee. He has since had notable roles as Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones and Newt in the Maze Runner film series while he played a young Paul McCartney in the 2009 film Nowhere Boy.
Harry Melling as Harry Beltik
Who is Harry Beltik? A traditional learner and one of the best chess players in the state of Kentucky, Harry is in awe of Beth’s talent and enters her life when she is at a low point.
What else has Harry Melling been in? Melling will be well-known to Harry Potter fans as Harry’s cousin Dudley Dursley, while he has gone on to have film roles in the likes of The Old Guard, The Devil All The Time and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. On the small screen, he’s had roles on His Dark Materials and The War of the Worlds.
Bill Camp plays Mr. Shaibel
Who is Mr. Shaibel? The janitor who introduces Beth to the game of chess. Quickly humbled by her natural ability at the game, Mr. Shaibel opens new doors for the young prodigy
What else has Bill Camp been in? Character actor Camp has appeared in a huge range of films over the years, including Lincoln, 12 Years a Slave, Love and Mercy, Loving, Molly’s Game, Vice, Wildlife, and Joker. On the small screen, he’s had roles in The Outsider and The Night Of, the latter of which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
The cast of The Queen’s Gambit also includes Marcin Doroncinski (Hurricane) as Vasily Borgov, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker, Wolf Hall) as Townes, Chloe Pirrie (War & Peace, Black Mirror) as Alice Harmon, Christiane Seidel (Godless, Boardwalk Empire) as Mrs. Deardorff, Matthew Dennis Lewis (Godless) as Matt and Russell Dennis Lewis (Godless) as Mike.
The Queen’s Gambit streams on Netflix from Friday 23rd October 2020. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.