Things You Didn’t Know About Anya Taylor-Joy AKA Beth Harmon

This amazing actress was actually trained in dancing ballet!

By Michele
Things You Didn’t Know About Anya Taylor-Joy AKA Beth Harmon

Anya Taylor-Joy is a young actress, who has made a good name among the actors of today. Currently, she is working from America and has been able to secure and perform diverse daunting roles.  Without any doubt, she is a rising star, who deserves huge gratitude for her acting skills. 

Here, I will include Things You Didn’t Know about Anya Taylor-Joy AKA Beth Harmon. I have fetched some exciting particulars related to her career and life. Hope you will find this to be an interesting read.

What is The Queen’s Gambit?


It is a period drama which is based on a novel, having the same name, written by Walter Tevis in 1983. Allan Scott and Scott Franck produced it for Netflix. This drama is based on the period of mid-1950 and continues to 1960. The plot is based on an orphan, Elizabeth Harmon an eager chess player, who is also trying to overcome her alcohol dependency, drug abuse, and emotional problems.

What is Anya-Josephine Taylor-Joy’s role in the miniseries? How did she get cast for the role?

Anya is playing the role of that orphan girl, who has matured as a complex adult but still struggles hard to become the best chess player. Her addiction to drugs and alcohol affects her life. Sadly this is the only support system that enables her brain to function and focus.

The Queens Gambit was released by Netflix on the 23rd of October, 2020. And right after a few weeks only, it became one of the most-watched series on Netflix. Anya’s performance has received a lot of praise. As predicted, this drama series has become extremely popular with chess lovers and has also tempted people to try their hands on chess.

Anya became a part of the Queen's Gambit when the script was not even finalized, the creator of this drama, Scott, recommended her to read the relevant novel. That excited her a lot for this role and she truly wanted to be a part of this prodigious production. 


Anya stated that "I was so passionate about the character and story. When I got to the restaurant, I was like, 'It’s not all about chess! And she needs to be a redhead!' and Scott said, 'I agree! Sit down, let’s have this discussion!'

Before being cast as Beth, Anya had no idea about chess. But the good thing was that her physical moves, which she practiced, being a ballet dancer, helped her perfectly play the chess pieces. According to her, “I just got to learn nifty, cool choreography with my fingers."

Who is Anya Taylor-Joy?


Her complete name is Anya Josephine Marie Taylor. She was born on the 16th of April in the year 1996 in Miami, Florida and she has five siblings. Her parents are a part of different conservation movements, as they are quite active when it comes to the protection of natural habitat, plants and animals, and natural resources. Her mother is a psychologist, while her father is the director of a jet hiring company and a motorboat racer. 

Her parents shifted to Buenos Aires when she was an infant and mostly spoke Spanish during her childhood years. Later, her family shifted to London and at that time Anya was only six years old. This transition left a deep impact on her and she refused to learn English. So that she would not be forced to live in England. But she still managed to attend school in England.  During these years Anya trained in ballet. 


The early years of her life were spent between Argentina and London. She was not very fond of moving to London. I tried to find the reason out but was only successful in deducing that it was all linked to her personal preference since childhood. She loved Argentina. Anyway, Anya always wanted to become famous and her dream came true when she was offered to do modeling, at a very young age.

Her looks and her talent were widely and greatly prized by the viewers. At the age of 14, Anya moved to New York for a better future and made this happen all through her savings. Right after two years, she quit college with permission granted by her parents and shifted her focus towards acting only.

Anya as a Ballet Dancer and a Model


Anya was certainly not interested in gaining an education, as a young girl she always dreamt of appearing on magazine covers and the big screen. Her parents saw her potential and send her to a ballet school where she could properly train, but her progress was always hindered due to her parents moving between London and Argentina.

As a result, Anya never became a professional ballerina. Instead, she opted for modeling during her high school period and was offered modeling contracts for different international brands, posters, calendars, and fashion magazines. Her stunning photo-shoots helped her secure a prominent place in the modeling industry.  But this was still not satisfactory enough for Anya.

What’s Her Career Like?


It was in 2014 that Anya tried her luck in the field of acting. She was 18 years old at that time and got a role in the fiction thriller – Vampire Academy. Though it was a very short role in one of the episodes she still managed to play it well.

Later, she appeared in various television series. Anya was also a part of Viking Quest an action movie, Gold Skin another popular movie, and Endeavor. She gained considerable popularity from her role in the horror movie called The Witch. She played the role of Thomasin, who belonged to a family of immigrants. They were eager to move to some isolated and wild habitat, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Being the eldest sibling, Thomasin had to look after her other siblings. Meanwhile, she noticed strange occurrences in her surroundings of which also she tells others about.  She wasn’t taken seriously and that is where the thrill begins. 


The Witch was a considerable success for Anya and she was praised highly for her acting skills. This helped her secure a major role in another Hollywood based horror movie Morgan. But astonishingly, Morgan was unable to harbor popular feedback from the viewers and movie critics. It was not a great success at the box office. To explain it better, the movie didn’t do well due to the absence of a proper climax required to deliver a thrilling experience. The acting skills of Anya were still acknowledged.

In 2016, Anya got another lead role in the movie Barry in which she played the role of Charlotte Bauman. This movie was based on the college period of the former president of America – Barack Obama.

To be honest, Anya is still a young talent who has a lot of opportunities waiting for her. She does modeling and acting too. But seems like, she is more fond of acting and would never stop amazing her fans by playing fascinating roles in different productions. So her career is more oriented towards acting rather than modeling.

What Awards Had She Been Nominated For/Received? In What Other Shows Can We Watch Her?

She won the Gotham Independent Film Awards for Breakthrough Actor, Phoenix Film Critics Society for Breakthrough Performance, Fright Meter Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and New Mexico Film Critics for Best Young Actress for her movie The Witch. She won all of the above awards in the year 2016.

Apart from these awards she has also won the Empire Awards for Best Female Newcomer, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for Best Actress, Seattle Film Critics Society for Best Youth Performance, and Cannes Film Festival for Trophée Chopard. She won all of the above awards in the year 2017.


Apart from these awards, she was nominated for several other awards too that she didn’t bag.

Other television shows that feature Anya and are worth watching are:

  1. Endeavor as Philippa Collins-Davidson          
  2. "Viking Quest" as Mani          
  3. Atlantis as Cassandra
  4. The Miniaturist as Petronella "Nella" Brandt 
  5. Peaky Blinders as Gina Gray  
  6. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance as Brea

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I had to do a lot of research to come up with the best possible content related to Anya. But in the end, I can easily declare that I am very much pleased to know more about her. And I also hope that you will be equally thrilled to binge-watch her movies and dramas.

She is truly an inspirational and hardworking young talent, who knows how to progress by bringing the best out of her. Anya deserves a round of applause for her various roles and especially her character as Beth in the Queen's Gambit.