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10 Things Every New Anya Taylor-Joy Fan Should Know

'The Queen's Gambit' star knew 'next to nothing about chess,' for one!
PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ANYATAYLORJOY
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You'd be surprised to know that The Queen's Gambit leading lady Anya Taylor-Joy knew "next to nothing about chess" prior to filming the series! She told Entertainment Weekly that she worked with a chess instructor on set to learn about Beth Harmon's intense chess moves. She said, "I would learn the matches five minutes prior, and I kind of saw it as dance choreography for my fingers." We're sure you want to know more about the talented actress, so here are 10 facts about Anya: 

1. Anya Taylor-Joy was born on April 16, 1996. 

And in case you were wondering what her real hair color is, it's blonde. Below are some of her adorable childhood pics: 

2. Anya grew up in Argentina and London. 

Anya's mom is African-Spanish-English and her dad is Scottish-Argentinian. Anya, the youngest of six siblings, was born in Miami, Florida, and her family soon relocated to Argentina. They then moved to London, United Kingdom when she was around six years old.

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3. Harry Potter helped her learn English. 

Because she grew up in Argentina, Anya's first language is *not* English, but Spanish! In an interview with NME, Anya shared that she refused to learn English when her family moved to London: "I wanted to go home, and in my six, seven-year-old mentality, I thought my parents would have to take me back if I didn't speak the language...My uncle would sit me down with the Harry Potter books, so all my language when I was young was quite precocious because I was learning from these books."

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She added: "I was also very well versed in spells from a very young age." As proof, here she is mixing potions at four years old: 

4. She was "discovered" while walking her dog. 

In The Late Late Show With James Corden, Anya shared that she was a teenager when the head of a modeling agency discovered her. "I was 16 and I wanted to wear my mom's heels because I had a party and I was practicing. So I take my dog for a walk and I see this car and it seems to be following me...so I speed up, pick up the dog and then start running, and then this guy sticks his head out the window and goes, 'If you stop, you won't regret it.' And I stopped." 

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Here's Anya on the November 2015 issue of Elle:

5. Her ~big break~ came with the 2015 horror film The Witch

She played the role of Thomasin, a girl "whose family accuses her of being a witch."

6. Anya *refuses* to watch herself in cinemas!

Why? Because she thinks she's "weird-looking." In an interview, she said: "I have never and I don't think I will ever think of myself as beautiful. I don't think I'm beautiful enough to be in films. It sounds pathetic and my boyfriend warns me people will think I'm an absolute d*** for saying these things, but I just think I'm weird-looking...I won't go to the cinema to watch 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."

7. Speaking of boyfriends...Anya's pretty private about her love life.

Her longest-known public relationship was with Irish actor Eoin Macken. In 2020, Anya was spotted with her rumored boyfriend, photographer Ben Seed

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8. She once talked about "the beauty of being anonymous." 

In 2018, Anya told The Guardian: "There's a beauty in being anonymous, there's a reason why we're actors, we're playing other people so I think the idea of someone being interested in me, I'm quite a private person, is a bit daunting but I try not to think about it."

9. Anya used to be a ballet dancer! 

When asked about her stunts in the film The New Mutants, she told Magzter, "I used to be a ballet dancer, but I had never fought before, and learning to be a fighter was fascinating for me because they wanted me to do as many of my own stunts as I possibly could."

10. Whoa, she went to the same school as British royalty. 

Pop Sugar notes that Anya Taylor-Joy studied at the Hill House preparatory school in London, the same school Prince Charles attended

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