23 "The Queen's Gambit" Behind-The-Scenes Facts You Probably Didn't Know, But Should

    The book that the series is based on was almost turned into a movie by Heath Ledger.

    🚨Warning: There are MASSIVE spoilers ahead!🚨

    1. First, Anya Taylor-Joy joined The Queen's Gambit so early that a script didn't even exist yet — creator Scott Frank sent her a copy of Walter Tevis's novel of the same name, and she was "sold."

    2. In fact, The Queen's Gambit was almost turned into a movie before this TV show — originally, Heath Ledger was set to make his directorial debut on the project before his death in 2008.

    Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth shaking an opponent's hand at a chess tournament

    3. Anya knew nothing about chess before signing on to play Beth — she said she thinks it helped her "a lot" and allowed her to really dive into the world.

    Beth reading a book while sitting in front of a chess set

    4. Every move during the chess games was choreographed by chess consultants Garry Kasparov and Bruce Pandolfini — they also helped coach all of the actors.

    Beth playing a game of chess

    5. Originally, creator Scott Frank asked Garry Kasparov to play Borgov in The Queen's Gambit, but he turned down the role and became a consultant instead.

    Beth concentrating during a game

    6. Every single chess game shown on screen was played by the actors in those scenes, including the fast-paced speed chess matches.

    Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Benny playing against Beth

    7. In fact, there were even chess matches where the board is never shown on screen, only the actors' faces, but they still played a real game.

    Various shots of chess matches and the actors playing them

    8. Anya was taught all of the moves Beth would make in a chess game minutes before a scene was filmed, so everything was fresh in her mind.

    Beth and a young opponent

    9. Anya, Scott Frank, and makeup and hair designer Daniel Parker actually all independently decided that Beth should be a redhead, and the only way to accomplish all of Beth's hairstyles was by using wigs.

    The making of Beth Harmon with the Queen herself @anyataylorjoy and hair and makeup artists Claudia Stolze and Daniel Parker.

    netflixqueue / Via Twitter: @netflixqueue

    Daniel Parker explained, "Sometimes you were changing into three different looks in one day — there's no way that you can do [that] without wigs. Right at the beginning, I decided that she should be a redhead. I didn't have any doubts about that and then funny enough, both Scott Frank and Anya individually said, 'She's a redhead.'"

    10. Anya filmed The Queen's Gambit, Emma, and Last Night in Soho around the same time, and actually only had "one day off" in between each project.

    11. The character of Benny is loosely based on real-life American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer, who, at 13 years old, won a game that became known as "The Game of the Century."

    Beth and Benny

    12. Anya said her years as a ballet dancer helped her come up with how Beth would physically move the chess pieces — she said, "I just got to learn really nifty, cool choreography with my fingers."

    13. Also, it was very important to Anya that Beth, as a female chess player, physically acted differently than her male counterparts, and that you could see that difference on screen.

    Beth and opponent contemplating their game as a crowd watches

    14. In fact, each actor helped come up with the personal mannerisms for their characters, like Thomas Brodie-Sangster came up with the idea that Benny would constantly play with his ring.

    15. Costume designer Gabriele Binder actually incorporated the "lines of the chessboard" throughout Beth's wardrobe.

    16. Some of the inspiration behind how to film the chess matches in The Queen's Gambit came from watching Ed Zwick's film Pawn Sacrifice — in the movie, the faces of the players are shown more often than the chessboard.

    Beth facing down her opponent

    17. Although a majority of The Queen's Gambit is set in the US, most of the series was filmed in Berlin.

    Beth sitting on a bench while Benny stands next to her

    18. If you didn't know, Marielle Heller, who played Alma, is a well-known director and was behind films like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and What the Constitution Means to Me.

    Alma standing in front of a hotel concierge with Beth standing behind her holding a suitcase

    19. All of the hypothetical chess situations that play out in Beth's head and are seen on screen include real chess moves that could happen — basically, the VFX team also learned chess while doing the effects.

    20. There were a lot of women who worked behind the scenes on the series, including Michelle Tesoro, who single-handedly edited all seven episodes.

    Beth and Benny playing one another at the US Open with several onlookers standing near

    21. Anya is a massive Harry Potter fan and said Harry Melling, who played Harry in The Queen's Gambit and Dudley in the Harry Potter films, "graciously" sat and listened to her freak out over his involvement in the popular films.

    Anya and Harry playing against each other in a kitchen

    22. Each of Beth's lipstick colors were deliberately chosen for each individual scene and helped signify Beth's age as the series progressed — toward the end of the series, Beth's lipstick shade ultimately becomes a nod to Alma.

    23. And finally, Anya cried during "every single take" while filming the final moment of the series when Beth plays chess in the Russian park — she said she was just "so happy" for Beth in that moment.

    Beth saying, "Let's play" in Russian