Why The Queen’s Gambit Cast Seems So Familiar

Watch: "Harry Potter" 18 Years Later: E! News Rewind

"Let's play."

The final quote of Netflix's The Queen's Gambit has sat with us long after we've digested the cast's tour de force performances. As E! readers surely know, The Queen's Gambit follows Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) as she transforms from stoic orphan to cutthroat chess player.

On learning chess for the role, Anya told Seth Meyers, "I had to learn, like, understand chess for myself because I felt that people care about it so much that I couldn't just show up and not understand the theory of it. But the theory and then applying that theory are two very different things."

The drama series is based off Walter Tevis' 1983 novel of the same name.

Anya is unsurprisingly a contender for the Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie award at the 2021 Golden Globes as her performance had us itching to learn chess. Still, the entire cast—which includes Bill Camp, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram and more—pulled out stellar performances.

photosSpring 2021 TV Premiere Dates

We mean, there's a reason the show is up for Best Limited Series or TV Movie at this year's Golden Globes.

When we consumed the Netflix mini-series, we found ourselves laughing, crying and Googling where we've seen these performers before. And, following our Internet search, we can't say we're surprised that The Queen's Gambit is a hit with both critics and fans as the cast is stacked!


We're talking a Harry Potter alum, a Tony-nominated actor, a Yale School of Drama Graduate and the little boy from Love Actually. Furthermore, co-creator Scott Frank had several actors from his hit Western mini-series Godless appear in The Queen's Gambit.

So, if you're like us and curious about where you've seen The Queen's Gambit cast before, scroll through the images below.

Trending Stories1Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan Reveals Her Character's Easter Egg2John Travolta Is Selling the Maine House He Shared With Kelly Preston3Khloe Kardashian Sparks Fresh Engagement Speculation With New Ring PicNetflix/Getty ImagesAnya Taylor-Joy

In The Queen's Gambit, Anya Taylor-Joy played orphan chess prodigy Beth Harmon, who overcame adversity, while wearing fierce fashion, to become the world's greatest chess player. While Anya's performance in Queen's Gambit is breathtaking, this isn't the first time that she's impressed on the screen.

Earlier in 2020, Anya impressed as the titular character in Emma and as Illyana Rasputina/Magik in The New Mutants. You may also recognize Anya from The Witch, Split, Thoroughbreds and more.

We're certainly excited to see what she does next.

Netflix/Getty ImagesBill Camp

As Mr. Shaibel, Bill Camp portrayed Beth Harmon's first chess teacher, a custodian at her home for girls. Stoic, yet understanding, Mr. Shaibel was the only father figure Beth had. Thus, he definitely deserved way more credit, but that's a discussion for another day.

Now, if the actor playing Mr. Shaibel seems familiar to you, that's because you've probably seen him in one of his countless film and TV projects. He's best known for his roles in Lincoln, 12 Years a Slave, Loving, Joker, Molly's Game, Vice, HBO's The Night Of and more.

Oh, and he also earned a Tony nomination for his work in 2016's revival of The Crucible.

Netflix/Getty ImagesHarry Melling

Local chess champion Harry Beltik, played by Harry Melling, became Beth's roommate and friend after she defeated him in her first tournament. Sweet, smart and steadfast, we found ourselves rooting for Harry as he pursued Beth as a lover and a trainer.

This character is the complete opposite of Dudley Dursley, whom Harry played in the Harry Potter movies. Yep, Harry played Daniel Radcliffe's character's brutish bully and cousin.

Other acting credits include The Lost City of Z, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Old Guard and The Devil All the Time.

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