Every Fresh Face From Netflix’s Queen’s Gambit Cast

The Queen's Gambit isn't your typical series about a chess prodigy. The Netflix show opens in 1967 with main character Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) scrambling from her presumed one-night stand and popping a green pill for... a chess match. Yes, you read that right.

Adapted from the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis, The Queen's Gambit focuses on Beth, an orphan from Kentucky who accidentally discovers at a young age she's a chess prodigy. As she gets older and fine-tunes her skills, she's hungry for wins — and for the tranquilizers she became addicted to during her time in the orphanage. The series, much like the book, explores themes of hunger for success, feminism, and loneliness as Beth makes friends, gains new family members, and meets rivals over the course of her chess career.


The cast boasts some unexpected and familiar faces, including Taylor-Joy, from Autumn de Wilde's recent Emma adaptation, to some newer names we'll surely all be familiar sooner than later, such as Moses Ingram.

Click through to see who is in The Queen's Gambit before you call checkmate.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Anya Taylor-Joy Plays Beth Harmon

Who is Beth?
Beth is an orphan who, while at an orphanage, discovers at nine years old she's a chess prodigy. As her chess career grows, Beth is hungry for success — and nothing will stop her.

Where You've Seen Taylor-Joy Before
Taylor-Joy recently starred in Autumn de Wilde's adaptation of Emma. She's also appeared in Thoroughbreds, Split, Glass, and Peaky Blinders.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Isla Johnston Plays Young Beth

Who is Young Beth?
In the series, we meet Beth as she's orphaned and grows accustomed to living at an orphanage — where she develops an addiction to the tranquilizers handed out to all the girls as she learns about chess.

Where You've Seen Johnston Before
This is one of her first few roles, but she did pop up in Doctors.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Bill Camp Plays Mr. Shaibel

Who is Mr. Shaibel?
Mr. Shaibel is a janitor at the orphanage who plays chess by himself in the basement. Beth finally convinces him to let her play and he introduces her to the game — quickly discovering she's a prodigy.

Where You've Seen Camp Before
Camp has been in a number of movies over his long career, including Joker, Lincoln, 12 Years A Slave, and the series Damages.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Moses Ingram Plays Jolene

Who is Jolene?
Jolene is a fellow resident at the orphanage and befriends Beth early on in her stay. She shows Beth the ropes — including tips about stashing away tranquilizers.

Where You've Seen Ingram Before

Jolene is Ingram's most recognizable role to date, but she will play Lady Macbeth in Joel Coen's upcoming Macbeth.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Marielle Heller Plays Alma Wheatley

Who is Alma?
Alma is a lonely housewife who adopts Beth with her husband. While her husband is constantly away, Alma turns to Beth for companionship. Like Beth, she's hooked on tranquilizers — but she has a prescription.

Where You've Seen Heller Before
Heller is mostly known for her work on the other side of the camera, directing Oscar nominees Can You Ever Forgive Me? and A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Thomas Brodie-Sangster Plays Benny Watts

Who is Benny?
Benny is a young chess prodigy like Beth who quickly becomes one of her biggest competitors — and best allies.

Where You've Seen Brodie-Sangster Before
Brodie-Sangster is best known for his role in Love, Actually and has since appeared in Nanny McPhee and Game of Thrones.
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Harry Melling Plays Harry Beltik

Who is Harry?
Harry is one of the best chess players in Kentucky — and, of course, Beth's biggest rival. While he's aloof and competitive when we first meet him, he is in awe of Beth's skills.

Where You've Seen Melling Before
Melling is best known for playing Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, but also recently appeared in The Old Guard and Netflix's The Devil All The Time.
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