PEOPLE – The Emmy nominee opens up to PEOPLE about looking forward to seeing her Queen’s Gambit cast and crew in-person — and her now-rusty chess skills
Anya Taylor-Joy’s star has been on the rise since her breakthrough performance in 2015’s The Witch, but last year’s release of (and acclaim for) Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit has made her a household name.
The Emmy-nominated actress, 25, who was born in Miami and then raised in Argentina and the U.K., has already won both a SAG award and Golden Globe for her performance as Gambit’s orphaned chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, and is looking forward to an in-person Emmys experience.
“I haven’t done an awards show really ever,” Taylor-Joy, who is nominated for outstanding actress in a limited series or a movie, tells PEOPLE in the latest issue. “I’m looking forward to it, but also semi-terrified because my whole awards run this year [until now] has been in front of a computer. Then I mute myself and run around my bedroom and be a psycho, essentially.”
For more on Anya Taylor-Joy and this year’s Emmy portfolio, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.
Taylor-Joy says she’s excited to simply be in one room with her cast and crew.
“The team behind Queen’s Gambit has never been together. We’ve never actually been all in the same room and able to celebrate,” she says. “So Emmy night will be the first time that we’re actually in the same room and [hopefully] get to hug each other.”
“It was such a beautiful group of people that treated each other with such kindness,” Taylor-Joy says of loving the experience making the series. “I’ve never played a character that was that close to me before that I had to give so many of my mannerisms to.”
The actress says she’s stayed in touch with her costars via a lively group text chain in which “so much crazy stuff happens that I cannot possibly keep on top of it.”
“I’m really grateful that my friends keep me on top of it because otherwise I would know nothing. I do not lurk on the internet at all. So I’ll get texts from [co-star and fellow Emmy nominee] Moses Ingram being like, ‘Hey, Drake just name-dropped Beth Harmon [in a song].’ And I’m like, ‘Thank you for telling me that. I appreciate that.’ It’s crazy.”
So how are Taylor-Joy’s chess skills now that she’s been away from the character (and intense chess matches during filming) for awhile?
“Whilst we were filming, I was pretty good. We were playing a lot in between takes,” she admits. “Since then, you just get really good or you attempt to get really good at whatever it is that your job requires of you. I am really looking forward to getting back into chess at some point, because I just feel kind of bad about myself right now. I have not played for a while.”
The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on Sunday, Sept. 19 on CBS.