Why They Changed Beth Harmon's Hair to Red in Netflix's "The Queen's Gambit"

Her character's originally supposed to have brown hair in the book.
by Nicole Arcano for Preview.ph   |  Nov 8, 2020
Image: Courtesy of Netflix Art: Hannah Villafuerte
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The Queen's Gambit on Netflix is catching the world's attention for many things. There's the unique story itself, the incredible '60s fashion, and the genius portrayal of Beth Harmon by Anya Taylor-Joy.

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But here's another thing we couldn't help but notice in the series: Beth's striking red hair. It has become her character's iconic look. And turns out, it was no accident—the show's creators wanted us to notice it. Beth's hair color was only one of the many incredible details they chose to bring her character to life, and there's a special reason behind it!

PHOTO BY The Queens Gambit/Netflix
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In the original The Queen's Gambit novel, Beth was described to have brown hair. But after reading the book herself, the series' lead actress envisioned her character for the Netflix adaptation a little differently. "The first thing I said to Scott [Frank] (the series' director) was she needs to have red hair," Anya said in an interview with Rotten Tomatoes. "That was just imperative to me because I wanted her to stick out like a sore thumb wherever she went."

And if you've watched the series, you'd know how this just makes perfect sense for the glamorous prodigy, who existed (and flourished) in the male-dominated world of chess.

PHOTO BY The Queens Gambit/Netflix
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Coincidentally, the show's hair and makeup designer Daniel Parker was on the exact same page. He told Pop Sugar, "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 and Anya individually said [the shame thing], so all three of us actually decided that she was a redhead quite independently."

PHOTO BY The Queens Gambit/Netflix
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Daniel also shared that all of Beth Harmon's hair looks were achieved with wigs, and Anya rotated among four to accommodate all the changes they had to do in a day. It also made things easier, since Anya has long blonde hair naturally. "Sometimes you were changing into three different looks in one day—there's no way that you can do [that] without wigs,"he says.

Unlike Beth Harmon, Anya Taylor-Joy has long blonde hair naturally.
PHOTO BY Instagram/anyataylorjoy
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As if we weren't already head over heels for Beth's style in the show, we're somehow even more in love with her impeccably styled locks now.

This story originally appeared on Preview.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.

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