By Corey Atad.

Anya Taylor-Joy wasn’t always the popular kid.

This week, the “Queen’s Gambit” star appeared on Global’s “The Drew Barrymore Show” and talked about how she dealt with bullying in school over her looks.

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“I was very, very lucky with my parents,” she said, “because when I was bullied for my looks, my mom always said, ‘You look at the inside of somebody. You don’t look at class, you don’t look at anything like that, you don’t look at what they do for a job. It’s just, do you like that person’s heart?‘”

Taylor-Joy continued, “And I really have to give a big shout out to my mom for that, because it was really helpful.”

Speaking with ES Magazine way back in 2017, Taylor-Joy opened up about the bullying she faced from other kids in school.

“When I was younger I didn’t really feel like I fit in anywhere,” she said at the time. “I was too English to be Argentine, too Argentine to be English, too American to be anything.”

The actress continued, “The kids just didn’t understand me in any shape or form, and I was really badly bullied. I used to get locked in lockers, you know, barred from classrooms, not invited to things. It wasn’t pleasant.”

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Taylor-Joy added that she spent a lot of time “crying in bathrooms. We’re social creatures and we don’t do well when we’re not accepted, or when we feel like we don’t belong anywhere.”

In an interview with Elle in 2021, the 26-year-old shared how the bullying may have actually pushed her harder to pursue her career.

“It just really pushed me. Much the same way as Beth needed chess, I needed acting,” she said, referring to her “Queen’s Gambit” character. “I needed to believe in a place where I could be valued and appreciated, and actually have something to contribute rather than constantly feeling like, ‘What is wrong with me, and why do I not fit in?’”

Tune-in to “The Drew Barrymore Show” weekdays at 3 p.m. ET/PT on Global.


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Ellen Bullock