Everyone Has Fallen For Benny, The Leather Jacket Clad King of Netflix’s Hit ‘Queen’s Gambit’

Who knew a show about chess would spawn so many hotties?

The Queen's Gambit Benny

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix miniseries that dropped to initially subdued fanfare earlier this month, has become one of the significant cultural properties of the year.

Slowly, ever so slowly, it’s been gathering steam, heralded by critics as a masterpiece and adored by viewers of all tastes. A lot of credit for the acclaim has to go to the plot, which is zippy and dark — an orphan chess prodigy named Beth Harmon must navigate her addictions and the competitive world of chess to become a star.

But it also comes down to the cast, all of whom do an extraordinary job drawing a great deal of tension and vigor from scenes mostly spent sitting around each other on a chess board.

The star of Queen’s Gambit is Anya Taylor-Joy, who you will know from eerie horror film The Witch — she pulls off Beth’s frosty self-destruction with a considerable amount of grace, throwing herself entirely into a role some other actors might have considered too ugly.

And then peppered, around the side of the frame are some of the most entertaining character actors working today.

Who Plays Harry Beltik And Benny Watts in Queen’s Gambit?

Two of the stand-out characters of Queen’s Gambit are Harry and Benny, competitors of Beth’s and chess geniuses in their own right.

Harry, who becomes Beth’s Kentuckyian ally, is played by Harry Melling. You might not recognise him as the actor who played Dudley in the Harry Potter films — Melling has changed a lot since then, shifting from child actor to strange, haunted thespian.

Just a few years ago, he stole the show in The Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and earlier this year, he played the tech bro villain in The Old Guard. He turns in one of the most assured performances in The Queen’s Gambit, swapping from haunted genius to irritable child at the flip of a switch.

Then there’s Benny Watts, who is performed with aplomb by Thomas Brodie-Sangster. As it happens, Brodie-Sangster is a child actor too — you might recognise him from his role in perpetual Christmas curse, Love Actually. No, seriously.

To call Benny, who is a quasi-love interest for Beth, a colourful character might even be an understatement — he is a leather jacket-clad, charismatic king, full of oblique jokes and strange twists of language.

Unsurprisingly then, old mate Benny has become one of the breakout characters of the show, inspiring fancams and amassing stans. I mean, just look:

If you are yet to watch Queen’s Gambit, hopefully this is the leather jacket-wearing inspiration that you have been waiting for.