Best Limited Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
BEST LIMITED SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
“THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT” (NETFLIX)
WILLIAM HORBERG: I want to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press. A big respect to my fellow nominees. I loved all of your limited series this year. To my partner, Allan Scott, who got the rights to the Walter Tevis book three years before Andres De La Torre was born. A big thanks to our partners at Netflix: Ted Sarandos, Cindy Holland, Peter, Blair, Laura, Mike, Jonathan, and to our Berlin film family, especially X Film, Marcus Loges, Lilly Haunus, Gabriele Binder. To our grandmasters: Mitt, Steven, Michelle, Carlos, Aldrich, Sharon, Monjia, Wiley, Susan. A couple of promising up‑and-comers who helped us: Bruce Pandolfini and Garry Kasparov. Thanks to Ellen Lewis for giving us the best ensemble of actors I’ve ever worked with: Marielle, Bill, Moses, Thomas, Harry, Marcin, young Isla. Anya Taylor‑Joy, my heart ‑‑ how can someone be such an absolute joy to work with and literally be named hyphen Joy. And to my old friend, my partner in crime Scott Frank, you are the only one I know who could bring the sexy back to chess. In a dark year, you somehow managed to refurbish the whole world’s tranquility while successfully leaving your own neuroses completely untouched. To Elsa, Muro, Natalie, Diego, thanks for putting up to me, playing my own version of upside down chess on the ceiling. Dan, to my mom, I’m so grateful that you are still here with us to enjoy this moment. Love you. Thanks, everybody. Thank you very much.
QUESTION: Hello. Congratulations. How you doing tonight?
WILLIAM HORBERG: I’m great. Thank you very much.
QUESTION: That’s good. So you produced a film where we got to see a woman from a young age dominate a male-dominated sport. How proud are you to be able to see her award-winning, literally, performance?
WILLIAM HORBERG: She was amazing from the day we met her to the day we wrapped. She just came in and elevated the whole project. I think her dancer background, somehow she was able to dance her fingers around those chess pieces. She was able to grow up on screen from a 14-year-old to a 20-something. She was able to just be the emotional heart.
What a complicated character to play, so many contradictions. She’s kind of a killer, but she’s a nerd, and she’s lonely and she’s brilliant, but kind of naive in certain areas of life.
You know, we talked about it, like she never got the memo that said a woman couldn’t do any of this. And at that time, that made her really unusual, you know. She just said, hey, this is what I’m good at and this is what I’m going to do, and let the chips fall where they may.
QUESTION: When you were doing “The Queen’s Gambit,” when you were filming it, did you expect the response that you got? Because it is extremely popular all over the world.
WILLIAM HORBERG: Not in our wildest dreams did we think the show would become the most-watched show in limited series in Netflix history. We spent 20-plus years trying to get this made, and all along the way we had been told it is just not commercial enough, you know, a story about an orphaned girl and a chess tournament. So we faced a lot of rejection over the years. So it was sweet, you know, to have made something that we were really proud of.
We had a lot of support from Netflix, but I don’t think even Netflix thought when the show came out that it was going to suddenly become this cultural phenomenon and to drive chess set sales all around the world and chess club memberships and fashion. Hotel rooms are being designed based on some of our sets. So, you know, you never know when something’s going to hit the zeitgeist and really touch a nerve the way this show has.
QUESTION: I know you won two Golden Globes on top of that.
Thank you so much, William. This is the last question, and have a great night. Bye-bye.