LOS ANGELES (AP) – For viewers, “The Crown” offers a glimpse into the life and times of a modern royal family, or at least an intriguing play. For the cast, it means a lofty equivalent to gigs work as the Netflix series has been running for decades.
Claire Foy played England’s young Queen Elizabeth II in her first two seasons, with Olivia Colman entering her mid-year charts last season and in 10 new episodes coming out on Sunday. Imelda Staunton took the throne in the final two chapters.
When Diana Spencer entered a pivotal role this season, largely set in the 1980s, it was Emma Corrin in opposite Prince Charles of Josh O’Connor. Corrin’s job is one and done: Elizabeth Debicki takes on in seasons five and six as Princess Diana bound for tragedy, facing a new, unpublished Charles.
Helena Bonham Carter said a role in “The Crown” is like a relay race baton that is destined to be handed over to the role of the second fiery Princess Margaret. The actor was sandwiched between Vanessa Kirby (seasons one and two) and Lesley Manville, who would send Margaret across the finish line.
“I am so sad that it ended, but it’s about time she got played by someone else … She’s just a great gift of the part,” Bonham Carter said in a joint interview with Colman and Tobias Menzies, returning as Prince Philip.
Colman called Staunton’s casting “amazing”, then argued that the newcomer could overshadow her. “It was almost like,” I wish she weren’t pretty, “she said, smiling. That made Bonham Carter predict a battle for the stars after the series ended.
“Rate your Margarets, rate your queen, rate your Philips,” she says, comparing it to popular fashion critics “who wears it best”.
Colman was asked if she had any advice for her successor. Her short answer: “Good luck. The wig is itchy. “
Robert Sterne, casting director of “The Crown”, said the cast was not booked before he started working with series author and writer Peter Morgan.
It’s an open question “whether we have older actors all their lives or are bold actors and we cast them every time,” Sterne said in an interview. Choosing the second option meant a series of challenges and opportunities, for the show and parade of the actors.
“You spend a lot of time looking at the pictures and pictures of people at specific stages in their lives,” he said, “to find the right actors to portray them at a particular stage in their lives. life. He then cites the relay race analogy in citing another key stop.
“You also have to take into account the way the actor has performed it before. Who do you think can take that baton and run with it? “He said, which he describes as re-enacting the role” but hopefully not in a jarring way. “
Every move, especially a major cast change, has been a key element to the popular franchise that is supposed to have cost more than $ 100 million in its first two seasons alone.
Actors, including celebrities, happily accepted their failure. Colman came to “The Crown” after winning the Academy Award and other titles for “The Favorite” in 2018, in which she played the much earlier UK, Queen Anne.
Staunton was nominated for an Oscar for “Vera Drake”; Manville for “Phantom Thread”; Bonham Carter for “The King’s Speech” and “The Wings of the Dove,” and Jonathan Pryce, future Prince Philip, for “The Two Popes”.
John Lithgow, another Oscar nominee and a rare American in a predominantly British cast, played the political leader Winston Churchill for himself and won the Emmy for it.
All of Elizabeth’s key players were able to convey “an ordinary woman placed in extraordinary circumstances,” Sterne said of the queen as described in “The Crown”.
It requires an actor “who can take you with the same thing, and make you feel them and believe in the reality of it.” They are all truly extraordinary at that point, ”he said. Foy won the 2018 Emmy Award for his performance.
There’s also room on the royal family tree for younger, less familiar talents, including Corrin and Erin Doherty, who play the queen’s ferocious daughter, Princess Anne, and have proved one thing. Revelation.
“The actors will have an incredible connection with the character you won’t see coming,” says Sterne. When Doherty auditioned for the role, “she had only such a connection with that character. She watched a lot of videos on YouTube (about Anne) and said, ‘I just love this woman, I just know her, I think she’s cool.’
Doherty performed in auditions and in the film with a “really stellar” performance, says Sterne.
The veteran actor, who won three Emmy Awards for his work on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and a 2018 trophy for “The Crown,” found himself jumping into Corrin’s audition. She was put in the position by famous writer Morgan (“The Queen”, “Frost / Nixon”) to sing “All I Ask of You” by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Sterne ordered a karaoke on the computer and offered to sing along.
“She blushed doing it, and sang it absolutely brilliantly,” Sterne recalls. “It’s incredibly sweet and encapsulates the spirit of Diana we’re looking for …. I thought, ‘Well, this part isn’t going anywhere else now.'”
O’Connor said he enjoys his time on the series, including saying goodbye to a role he knows not to hold – as well as with Shakespeare’s works.
“If you play Hamlet, you know that there are 100 people who played Hamlet before you, 100 people after you,” said O’Connor. “And they’ll all do it the other way around, and that’s fun.”
Lynn Elber can be contacted at email@example.com and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.