Elizabeth Debicki covers the latest issue of Radio Times, a British publication which is sort of like TV Guide here in America. This cover actually made me realize that with all of the anger, angst and hysteria about The Crown – coming from King Charles and the British media – no one is saying “AND Elizabeth Debicki does a bad job!” There’s very little focus on Debicki’s actual portrayal as Princess Diana, and the larger Diana storyline. Is that because Peter Morgan actually does Diana’s broad strokes right? That Diana was, for years, in burn-it-to-the-ground mode? Do those royalist critics not want to dissect the many ways in which The Crown shows Diana’s sadness, devastation and her survival instinct? Debicki has heard all of the criticism of the show, though, and she hopes that people will give it a chance:
Some critics – including former prime minister John Major, who is played in the show by Jonny Lee Miller – have argued The Crown does not make it clear enough that the show is intended as a work of fiction, with a disclaimer highlighting this fact having recently been added to the season five trailer. Speaking to Radio Times, Elizabeth said she hopes that people can “maybe stop talking about it and move on” now this disclaimer has been added.
“I respect people’s points of view and I, being an actor in the show, understand the nature of what the show is,” she explained. “It was always very clear to me that one can never know what happens behind closed doors, and that a writer is interpreting what may have happened.”
Elizabeth continued: “It’s a tricky thing to speak about because I would like people to watch it and make up their own minds. There’s a huge amount of room for interpretation, and that’s the value and beauty of The Crown as well, that you receive a different message depending on who you are. That’s good drama to me.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Elizabeth also spoke about the “enormous pressure” of playing a real-life figure as iconic as Diana.
“I was thinking I was completely mad for trying to do this,” she recalled. “My sister would find me staring at the sink full of dishes and would go, ‘Oh, my God, what’s wrong?’ and I’d say, ‘I can’t do it. I don’t know how to do it’. It feels insurmountable until the scripts get delivered to you and the entire process begins.”
[From Yahoo UK]
It’s hysterically funny to me that The Crown’s actors are being sent out to (basically) explain how historical dramatization works. The royalist critics speak as if no one has ever made a historical drama before The Crown, as if all of the TV shows and movies about kings and queens were somehow legitimate artifacts of the historical record, but suddenly The Crown is doing something no one has ever done. “What do you mean the screenwriter is imagining the conversations happening behind closed doors? MADNESS, I tell you!” The British media has absolutely left the impression through The Crown mess, the Sussex mess and the larger Windsor mess that everyone in and around the British monarchy is mind-numbingly stupid.
Photos courtesy of Netflix.
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