How do you cast a believable version of the British royal family for one of Netflix’s most popular and critically acclaimed dramas? That’s exactly the challenge that The Crown’s casting director Nina Gold has been tasked with ahead of the show’s third season, which requires an entirely new line-up as the story marches on into the 1970s and beyond.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Gold (who has already cast Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II and reportedly eyed Helena Bonham Carter for the part of her younger, more rebellious sister Princess Margaret) revealed exactly what she looks for when searching for actors to take on these royal roles, dropping some vague hints as to what we can expect from The Crown’s younger generation of royals and royal-adjacents – Charles, Anne, Camilla and Diana – going forward.
‘We’re unlikely to cast a major movie star,’ she said of the newly grown-up characters, explaining that she and show creator Peter Morgan are instead on the look out for ‘new or new-ish talent.’
‘When we cast Claire and Vanessa, they had done loads of really good work, but they weren’t very well known to this kind of worldwide audience – which was great, because they totally owned the characters without too much baggage,’ she said, adding that ‘Charles, Camilla and Anne are going to be pretty interesting characters to follow, because they are just coming into their own. We’ve cast a pretty wide net for these new young characters.’
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...
Prince Philip actually only became a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957, when it was announced that he'd be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Charles in particular has proved a difficult prospect, as the chosen actor will potentially have to play the Prince of Wales across a larger time span than usual. ‘I think we’re going from 1964 when we start… and then we have to get him to about 16 to the late twenties. There are a lot of changes in any young man’s life at that spread of ages,’ Gold revealed.
One thing that Gold does confirm is that – contrary to rumours circulating around the production – a young Lady Diana Spencer will not be featuring in season three: we’ll have to wait until round four for that particular debut. When it comes to searching The Crown’s own People’s Princess, ‘that is going to be pretty interesting,’ according to Gold, who said that she will always be looking for actors who can exemplify the ‘class distinctions’ of the era in a way that feels natural and ‘authentic coming from them.’
‘There are so many tiny, tangible signifiers of class and status that we don’t even realise,’ she told Vanity Fair, adding that ‘we need actors who can speak that way and embrace it.