For any young actor, it’s always interesting to take on a character that has so many complexities and layers and divides people so thoroughly. That’s how British actor Emma Corrin summarises, arguably, the role of her career – where she plays Princess Diana in the fourth season of the award-winning Netflix show, The Crown. The 24-year-old actor reveals that while she’s always been drawn to Diana, preparation for the show led her to do endless research into the late Princess’s life – from personally meeting with Diana’s private secretary, Patrick Jephson, to tuning into Diana: In Her Own Words a couple hundred times.
In the forthcoming series, Corrin will put her research to the test as she chronicles Diana’s life from the age of 16 – when she first meets Prince Charles during a grouse shoot at her childhood home of Althorp – through to her late 20s, when her marriage begins to collapse in the public eye. In an exclusive chat with Grazia, Corrin opens up about the audition that changed her life.
GRAZIA: What was your reaction like when you received an invitation from The Crown’s casting directors?
EMMA CORRIN: The audition process was quite unorthodox. I was initially invited to read for Diana in chemistry sessions for Camilla Parker Bowles (for season three of the show), and one day, director Benjamin Caron and producer Suzanne Mackie teased the decision a little with a cheeky back and forth. I went into with no expectation, but I was prepared. I did my research and had her voice down pat, because my agent thought it would leave a lasting impression. After the read through, Ben said, ‘Will you be our Diana?’ It was intense, Josh (O’Connor, who plays Prince Charles) was in the room, which was incredible. I’d say he has a better memory of it than I do because my brain stopped functioning.
G: In stepping into the shoes of the late Lady Di, what did you re-learn about the woman behind the icon?
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