'The Crown' 's Dominic West Told Producers They Cast 'Wrong Person' as Prince Charles: 'I Didn't Look Like Him'

"It's quite disconcerting as I didn't look anything like him when I looked in the mirror," the actor said

Dominic West; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Dominic West; Prince Charles. Photo: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage

Dominic West's casting as Prince Charles in The Crown came as a surprise — including to him.

The actor, 52, says he had major reservations about taking on the role in Netflix's hit drama about the royal family.

"It's quite disconcerting as I didn't look anything like him when I looked in the mirror," he told the Daily Mail. "I kept telling the producers that they had cast the wrong person."

"But they explained that this was not a show of imitations," he added. "But that was difficult as this is a real person who is hugely famous and recognizable."

To complicate things further, West said that he's met Prince Charles "a couple of times." In fact, West lives just 14 miles from Prince Charles' country home of Highgrove, and West's wife Catherine FitzGerald has a longstanding friendship with Prince Charles given their shared passion for gardening.

But when it comes to being starstruck by the royal heir, West said, "Oh, a little bit. But no, not really. I mean, I'm a huge fan of his, but I was far more drawn to meeting Maggie Smith," who is also in the cast of the new Downton Abbey movie.

West is taking over the role of Prince Charles from Josh O'Connor, who won a Golden Globe for the role in seasons 3 and 4. The new season will explore the dissolution of Princess Diana (played in the new season by Elizabeth Debicki) and Prince Charles' marriage.

Dominic West. Neil Mockford/GC Images

And the show will be a family affair for West. Variety previously broke the news that the actor's real-life son Senan West will play Prince William in the series. The outlet reported that the newcomer will appear in the final episodes of season five after his audition tape "caught the attention of the show's producers."

Though season 5 was initially intended to be the series' curtain call, showrunners changed their minds and assured that the historical drama will continue to rule Netflix queues for a final, sixth season.

"As we started to discuss the storylines for Series 5, it soon became clear that in order to do justice to the richness and complexity of the story we should go back to the original plan and do six seasons," creator Peter Morgan said in July 2020. "To be clear, Series 6 will not bring us any closer to present-day — it will simply enable us to cover the same period in greater detail."

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Seasons 1 through 4 of The Crown are now streaming on Netflix. Season 5 is expected to premiere in November 2022.

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