The Crown Star Emma Corrin on Overcoming 'Huge Amount of Pressure' to Portray Princess Diana
"I know that's strange and cheesy, but I feel like I know her," said Emma Corrin of the iconic Princess Diana
Corrin explained that "there's a huge amount of pressure" that comes with the iconic territory. "Everyone has this ownership," she said of fans' connections to Diana, who was mother to Prince William and Prince Harry. "[Expectations have been] overwhelming since the beginning."
Corrin, who said she wants to make Diana "proud," added, "I know that's strange and cheesy, but I feel like I know her."
The actress also opened up about capturing the complexities involved with Diana's private battle with bulimia nervosa, the binge-and-purge eating disorder that afflicts millions of women. "Drawing on my experience, not that I've experienced that kind of self-harm, but mental health in general, it can lead you down a very dark path when you're struggling to cope, when things feel out of control," said Corrin.
"Diana very much doesn't have the love and comfort and attention she needs from the man she loves or the family, who aren't really acting as a family to her," said Corrin. "There is a build-up of emotion she can't deal with, and making herself sick is a way of taking back control."
The star said she learned more about Diana from her former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, with Corrin explaining she "got a sense of [Diana's] joy from him."
"He said she was so naturally happy. When she joined the royal family, she had come from living with flatmates in Earls Court and she was a very normal girl," said Corrin. "Patrick said she was still full of that girlish silliness, very down to earth."
A Netflix trailer released in August gave fans a glimpse of Corrin wearing a replica of Diana's memorable wedding gown as she prepared to marry Prince Charles in the 1981 royal wedding – a scene that made everyone go “completely silent” on The Crown set, Corrin recently told the October edition of British Vogue.
“We were filming the scene when you first see her in the wedding dress — I think it was Lancaster House in London — and I had a team of about 10 people helping me put it on, because it’s massive,” she continued. “I walked out and everyone went completely silent. More than anything else I wear in the series, it’s so … It’s her.”
Olivia Colman returns as Queen Elizabeth II in season four of The Crown (Claire Foy originated the role in the first two seasons), and she is set to be replaced by Imelda Staunton for the final two seasons. It has also been announced that Jonathan Pryce will play Prince Philip (played by Matt Smith then Tobias Menzies) for the final seasons.
The final actress to step into Diana’s royal shoes on The Crown will be Tenet actress Elizabeth Debicki.
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.