‘It is clearly fictional… I feel like audiences know that’: Elizabeth Debicki – who will portray Princess Diana in The Crown – wades into row over how Netflix drama depicts royal story lines
- Those who watch The Crown know it’s ‘clearly fiction’ Elizabeth Debicki has said
- The Australian actress, 32, will play Diana, Princess of Wales in the new series
- She defended the programme but added she understands the ‘reaction to it’
- It comes as former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair slammed the show
The Crown’s Elizabeth Debicki has said those watching the Netflix drama know it is ‘clearly fiction’.
The actress, 32, playing Diana, Princess of Wales jumped to the defence of the fifth series following weeks of criticism, including from former prime ministers Sir John Major and Sir Tony Blair as well as veteran actress Dame Judi Dench.
Dench said the show had begun to verge on ‘crude sensationalism’ and called for a disclaimer to be added to each episode. Netflix confirmed earlier this week that no disclaimer would be added despite the mounting outcry.
The Australian actress was asked in an interview with the Guardian whether she felt defensive to the criticism the show had received in recent weeks.
Elizabeth Debicki, who is playing Diana in the upcoming series of The Crown, said those watching the Netflix drama know it is ‘clearly fiction’. Pictured: Debicki playing Princess Diana in the fifth season
She said: ‘I don’t really. I understand what the show is and what it’s trying to do. I also understand the reaction to it.
‘I think this is a period of time that’s been told many times over and will continue to be told, and I know the degree of care and respect people enter into these stories with.’
The lash back from the two former Prime Minister’s, who both served in the 1990s when the latest season of The Crown was set.
Debicki said she understood the ‘reaction to it’ but added she knew ‘the degree of care and respect people enter into these stories with’
The show is expected to show a scene where King Charles, played by Dominic West, cuts a holiday short with Diana to host a secret meeting with Sir John at Highgrove in 1991 where they discuss ousting the Queen.
The former Prime Minister wrote in a letter in The Telegraph ‘will be profoundly hurtful to a family who are still grieving for the very person on whose life the entire drama was founded’.
Debicki stressed that in her mind the show is a television drama – based on real events.
Dame Judi Dench said the show had begun to verge on ‘crude sensationalism’ and called for a disclaimer to be added to each episode. Netflix confirmed earlier this week that no disclaimer would be added despite the mounting outcry
She said: ‘I mean, it is clearly fictional. I feel like audiences know that, because there are actors playing parts.
‘I never watched The Crown and thought, ‘this is a documentary’ or ‘this is obviously true.’
Another scene expected to be shown in the new season reportedly shows King Charles trying to recruit Sir Blair as an ally to protect his future and pave a way for him to marry Camilla, shortly after he was elected.
The former Labour Prime minister said: ‘It should come as no surprise that this is complete and utter rubbish.’
Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair hit out the show claiming some of the depictions were ‘complete and utter rubbish’
For the upcoming fifth and the final sixth series, Debicki is taking over the role of Diana, who Emma Corrin portrayed in series four.
The fifth series will document the events leading up to Diana’s death, but the tragic crash will not be revealed until season six.
It will, however, dramatise sensitive scenes including Diana’s divorce from Charles and the infamous Panorama interview with former BBC journalist Martin Bashir.
Debicki said that despite the sensitivity of the role and knowing it would bring intense scrutiny on her, she was never reluctant on joining the show.
She said: ‘I went off instinct and I didn’t overthink it. I’ve watched this show and loved it for years.
‘I knew I was stepping into working with people who were extremely intelligent and very sensitive about how they went about creating the script and making decisions.
‘So, I never felt like I’d jumped on unstable ground.’
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