The big newcomer on “The Crown” this season wasn’t new to the show at all.
In an interview with Elle, the show’s casting director Robert Sterne talked about the difficulty of finding the right actors for the real-life characters.
“It’s not only that you’ve got to find actors who can successfully embody real-life, well-known people, but you’ve got to make sure there’s a continuity as it’s passed from the younger to the older version of the actor,” he said. “Who’s done it before, who’s doing it after, and who are the real people?
“It’s nerve-racking because people invest in the original people. You do x hours of screen time with them and fall in love with their interpretation, and then you go again [and re-cast] every two years.”
Sterne then revealed that Emma Corrin, who joined the show for season 4 to play Princess Diana, actually worked on the show behind the scenes before being cast.
He explained that she had originally been brought in during season 3 to be a reader, opposite actresses auditioning to play Camilla Parker-Bowles.
“I usually read in all these meetings, but we decided because it was this major scene that we would get somebody to come in [for Diana],” Sterne said. “We asked Emma to come in, not thinking about casting Diana at this point. But as she was reading with these Camillas, all the directors and the showrunner were looking more at her and not at the people playing Camilla—who will remain nameless, of course. When we got to thinking about Diana a year later, there she was in my notes.”
In seasons 5 and 6, Diana will be played by Elizabeth Debicki.