, the Australian actress who portrays Princess Diana in The Crown, provided poignant insights into the emotional toll of recreating the late royal's last moments in the final season. As the highly anticipated season is released in two parts, the first half debuting on Thursday, November 16, fans are eager to witness the portrayal of Diana's tragic death in 1997.
Debicki, known for her roles in Tenet and other acclaimed productions, shared her experiences portraying Diana during the tumultuous period leading up to the fatal car crash in a Paris tunnel. The interview sheds light on the challenges faced by the actor in recreating the intense paparazzi presence that haunted the Princess during her final days.
The actor revealed, "It was difficult to recreate. It was heavy and very manic, and incredibly invasive. And it had a kind of pressure to it." Debicki highlighted the unsettling nature of simulating the relentless pursuit by paparazzi, describing it as an "animalistic response" to being surrounded by actors playing the press. She emphasized that even though it was a performance, the pressure and intensity were almost unbearable, making her realize the emotional strain Diana must have endured during those moments.
Reflecting on the experience, Debicki expressed empathy, stating, "No one should ever [have] to experience" navigating through Paris with such a level of swarming attention. Despite the actors portraying the paparazzi, the atmosphere created a genuine sense of pressure for the Tenet star. "It's an unpleasant experience," she continued. "There are times where, as an actor, it's like you're doing a stunt, or you're jumping off a building, or you jump into the water... you experience something very physical, and there's not a huge amount of acting that takes place."
Debicki acknowledged that letting these moments unfold authentically was crucial to conveying the harrowing reality of Diana's final days. The actor's commitment to the role extended to embracing the discomfort of the scenes, as they played a vital role in telling Diana's tragic story.
The interview also touched upon lighter moments during the filming process. Debicki shared her excitement about shooting holiday scenes for the sixth season, singling out filming on a yacht as one of her favourite experiences. Describing the experience as "enormous and kind of outrageous," she expressed gratitude for the opportunity to shoot in such a luxurious setting, especially considering the return to grey weather after the shoot.
Addressing recent controversy surrounding a scene depicting Diana as a ghost in the final season, series creator Peter Morgan clarified, "I never imagined it as Diana's 'ghost' in the traditional sense." Morgan emphasized that the scene is intended to portray Diana continuing to live vividly in the minds of those she left behind, adding depth to the storytelling.
As The Crown's final season unfolds, viewers can expect a gripping portrayal of Princess Diana's last days, brought to life through Elizabeth Debicki's compelling performance and the creative vision of the series' creators.
Image credit: BNN
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