Magazine article Variety

Annie Sulzberger: ‘We Find So Much Amazing Stuff’

Magazine article Variety

Annie Sulzberger: ‘We Find So Much Amazing Stuff’

Article excerpt

Netflix's "The Crown" deploys a small team to mine 20th century British history. Specialist researcher Annie Sulzberger has been among them since 2013, when Peter Morgan explored extending his play "The Audience" into an episodic series. The daughter of New York Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. studied art history at Brown and worked as a curator before switching to showbiz.

How would you describe your process of collaborating with the writers, directors and cast?

We spend time with Peter discussing everything from the macro to the micro. With the first season, we started with a master timeline covering 10 episodes. Churchill is a significant figure, so we said, "Let's take our time with that." We produced a 75-page document that gave a sense of everything in those years. Peter would say, "This is fascinating - get me more on this." Through that process, we arrived at the details of the election, life inside 10 Downing Street and Churchill's meetings with the queen and Elizabeth's trip to Kenya, where she learns of the death of King George. It's a process of filling in the areas he is interested in. There are a dozen books we read every season that everyone attempts to memorize. We visit the British Museum or watch documentaries and see who is alive who may be interesting to talk to.

How many ideas in the final episodes came from the research team?

We find so much amazing stuff, but the idea is we don't want to get too bogged down. Peter is able to stay slightly distant. …

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