Emmys 2017: 'The Crown' Star Claire Foy on Leading Netflix's Biggest Gamble

Screen International, June 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Emmys 2017: 'The Crown' Star Claire Foy on Leading Netflix's Biggest Gamble


As the latest in a line of esteemed actresses to play Queen Elizabeth II, Foy has risen to the challenge of playing HRH as a young woman.

There is something about playing Queen Elizabeth II that brings out the best in thespians.

Helen Mirren won her Oscar in 2007 for depicting the UK’s reigning monarch in Stephen Frears’ The Queen, while Kristin Scott Thomas received rave reviews for her West End portrayal in Peter Morgan’s The Audience (a role also played by Mirren on Broadway).

Now, The Crown star Claire Foy is threatening to sweep the board and become the first UK actress - and only the fourth in history - to win the triple of Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Emmy awards in the same year.

The Crown is Netflix’s first big foray into the realm of period costume drama with its original programming. The streaming giant is thought to have paid $100m for the first season of the show, which is a chronological exploration of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II written by Morgan, and executive produced by Left Bank Pictures’ Andy Harries and Stephen Daldry.

Morgan has become something of a royal chronicler of our age, and the focus of all his creations has always been the actress playing the head of state. That could have been a heavy burden to bear for Foy, but she believes she has it easier than her predecessors.

“I felt that the pressure was probably more intense for Helen and Kristin in the sense that they were playing the Queen at a period of her life when everybody remembers what she was like at that time,” Foy says. “We are showing the Queen at a time when there wasn’t much footage of her, and people didn’t necessarily think of her as a young woman. …

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