The Netflix hit ‘The Crown Season 5’ has released new stills featuring Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. The season will be about her death, and Debicki says the show will take a thoughtful and cautious approach to her final days.
The Australian actress is playing Diana on the Netflix show and is currently shooting season 6 which will deal with the 1997 death of the princess in a Paris car accident that also claimed the life of her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and the car’s driver, Henri Paul.
Debicki is taking over the role of Diana from Emma Corrin, who played her on season 4 of The Crown — her version of the princess will be introduced to viewers on Nov. 9 when season 5 of the show launches on Netflix.
Asked by EW about concerns that Diana’s death will not be sensitively handled on the show, Debicki responded, “Well, I don’t really know about those concerns,” but went on to insist that creator Peter Morgan handles all of the show’s story lines in a deeply caring way.
“I’ll say that Peter and the entire crew of this job do their utmost to really handle everything with such sensitivity and truth and complexity, as do actors,” she said.
“The amount of research and care and conversations and dialogue that happen over, from a viewer’s perspective, something probably that you would never ever notice is just immense. From that very first meeting [with] Peter, I knew that I’d entered into this space where this was taken seriously [in] a deeply caring way. So that’s my experience of the show.”
Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles on seasons 5 and 6 of the show, agrees that no one at The Crown is taking the subject of the princess’ death lightly.
“It’s a hell of a season, because it deals with Diana’s death and appalling scenes, like having to break that news to your sons,” the actor explained , referring to Charles and Diana’s children William and Harry.
“I’ve got two boys of that age and so it’s a heavy, heavy responsibility to get it right and something I think we all take pretty seriously.”
The show’s depiction of the tragedy has recently come under scrutiny by the British press.
A story published by The Sun newspaper on Oct. 16, for example, quoted a “set source” who said that “turning Diana’s final days and hours into a drama feels very uncomfortable…The show always tried to present a fictional version of royal history with as much sensitivity as possible.
But lately, as things get closer to the present day, it feels harder to strike that balance.”
In addition to Debicki and West, the new cast of The Crown includes Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, and Jonny Lee Miller as British Prime Minister John Major. Season 5 of The Crown will be the first to premiere since the passing in September of the Queen.