Why The Crown Star Elizabeth Debicki Abstains From News About The Royals

The Netflix series "The Crown" has been a rather controversial show lately. Though the earlier seasons were telling a fictionalized version of the story of the British royals, it was set far in the past — at the beginning of the late Queen Elizabeth II's reign — making it easier to look at it all as a story. As the seasons went on, complete with the recasting of older actors, and we grew ever closer to a time that far more people remember, it's begun to be spoken about in a different way. This is particularly true now after the death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this fall. 

With the fourth season, the series ventured into the territory of the late Princess Diana, the People's Princess, whose life and decisions seemed to cause issues for the traditionalist royals, all the while making them more accessible to everyone else. The upcoming fifth and sixth seasons will cover her troubled marriage to Prince Charles (now the King of England), the affairs they both had, their public admissions to said affairs, their subsequent divorce, and Princess Diana's tragic death in a car accident in a Paris tunnel with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed.

Last season, Diana was played by Emma Corrin. Elizabeth Debicki ("Tenet," "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2") is taking over the role for the upcoming fifth and sixth seasons. People have very strong opinions about Princess Diana and the royal family's treatment of her, but in a recent interview with British Vogue, Debicki says she doesn't really follow news of the royals, and she has a good reason for it. 

'I don't have any big opinions about the royal family'

Debicki tells the publication, "I don't have any big opinions about the Royal Family. That's an advantage here, right?" She was asked if she knows any of them, to which she says, "No," and then, "Maybe I never will now. Prince Harry seems fun." She adds that she doesn't follow the news about them at all and said the Daily Mail makes her "nauseous."

Honestly, it makes sense. Keeping yourself neutral as an actor playing a role that is based on a real-life person is important. The person's motivations (and the production's version of this person) have to be kept as clear as possible, and if there are any people out there who have wild things written about them, it's the British royals

Diana was in the papers all over the world, being ripped apart in one and praised in another on the very same day. Even all these years after her passing in 1997, we're getting musicals about her life, films like "Spencer" starring Kristen Stewart, who disappeared into the role, and so many others. She's been a topic of frequent conversation a quarter of a century later. Not having an opinion about her and the rest of the people being depicted here has to be an asset.

'The consequences came hard and heavy'

Debicky does have sympathy for the royal family, though, explaining, " ... anyone who works on the show has a sense of how extremely difficult it is to be born into that [life]." According to Vogue, Debicki wonders if the show attracts big-name actors because they understand what it's like to deal with this sort of thing. She says:

"The rules are sort of decided for you as well: less is more. Although, of course, Diana broke that rule. She broke the fourth wall, reaped the benefits, but the consequences came hard and heavy."

Whatever the reason, seasons 5 and 6 do have some big names attached. Imelda Staunton will now play the role of Queen Elizabeth, with Jonathan Pryce playing Prince Philip. Lesley Manville will now play Princess Margaret, and Dominic West is taking over the role of Prince Charles, with Olivia Williams playing Camilla Parker Bowles, the new Queen Consort.

"The Crown" will return to Netflix with its fifth season on November 9, 2022.