‘The Crown’ star insists series will give king’s side of Diana story
LONDON — Dominic West, who plays the now King Charles in the new series of “The Crown”, on Tuesday said he hoped the Netflix hit would give viewers “perspective” on the monarch despite furore over untrue depictions of the family.
“The Wire” star West, 53, plays Charles during a tumultuous period in the then-prince’s life, covering his affair with Camilla — now his wife — and his divorce from Princess Diana.
Before the show’s stars gathered in London for the world premiere of its fifth season, West said he hoped the public would give Charles the “benefit of the doubt” after watching the latest instalment.
But he acknowledged the show would tackle sensitive issues, and “covers a time when he had bad press”.
“It was a divorce and there’s always two sides in a divorce. I suppose viewers heard one or the other,” he told a news conference.
“And hopefully there’s a bit of perspective now and I hope everyone gets a fair hearing.
“I obviously love the guy and… inevitably, you take their side or you give them the benefit of the doubt and I hope that will maybe happen.”
Diana’s bombshell 1995 television interview, emotional turmoil and the divorce are all set to get an airing, along with Charles’ tensions with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who died two months ago.
The next series will deal with the death of Diana in a car crash in Paris in 1997, according to reports.
The strength of criticism over untrue storylines has forced Netflix to defend both itself and screenwriter Peter Morgan.
A disclaimer has been added saying the production is a “fictional dramatization” that is “inspired by real events”.
Oscar-winning actor Judi Dench blasted Netflix for “crude sensationalism” after reports of scenes showing Charles lobbying then prime minister John Major to force the abdication of his mother, played this series by Imelda Staunton.
Major himself called the storyline a “barrel-load of nonsense”.
The former Conservative leader is played by Jonny Lee Miller, who said he had learned a new respect for the Tory politician despite their ideological differences.
“Really what anyone’s trying to do when you’re playing whoever you’re playing is you’re trying to… inhabit someone, you’re trying to sort of fall in love with them,” said the 49-year-old Trainspotting star.
“So there’s always a fascinating journey, and especially with somebody I think has (been) very misunderstood, actually, and who I respect greatly.”