Seasons change, and so do the cast members of The Crown. After Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin made a splash as the troubled couple of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, the Netflix series is introducing their older counterparts. The fifth season will debut on November 9, 2022, including Dominic West as the future king and Elizabeth Debicki as his newly-minted ex.
According to showrunner Peter Morgan, the “uniquely magnificent” Debicki was his top choice for this era of Diana’s life: “It was a list of one. Had she said no, I might have had to reconceive the entire show,” he tells Entertainment Weekly.
And this casting has been in the works for many years now, ever since the actor auditioned for a “little cameo part” in the second season. “I definitely wanted to do something on The Crown because my dear friend Vanessa Kirby was playing Princess Margaret and I was just obsessed with the show. I was one of those people who binged it,” Debicki tells the outlet.
Instead of landing the cameo, she was told then and there that she was in the running for Diana. She recalls, “This was so many years ago that I sort of put it on the shelf. I didn’t put any eggs in the basket—well, maybe there was one egg in the basket. Then, years later, it came back around. When Peter actually asked me, I didn’t have to give it much thought.”
“When it became known that I had the part, I received these text messages saying congratulations, [but] there was also a huge amount of text messages about the Revenge Dress. ‘Do you get to wear the Revenge Dress?’ ‘Oh my God, you get to wear the Revenge Dress!’” Debicki dishes. She was “fascinated” by the reaction, and says wearing it was “very significant and quite powerful.”
Moreover, she feels “so fortunate to have this huge time span of years in which to play the character. It’s my hope that people feel that there’s an enormous evolution in her as the season progresses. For me, it’s a journey into a human finding a part of themselves that is profoundly strong—there’s a piece that has survived so much and can flourish.” It’s a journey that’s a long time coming for The Crown fans and Debicki alike.