A Very British Scandal's Claire Foy & Paul Bettany Reveal the Hardest Scenes to Film

In an exclusive chat with E! News, A Very British Scandal stars Claire Foy and Paul Bettany discuss their emotionally taxing on-screen divorce. See what they had to say below.

By Alyssa Ray Apr 25, 2022 9:47 PMTags
Watch: Is A Very British Scandal Similar to The Crown?

Divorce is difficult, even when it's pretend.

At least according to Claire Foy and Paul Bettany, who play the Duke and Duchess of Argyll as they go through their explosive divorce in Prime Video and BBC's A Very British Scandal. In an exclusive chat with E! News, the performers revealed that several scenes in the series—which is a follow-up to 2018's A Very English Scandal starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw—were hard to undertake.

"There was lots that was hard to film, actually, because there was quite a lot of navigating the right tone to get," Foy explained. "It's quite difficult when you're filming an entire relationship."

A Very British Scandal unpacks the treatment of 20th-century socialite Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll (Foy)—both in court and in the press—as she's met with accusations of infidelity amid her divorce from Ian Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll (Bettany). 

"Any of the scenes where Margaret was belittled because of her stammer was always really difficult to do," Foy noted. "I found the courtroom scene really hard, because by that point, I was really attached to Paul."

2022 TV Premiere Dates

Bettany felt similarly and revealed that he played his character as if he were playing a game, highlighting how toxic the pair were. "I think he's so gobsmacked that she opts out," he said. "I think he wants the game to continue, he will belittle her, he'll build her back up, and she'll become his plaything again."

BBC/Amazon Studios

Bettany said he felt the divorce "was devastating for" the duke. And despite the messy dynamic the couple had, the actor is convinced that the duke had feelings for the duchess. Whether it was love is still up for debate.

"I think there was a lot of attraction and desire and want of ownership and domination," he shared. "He loved her, but I don't know that he was capable—or what my version was—that he was capable of love."

A Very British Scandal is now available to stream on Prime Video.

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