The Crown’s Emma Corrin Explains Why She Was “Quite Scared” to Play Princess Diana

Emma Corrin portrays Princess Diana in season four of The Crown. She opened up about transforming into the icon—and whether she thinks Prince Harry and Prince William will watch.

By Noelia Murphy, Jonathan Borge Nov 14, 2020 5:00 PMTags
Watch: "The Crown": Emma Corrin & Josh O'Connor Talk Role Challenges

It truly is the role of a lifetime.

Come Sunday, Nov. 15, the world will see English newcomer Emma Corrin take on the role of Princess Diana in season four of The Crown. No pressure, right? From the looks of several teasers and a photograph of Corrin in a replica of Diana's iconic wedding dress, the actress does a fantastic job of embodying Prince William and Prince Harry's late mother.

But stepping into the role was no easy feat for Corrin, who recently opened up about the gig in an exclusive interview with E! News. 

"Initially I was very daunted, very much listened to the noise, heard all the voices, and got quickly frustrated and quite scared about it and thought, ‘This isn't actually giving me anything to work with." she said. "So then I very much had to put blinkers on and just do my own thing."

Corrin said that her nerves settled once she read the script and realized she had the freedom to play around with the characterization.

"I realized this is a character that I'm playing. This is The Crown's version of Diana. I can bring a lot of what I want to do with this part. Everything that resonates with me. That really changed it for me. It doesn't remove the pressure and the responsibility that I feel, but it made it more manageable to do the role."

The Crown Season 4 Premiere From Home

Corrin did in fact bring ideas to the table. During an interview with Radio Times, according to People, she revealed that she insisted Diana's battle with bulimia wasn't glossed over.

Corrin said, "We'd been working on her body language, and we put together a document that we sent to the script team and said: 'Can you include some of this in the writing because we'd love to really flesh out those scenes?'" 

"I felt that if we were trying to depict bulimia in an honest way, we had to actually show it—otherwise it's a disservice to anyone who has been through that," she said. "I don't think we should shy away from those conversations; Diana was very candid about her experience with bulimia, and I so admire that." 

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images; Netflix

The story of Diana is a dark one, which is why Corrin is especially sensitive about the idea of the royal family tuning in. When asked if she considered what Prince William and Prince Harry would think should they watch, she was quite empathetic.

"I try not to think about it because I think it's kind of a slippery slope," she told E!. "I don't know whether they will or they won't watch it. I hope that if they do they enjoy it and appreciate our performances as exactly that—as performances, as interpretations of people who are in the public eye. But I hope that they also don't watch it if they don't want to because understandably it's hard."

A class act—just like Diana.

Season four of The Crown hits Netflix on Nov. 15.