THE Netflix original series, The Crown—which premiered last week and follows the early years of Queen Elizabeth II—is garnering rave reviews. British screenwriter and producer, Peter Morgan, who is also known for movies like The Queen and Rush, is said to have spent $100 million for producing the first season (along with other backers). The 53-year-old Oscar-nominated screenwriter, who is rumoured to be dating The X-Files star Gillian Anderson, shares with us the thought that went into making the series.
What can we expect from the first season?
Our story in The Crown starts with Elizabeth assuming that she has a long time before her father dies. I think she could quite reasonably have expected maybe 30 years, as a young woman married to a young naval officer, and for them to live somewhat out of the public eye in Malta. That story of the crown landing in her lap, or on her head, way sooner than she ever imagined is essentially the narrative of the first season.
What kind of overview do we get of the kind of person she was?
I think it’s a terrible pressure to be (under)—on the one hand, Elizabeth Windsor, a woman, and on the other hand, to be the Queen. How many times would you have to suppress your own opinions in order to have the opinions demanded of the crown. You lose some sense of yourself.
What made you cast John Lithgow, an American, as Winston Churchill, rather than a British actor?
We have a wonderful casting director, Nina Gold, and in England, there comes a point where every knight of the realm does his Winston Churchill and there’s a little Churchill fatigue on our island. We cast James Cromwell as Prince Philip in The Queen and that was incredibly helpful because it immediately stopped being a caricature and now to have an outsider have his take on someone as iconic (is fresh).
So why start from her wedding?
I wanted to show them getting married because that’s what takes us all the way through—this is not just her reign, but a remarkable marriage, too. This is a couple for whom divorce was simply not an option. Whereas, it was an option for absolutely everybody in the 50s.
— Team Indulge