Emma Corrin On Learning to Play Princess Diana for ‘The Crown’

How actor Emma Corrin transformed into Princess Diana for the new season of The Crown.

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Emma Corrin speaks on how she prepped to play Princess Diana in <i>The Crown.</i>
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Actor Emma Corrin’s world exploded when the first teaser of the new season of The Crown featuring her as Princess Diana dropped on the internet. “It was mental and the world just went crazy. The world exploded. My phone went absolutely haywire. It was mad,” is how Corrin describes her experience to Bazaar.com. And this was the reaction to a teaser which was made up of just back shots of the actor, it had not revealed her face yet.

Now, as the latest season has released on Netflix, Corrin spoke about how she prepped to step into Princess Diana’s shoes. Speaking to Vogue, Corrin says that she only saw one documentary titled Diana In Her Own Words to study the princess for her role. The actor also emphasises that even though she was coached about Princess Diana’s voice, body language and background, it was the costumes that eventually put it all into place.

Emma Corrin plays Princess Diana in <i>The Crown.</i>
Emma Corrin plays Princess Diana in The Crown.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)
According to a report in Vulture, the references to the princess’s bulimia in the scripts also helped Corrin conceive of Diana.

“If you’re trying to understand the psychology of a character and they’re going through that, it’s hugely essential to their experience,” is what the actor says while also emphasising that she didn’t want to make it a tangential part of her life but use it as something that shaped her every day. Corrin also spoke about how she used her hands to transform into Diana, “I did something with my hands in a lot of scenes. You use your hand to make yourself sick, and her fingers on her right hand have become a source of anxiety for her. She will rub them together when she’s anxious, when she’s cross, when she’s emotional.”

Corrin also put in a lot of thought into how Diana used her hair as “both a shield and a veil”. “It’s something that gave her some distance from the world. It’s a protective thing. It’s, Look at me; don’t look at me,” says Corrin.

Cate Hall, The Crown’s hair and make-up designer says that Corrin was in the chair for hours and hours to get Diana’s fringe just right.

“Placing and replacing tiny bits of hair because there is a break in that fringe, deciding if it should go this way or that. That detail kind of seems insane, but once you get there, it’s like, Aha!” says Hall describing the process.

What’s also interesting is that Corrin had to think of an animal to associate with Diana while being coached to play her role. Though initially the actor thought of the princess as a deer caught in headlights, she went on to associate her with a cat. Talking about her experience, Corrin says she had a lot of cats in her neighbourhood and through her observations she noticed that, “Cats do this thing with their faces where they’re so still, but they have this almost magnetic connection to anything they’re observing. They have this amazing way of drawing you in but never giving too much away. Diana had that complete effect on people.”

Emma also says that she loved meeting the younger Diana through her role. “This is the Diana no one knows about, we all know what she was like when she was older, there is so much, too much footage of her. So, I really was charmed by getting to know the younger Diana,” comments Corrin while speaking to Variety.

(Sources: Bazaar.com, Vogue, Vulture, Variety)

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