Lesley Manville has admitted she “thought” she would play Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, before being cast as Princess Margaret in the upcoming fifth series.
The actress, 66, was convinced she would play the late matriarch when she… was asked to meet creator Peter Morgan – before the role went to Imelda Staunton.
She explained that at first she wasn’t sure she could become the sovereign’s late sister, as she doesn’t see herself as “glamorous.”
Honest: Lesley Manville has admitted she ‘thought’ she would play Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, before being cast as Princess Margaret (pictured September 2022)
The mother star told The times“When my agent called and said, ‘Can you go to Peter Morgan’s house on Monday?’ – that’s how it happened for me, and I think it happened for Imelda – I never thought of myself as a Margaret. My first thought was the queen, the queen!
‘My agent said, ‘He wants to talk to you about playing Margaret.’ I thought, “Wait a minute. Margaret? I can’t do Margaret.”
‘Cause I saw Margaret so young and glamorous in my head, when Vanessa [Kirby, of series one and two] played her, and glamorous and still quite young, but a little older, when Helena [Bonham Carter, of series three and four] played her.’
Lesley concluded she doesn’t see herself that way, admitting it’s a “self-image problem,” but she was “really elated” to take on the role anyway.
Candid: She explained how she was initially unsure about becoming the monarch’s late sister, as she doesn’t see herself as “glamorous”
With the previous two seasons of The Crown spanning the three decades before the 1990s, the entire team has been recast for this series’ 13-year time frame from 1990 to 2003.
The new series, which focuses heavily on the fallout between Princess Diana and King Charles (then Prince of Wales), will show some lows for the royal family.
Among them are the breakup of Charles and Diana’s marriage, the controversial Panorama interview of the late royal and the infamous ‘tampongate’ telephone conversation between the king and queen consort.
One of the most controversial aspects of the series is how it will tackle Diana’s death, with Netflix taking a closer look at its decision to recreate Princess Diana’s last days, shooting some scenes in Paris, where she died.
The streaming giant was recently forced through the queue to add a disclaimer to the trailer for season five stating that it was a “fictional dramatization… inspired by real events.”
Hilarious: The star said, “When my agent said, “Can you go to Peter Morgan’s house?” – I never thought of myself as a Margaret. I immediately thought of the queen!’ (pictured in 2018)
It followed accusations of insensitivity, amid reports that the show will recreate the Paris chase that resulted in Diana’s death and scenes of young Princes William and Harry following their mother’s coffin in a future season.
Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench, who is close to King Charles and Camilla, has accused the program of being “rough and hurtful.”
Dame Judi, 87, who played Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria, told The Times that the series threatened to damage the monarchy. The Oscar-winning actress blamed it on “crude sensationalism” and blurring of fact and fiction.
Former Prime Minister Sir John Major criticized a scene in which he has a conversation with then Prince Charles about the possibility of the Queen’s resignation as ‘evil nonsense’.
The drama’s previous fourth series was criticized for not doing enough to tell viewers it was fiction.
Talented: The actress, 66, was convinced she would play the late matriarch when asked to meet creator Peter Morgan – before the role went to Imelda Staunton (pictured)
The Crown has been a hit for Netflix since it was first released in 2016, with the main characters regularly rearranged to follow the ages of the royals in their respective timelines.
Earlier this month, a trailer for season five showed the royal family in crisis during the new episodes, detailing the events leading up to Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
The sneak peek shows Elizabeth Debicki whizzing away from paparazzi as she drives at full speed in a tense chase scene.
Another scene from the new season, which will be released on November 9, shows the character floating in a pool in a skimpy swimsuit – battling the crisis of royal protocol and the family scandal for the nation.
The trailer highlights the pressures the royal family faced in the 1990s when the marriage between Prince Charles and Princess Diana broke down, as well as the late monarch (Imelda Staunton) and her response to the Windsor Castle Fire of were treated in 1992.
It will also feature an entire episode about Diana’s controversial sit-down interview with BBC journalist Martin Bashir in 1995, in which she sensationally said ‘there were three of us’ – a reference to Charles and Camilla.
During the first three series of The Crown, the Netflix hit has become known for bending facts to fit the story, and while some artistic license is inevitable, some critics are outraged at the rewrite of history and relationships.
Character: Lesley added: ‘Because in my head I envisioned Margaret as young and glamorous, when Vanessa [Kirby, of series one and two] played her, and glamorous and still quite young’
But in the most controversial series to date, the brand new trailer declares that the “royal family is in a real crisis” as it chronicles the then-divorce of Prince Charles and Diana.
Actress Elizabeth’s voice can be heard explaining that Diana “never had a chance” in the trailer, while shots show the royal lord whizzing down a street while driving a black car at high speed to dodge paparazzi.
The dramatic scene shows an overwhelmed Diana at the wheel, wearing a red puffer jacket as she struggles to maintain control of the wheel.
Oh no! Earlier this month, a trailer for season five showed the royal family in crisis, detailing the events leading up to Princess Diana’s death in 1997 (Elizabeth Debicki pictured)