By: Alexandra Pollard
Losing out on a Bafta for the second year in a row was, Claire Foy insists, one of the best moments of her career. She was up for best actress for her role as Elizabeth II in The Crown, and was widely expected to win – but the moment came, and it went to Happy Valley’s Sarah Lancashire instead. “Can I just say,” said Lancashire from the podium, “Claire Foy, you have given me the best 10 hours under a duvet that I’ve ever had.” For Foy, it was better than winning.
“That was, I’m telling you, one of the most ridiculous moments of my life,” she says, beaming. “I mean, I love her. I grew up watching her.” Foy is sitting opposite me, wearing a comfy-looking jumpsuit and scuffed Converse, her hair – now she no longer needs to adopt the Queen’s bouffant do – newly cropped short. “There’s nothing as amazing as a fellow actor saying you’re good.”
We meet a couple of days before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce their engagement, a relationship Foy has expressed approval of in the past (“I must speak for actresses,” she said, “We’re not a bad bunch. We’re all right”). She’d had nearly a decade of television roles – she first appeared on screen as a werewolf’s ex-fiancee in Being Human, then later starred in BBC dramas The Night Watch and Wolf Hall – but it was not until The Crown that, she says, people’s perception of her changed. The lavish Netflix series had an unprecedented £100m budget, but the show’s heart and soul was Foy’s compelling, devastating restraint as the young monarch. It is no easy task to play a woman whose main personality traits are, by necessity, detachment and composure, but with just the downward crease of a smile or the flicker of her enormous eyes, Foy hinted at the tumult rippling beneath the Queen’s steady surface.
There has been speculation over whether the royal family have seen The Crown – Foy finds it easier to imagine that they haven’t – but if they do gather round Netflix for season two, it might make for awkward viewing. Beginning in 1956, with the Suez crisis escalating and the British public starting to question the monarchy’s relevance, the season (which is Foy’s last; Olivia Colman will take up the mantle for the Queen’s later years) explores the parts of the royal story we are unlikely to see on a commemorative plate any time soon. We learn of the Nazi affiliations of Edward VIII, the sexual proclivities of Princess Margaret’s disdainful fiance Antony Armstrong-Jones, and – perhaps most shockingly – Prince Philip’s supposed infidelity.
Continue reading Interview with The Crown’s Claire Foy
By: Lisa Armstrong
What happens to an actress once she has played the queen? Does some magisterial DNA rub off on her? Helen Mirren, Kristin Scott Thomas, Judi Dench have all been appointed dames. Only Cate Blanchett, who so magnificently illuminated Elizabeth II’s namesake, Elizabeth I, is yet to receive a title. But since she’s an Aussie and thus, technically, a subject of Her Majesty, there’s still a chance. Besides, Blanchett exudes innate queenliness.
“The role can give you quite a lot back if you let it,” says Peter Morgan, who should know, since he wrote not only The Crown (for TV) and The Audience (for the stage) but also The Queen, the 2006 movie that arguably restored the monarchy’s popularity following Princess Diana’s death. “When Helen was a guest of the Obamas at the White House Correspondents’ dinner,” says Morgan, “everyone else was being mercilessly teased, but the entire room stood up and cheered her. I’m not sure Helen didn’t grow two inches.”
The glow of imminent stardom flickers like Saturn’s rings around Claire Foy, who will be back as Elizabeth Regina in season two of The Crown next month. Directors from Steven Soderbergh and La La Land’s Damien Chazelle to Evil Dead’s Fede Alvarez have lined up to work with the prolific but previously little-known 33-year-old British actress. Far from being in character when we meet for chamomile tea at the chic London members’ club Quo Vadis, she is wearing tortoiseshell glasses, her blondish hair scraped back with visible roots—the remnants of her role in her recent movie Breathe, opposite Andrew Garfield—and a denim jumpsuit from Citizens of Humanity. (There’s no such thing as a bad jumpsuit day in Foy’s book; at the Emmys in September, she arrived in a silver-trimmed black version by Oscar de la Renta.) By the time you read this, she and her jumpsuits will have decamped to Atlanta to film Chazelle’s First Man, which traces America’s determination to get its man on the moon before the Soviets. Foy plays Neil Armstrong’s wife, Janet, opposite Ryan Gosling.
Continue reading Claire Foy on the Second Season of ‘The Crown’, Going Blonde & Early Bedtimes
By: Anne Marie Scanlon
From Tesco to the Tower and after two coronations, actress Claire Foy has never lost her head
As someone who studied history to post-graduate level, reads history books for fun and gobbles up historical fiction, I was beside myself with excitement when I heard the BBC was dramatising Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, the Man Booker Award winner 2009.
Transferring beloved books onto both the big screen and the small is a notoriously tricky task but director Peter Kosminsky’s adaptation was a unanimous hit.
The casting was superb throughout – from the bit players to Mark Rylance as Cromwell and Damien Lewis as Henry VIII.
To my mind though, Claire Foy, who I had never heard of at the time, stole the show as a magnificent, complicated, wholly credible, Anne Boleyn.
Wolf Hall won many awards and although Foy was nominated for several she didn’t get one gong, when really she should have won ALL the awards.
In person Foy is nothing like Anne Boleyn (probably a good thing), she’s petite and bears a passing resemblance to Henry’s second ill-fated wife, but that’s it. The actress tells me that she was as excited as I was when she heard that Wolf Hall was being made into a TV series (we both agree that Hilary Mantel is a “genius”.)
Continue reading The Queen of the Small Screen Goes Big
By: Marion Van Renterghem
The Queen is all secrets, mystery and muffled noise – ostensible blandness and unwavering tradition. Guests of Buckingham Palace must observe the golden rule: talk of politics, religion or gender is forbidden. “It limits conversational scope,” says Belgian journalist Marc Roche, a biographer of the Queen. Roche is almost the only reporter on the planet to have access to the press-fearing Windsors – a much-coveted privilege. A longtime London correspondent for French newspaper Le Monde, he has met the Queen six times. “Each time, she asked me the same three questions,” he says. “How long have you been in the UK? Do you like it? Isn’t it a wonderful place?” Once, she added a fourth. “Do you like my paintings?” A Rembrandt and a Rubens were hanging within arm’s reach, Roche recalls. “They are marvellous, Ma’am,” he replied. “Aren’t they just? My great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria bought them,” she said, before slipping away with small, hurried steps to speak to another guest.
Something unprecedented has happened to the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In the Netflix series The Crown, she has become the heroine in a pacey and lavish account of her life, beginning with the final years of her father, George VI, the stammering king. Played by Claire Foy, Elizabeth II is the new star of the American video-streaming platform, which recently topped 100 million subscribers. This year, this blockbuster-budget American-British series took home two prestigious Golden Globes: Best Drama Series and Best Actress for Foy. The ten episodes of The Crown’s first series were released across ten countries simultaneously and critics were universal in their praise. Although Netflix keeps its audience figures close to its chest, its hurry to announce a second series, expected this November, confirms The Crown as a global success.
Read the full article here on GQ.
‘The Queen is really rather like Madonna!’ Actress Claire Foy reveals how her role in The Crown has given her a rare insight into the royals
By GABRIELLE DONNELLY FOR WEEKEND MAGAZINE
The strangest part about having left The Crown, says Claire Foy, is seeing her former cast mates going off to play different parts.
‘It’s a bit weird,’ she says, wrinkling her nose, seeing, for instance, Matt Smith who played Prince Philip go off to star in the action horror film Patient Zero, or Vanessa Kirby who appeared as Princess Margaret join the new Mission Impossible movie.
‘With The Crown we all did something together that was really engrossing and special and mad, and we all became incredibly close as a result. And now on the one hand I can’t wait to see what everyone will do next, but on the other I want to say, “Stop! Why aren’t you making The Crown anymore?”’
Nevertheless, she admits that as much as she’s enjoyed playing the young Queen Elizabeth in Peter Morgan’s sprawling series about the monarchy, after two seasons – the second begins in early December – she felt it high time to hand over the reins to the yet-to-be-named actress who will take Her Majesty into her middle years.
‘I need change,’ she told the Los Angeles Times recently. ‘I need to play somebody who’s able to communicate on a more open level. And that’s not Elizabeth.’
Today, relaxing in a Beverly Hills hotel during a brief visit to Los Angeles, this friendly, vivacious young woman from lower middle-class Stockport – ‘I’m definitely a massive commoner’ she tells me proudly in her light northern accent – could hardly behave less like the reserved monarch if she tried.
‘I’ve been released!’ she announces gleefully. ‘I’m no longer her so I feel like I’ve escaped!’
Claire, 33, says it was for practical reasons that she only signed on to do two seasons of the series.
‘There’s a huge difference between a person when they’re 21 and when they’re 85, so I have to forget playing this part any longer because you have to change at some point – you can’t have a woman of my age playing an 85-year-old!
‘And the change was especially marked for the Queen, because as the years have passed she’s changed massively, both physically and vocally.
‘In the beginning she was very unsure of how the whole thing worked, what her line was between family and duty and so on. But as she grew older her confidence grew, and I should imagine the way the institution is now is exactly how she would like it to be.’ Continue reading ‘The Queen is really rather like Madonna!’ Actress Claire Foy reveals how her role in The Crown has given her a rare insight into the royals
Claire won’t be reprising her role after season two because she’s too young to convincingly play the Queen into the 1970s.
BY KATIE ROSSEINSKY
It seems that Claire Foy already knows which actress is next in line to take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown – sadly, for fans of Netflix’s lavish royal drama, she’s dropped only the most subtle of hints…
With the hit show’s first season showing the monarch as a young woman in her twenties, balancing the public and political demands of her new royal role while dealing with upheaval in her personal life, and the forthcoming second season presenting Elizabeth in her thirties, Claire has now said goodbye to the part – for the simple reason that, at 33 years old, she’s too young to convincingly play the Queen into the 1970s.
At the press conference for her latest film Breathe, a period drama co-starring Andrew Garfield which debuted at the London Film Festival earlier this week, the actress confirmed that she has been told who will succeed her as the Queen in the show’s third season.
Luckily, it seems that she is pretty happy with the show-runners’ choice of replacement (though unlike Claire, we’ll presumably have to wait until next year – or until the second series’ December release date, at the earliest – to find out…)
“I know who’s doing it and I’m not telling you,” she told reporters, adding “It’s really exciting and great and amazing”
Alluding to her limited run on the show, she explained: “I always knew from the get-go that I was only going to be doing two series. I’m just very grateful that I have had such a wonderful time playing that part and made friends for life.”
Claire’s cast mates Matt Smith (who plays her on-screen husband, Prince Philip) and Vanessa Kirby (who plays Princess Margaret) will also be replaced by new stars in the third season which, though it is yet to be officially confirmed by Netflix, is thought to currently be in developmental stages. Until then, we’ll be counting down the days until season two arrives on our Netflix dashboards…
BY JESSICA EARNSHAW
Meanwhile, Breathe sees her star in the true life story of Diana Cavendish, who helped her husband Robin live a happy and loving life after he was paralysed by polio.
Speaking about the film, Claire said: “I’m so proud of this film and I’m so proud it’s showing in London.
“It never really felt like we were making a film, it was like we were in some sort of magical story.”
Claire starred alongside Andrew Garfield and speaking of their relationship on set, she added: “A dream… Unfortunately. He’s amazing. I love him and hope we’ll be friends forever.”
Showrunner Andy Harries believes that the BBC would have found it difficult to show people like Princess Diana in later series
By Ben Dowell
Before Netflix swooped to buy the rights to hit drama series The Crown starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, the BBC was interested in securing the rights to the show.
Andy Harries, the show’s executive producer, spoke to the BBC as well as Sky and ITV before eventually securing a generous bid from the US streaming giant.
It is believed that UK broadcasters, including the BBC, didn’t have the budget to make the sprawling royal drama, said to have cost £100 million for two series.
However, Harries says he believes the most likely British broadcaster – the BBC – would have been the wrong choice even if they were able to match the Netflix bid.
“We will never know, but I think when people see the first series of The Crown they could think, ‘It could have been on the BBC’.
“Well, yes, the 1950s is quite a long long time ago. But it’s going to get a lot more interesting in series three and four when we’re into Diana, we’re into Mrs Thatcher and we’re into all the contemporary issues that all of us remember from the last ten or 15 years. Who knows how the sensitivities of how those scripts would have fared with the closeness of the BBC and the Palace?”
The new series is set in the early 1960s and will show cracks in the marriage of the Queen and Prince Philip, with Claire Foy’s monarch telling her husband that he is not sufficiently supportive. Continue reading The Crown producer says “sensitive” BBC would have struggled to air show
The Netflix star shares what it’s like to play Elizabeth II—and the career-defining roles she’s playing now that her time as a royal is over.
by ADAM RATHE
The British monarchy has been very good to Claire Foy. In the year since the actress first appeared onscreen as a young Queen Elizabeth II in the hit Netflix series The Crown, which in its first season followed the monarch’s glittering, tumultuous life from 1947 to 1955, she has become one of the most watched women in the world. Her career (respectable but not exactly on fire before The Crown) has skyrocketed, she has taken home a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Drama (as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award), and she is, at press time, nominated for an Emmy.
There’s only one small catch in regard to her relationship with Her Majesty. “I would hate the idea of her watching it,” Foy says.
Although some of the world’s finest performers have earned raves playing the queen, and the monarch’s life has been scrutinized for nearly 70 years, Foy is loath to think that her own performance might rankle Elizabeth. “When you’re playing a real person, you never want to be ghoulish,” she says. “I don’t want to pick apart a person. I want to invent someone. So I would hate for her to watch it and think I overdramatized anything.”
And despite reports from the occasionally reliable British tabloids that the series has indeed been viewed in the royal household, Foy swats away the notion, if only for her own peace of mind. “I decided a long time ago that she’d never see it,” she says. “If she ever rings me up and tells me that she’s watched, then I will think differently.” (For what it’s worth, Helen Mirren, perhaps the only other actress so closely associated with the queen, sent Foy a lovely e-mail.)
For the rest of us, watching Foy in The Crown the coming months will be very easy. In December will come back for a second season, picking up at the Suez Crisis in 1956, and in October Foy will take to the big screen opposite Andrew Garfield in Breathe, an affecting, astonishing film based on the true story of Robin Cavendish, a man who contracted polio at age 28 and, against all odds, went on to live a long life as an inventor and advocate for the disabled.
After that she’ll star in Unsane, a hush-hush project that director Steven Soderbergh reportedly filmed entirely on an iPhone, and First Man, director Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to La La Land, which tells the story of astronaut Neil Armstrong and features Foy as his earth-bound wife. Continue reading The Crown’s Claire Foy Won’t Be Your Queen Forever
By Paula Parisi
She plays Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Netflix’s “The Crown” and now Claire Foy is getting the royal treatment from her countrymen as recipient of the 2017 Britannia British Artist of the Year Award presented by Burberry. The honor is part of the 2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards, taking place Oct. 27, 2017 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.
“BAFTA is committed to celebrating extraordinary British talents on a global platform, and we could not think of a more deserving and timely honoree,” the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles Chairman Kieran Breen said. “Claire is the perfect encapsulation of the enduring legacy of British talent succeeding on a global stage. Her performances this year have been nothing short of phenomenal.”
Foy joins honorees Dick Van Dyke, who will receive the Britannia Award for Excellence in Television, and Ava DuVernay, who will receive the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing presented by the GREAT Britain Campaign. British comedian Jack Whitehall will host the ceremony.
The AMD British Academy Britannia Awards is BAFTA’s biggest event outside of the U.K., where Brits and Anglophiles alike come together in Los Angeles in celebration of exceptional members of the creative community. Other key events on the BAFTA awards calendar this season include the TV Tea on Sept. 16, the BAFTA Tea Party in January and the EE British Academy Film Awards in London on Feb. 18.
Foy will next be seen in the feature film “Breathe,” an October release starring Andrew Garfield and directed by Andy Serkis. She will soon begin work on Damien Chazelle’s 2018 release “First Man,” playing the ex-wife of Neil Armstrong alongside co-stars Ryan Gosling and Kyle Chandler.
Foy gained international fame playing Anne Boleyn in 2015’s critically acclaimed six-part series “Wolf Hall,” for which she was nominated in the Leading Actress category for the BAFTA TV Awards. Her other television credits include: “Crossbones,” “Little Dorrit,” “Upstairs Downstairs,” “The Promise” and “Going Postal.”
by Damon Wise
Inspired by UK playwright Peter Morgan’s critically acclaimed 2013 play The Audience—which enjoyed a brief but successful Broadway run in 2015—The Crown proved a surprise hit for Netflix when the series debuted in November of last year. Starting with the marriage of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II to Prince Philip in 1947, a scant few years before her coronation at the age of 25 in 1952, the 10-part first season served as an origin story for the world’s longest reigning monarch.
It also offered an introduction to actress Claire Foy, who—along with co-stars John Lithgow, as Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Matt Smith, as her husband Prince Philip—received glowing reviews for her performance, which earned her a Golden Globe just over two months after Season 1 aired. In December, the story will continue, acquainting Her Majesty with dangerous affairs in the Middle East and a more embarrassing scandal closer to home.
How did this part come to you?
It started the usual way – I got sent the script. It was slightly tempered by the fact that I was five months pregnant at the time [in the fall of 2014]. So when my agent mentioned it, I was like, “Do you really think I want to have a three-month-old baby and do a nine-month TV series while I play The Queen of England? Are you insane?” [laughs] So I was reticent about it. But my agent said, ‘They just want to talk to you.”
So I went, and it was nice, and they said, “Would you mind coming back and maybe doing a test?” I thought I’d have to go to LA, because it was Netflix, so I said, “Well, that’s not going to happen, because I can’t fly anymore,” but they said, “No, we can do it in London.” So I went back, and Stephen Daldry and I went over a few different scenes. Then they said, “Do you want to do it?” So it was a bit of an odd experience because at no point did I really consider it a serious possibility. And at no point did I really think that I would be who they were looking for.
What were they looking for in your audition? Were they looking for somebody with a strong resemblance to The Queen?
No. Well, we did do a costume fitting, but obviously, with a giant baby bump it was hilarious, because I was wearing a gown and a wig and a crown—I looked like a pregnant toddler. I think, knowing them now, they just wanted someone to discover [the part] with. It was very open. Maybe because I was pregnant, I was just very relaxed. Then, in November, they told me that I’d got it, and we started shooting in the July the following year. We knew that it was commissioned for two series from the off, and that we’d shoot all 10 episodes in one fell swoop. There was going to be no pilot.
What kind of research did you do?
Oh God. I can’t really remember. I think I did what I usually do, which is to buy thousands of documentaries and watch them all, because you can pretend it’s work. And then I got loads of books and read them. Actually, I had a very long time to get used to the idea of playing the Queen. I’ve never really had that before, actually—that expanse of time to get into character. Then we started working with a voice coach, William Conacher, who’s a genius—we couldn’t have made The Crown without him. It all happened very slowly, which was probably a benefit. There was no pressure to make any sudden, mad choices. Continue reading Claire Foy, From ‘Crown’ Jewels To Golden Globe And Beyond
BY PATRICK GOMEZ
Claire Foy could not be more thrilled that her Netflix hit, The Crown, has been nominated for 13 Emmy awards.
“It’s such an honor,” the actress — who is nominated outstanding lead actress in a drama series — says in the current issue of PEOPLE.
Foy, 33, is looking forward to reuniting with her castmates at all the parties surrounding the Sept. 17 awards show.
But the U.K.-based star, who has a 2-year-old daughter, has another reason she’s excited to head to Los Angeles in a few weeks.
“I live in London and I have a child, so getting on a transatlantic flight and having my hair and makeup done and getting to wear a beautiful dress and have a night out is amazing,” says Foy. “It’ll be magic — aside from the jet lag!”
The upcoming second season, which will cover the Queen’s reign from 1956 to 1964, will be the last for Foy and costar Matt Smith.
The Crown season 2 hits Netflix on Dec. 8.
‘The Crown’ Season 2: The Real Cost Per Episode, Elizabeth Faces ‘Attack on Monarchy,’ and More Details Revealed
Showrunner Peter Morgan sets the record straight on the show’s budget — and why he hates those “Downton Abbey” comparisons.
By Anne Thompson
Peter Morgan (“The Queen”) has long divided his time between playwriting, screenwriting, and television. But having just wrapped the second 10-episode season for Netflix’s “The Crown” (December 8), the executive producer and showrunner is now wholly devoted to a new genre that he calls “cinematic television.”
It’s not a difficult transition. “The Crown” has the scale of a big-budget production (Netflix paid in advance for two seasons, as well as bonuses to buy out all future royalties), as well as serious awards gravitas: The first season scored a Golden Globe win for Claire Foy and now has 13 Emmy nominations, and could win the fierce contest for Best Dramatic Series.
While Netflix doesn’t confirm budgets, Morgan wants to set the record straight: the show did not cost $100 million per 10-episode season (that’s the level of “Rome,” “Westworld,” or “American Gods”) but rather a still-hefty $6 million-$7 million per episode for 20 episodes, or about $130 million.
However, money isn’t what makes the show; it’s what money can buy you, like a bespoke suit on Savile Row. However, merging the standards of a feature film into television, which requires multiple episodes of specific lengths on a strict schedule, is more like, say, creating custom-fit pairs of Nikes.
“There’s a feeling that you are making a bespoke suit made-to-measure,” said Morgan of feature filmmaking. “But in television, it’s off the peg and more industrialized for a production line. That’s why films were more special, because you could feel the attention and the bespokenness — the longer time to think about things and time spent to fix things in post. This is one of the reasons why people are watching more television, right? The scale, but also the boutiqueness, that episodes are honed and refined.
“But at the same time,” he added, “the companies are expecting delivery to old television schedules. So they’re expecting new levels of quality, but on old timetables. They want it every year, and to be making television at this level.”
This, he said, is why he bristles at comparisons with “Downton Abbey,” the last period British import with plummy-accented aristocrats in lofty drawing rooms.
“The difference is in the way we make it,” said Morgan. “This is something new. The biggest challenge of doing the show is that I’m stuck in the middle of two huge expectations, both of which are mutually contradictory, and in conflict with one another. We are now in an age with the budgets to produce properly cinematic television, that we are now making.” Continue reading ‘The Crown’ Showrunner Peter Morgan Previews Season 2
Emmy Wrap Magazine: Queen of Netflix reflects on her two-season run as Britain’s long-reigning monarch
By Matt Donnelly
By the time you read this, Claire Foy’s reign as Queen Elizabeth II will be over.
She’s just wrapped the second season of the lush Netflix drama “The Crown,” and QEII will be played by a different actress as the show skips a few decades ahead for season three. But before that happens, you’ll have another batch of Foy episodes before the streaming giant coronates her successor.
For now, it’s a celebration of the current incarnation of “The Queen,” which landed 13 Emmy nominations for its first season and has become a powerful contender for top awards.
“The first season was highly emotional, and this time around I’ve been able to enjoy the differences between me and her a bit more,” Foy told TheWrap from London, speaking of Queen Elizabeth herself.
The world’s longest-sitting monarch had turbulent beginnings, as the first season of Peter Morgan’s series illustrated. It kicked off in 1947, with Foy briefly playing Princess Elizabeth — a newlywed to the misbehaving Prince Philip (Matt Smith) who rushes from her home in Malta to the English bedside of her ailing father King George VI (Jared Harris).
“It’s very difficult to play someone who everyone has a preconception about and not sort of let that in–it’s hard enough alone to imagine yourself as the queen,” Foy said. She clearly pulled it off, winning the Golden Globe and SAG Awards and landing her first Emmy nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Foy said she avoided the intimidation factor by “anchoring” her performance around the death of King George and the ripple it sent through the house. That building also contained her sister Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and her grandmother Queen Mary.
“It was there in Peter’s writing, and I knew early on that the crux of the whole story was the fact that her father died,” she said. “It was an earthquake. Suddenly there were four women without this man, who had been the love of all their lives.”
What’s worse? “They had to get on with it!” she added, “it’s women in a family trying to put themselves back together, but never having enough time to do it properly.” Continue reading Claire Foy Talks ‘The Crown’ Feminist Backlash, Queen Elizabeth’s Drinking Habits