The Crown: The Official Podcast

Episode 1: Olding

Episode Summary

Host Edith Bowman discusses the first episode of the third season of The Netflix series The Crown with some very special guests.

Episode Notes

Winston Churchill dies, the Queen’s first Labour Prime Minister takes office and there are rumours of a Russian spy in Downing Street. With an entirely new cast in place, it is all-change in episode one of the third season of the Netflix Original Series, The Crown. Host Edith Bowman speaks with creator Peter Morgan about Olivia Colman taking over the role of the Queen, his role as the showrunner and the allure of writing real-life characters. Speaking about the massive re-casting are casting directors Nina Gold and Robert Sterne. The Crown: The Official Podcast is produced by Netflix and Somethin’ Else, in association with Left Bank Pictures.

Episode Transcription


M: Everyone at the post office is delighted with the new profile ma’am, which they feel to be an elegant reflection of Her Majesty's transition from young woman to….

Q: Old bat

M: Mother of four and settled Sovereign.

Q: Hmmm…..

M: The Postmaster General himself commented that the two images- the young and the slightly older Queen are almost identical

Q: Postmaster Bavens is very kind, he’s also a bare faced liar

M: Just the tiniest changes, in the hair

Q: A great many changes. But there we are. Age is rarely kind to anyone. Nothing one can do about it. One just has to get on with it.



E: Welcome to The Crown, the official podcast. My name’s Edith Bowman and this is the podcast for the third season of the Netflix original series The Crown. This podcast will follow the show episode by episode, taking you behind the scenes, speaking with many of the talented people involved and diving deep into the stories.


It’s been two years since season two ended. The entire cast has changed and season three will be under plenty of scrutiny from its’ highly devoted audience. There is a lot at stake and I spoke to Show Creator Peter Morgan, who is anxiously awaiting the public reactions to season three.


01:29P: I can't bear this part. If only we could just make these films and never have to show them. Because the moment where it goes out and the scrutiny, and….it's nerve racking.
01:39E: Today we're talking about Episode One titled Olding. In the 50s the KGB opened an agent recruitment file on future British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, giving him the code name Olding, hence the title. We'll be discussing events brought up in the episode so if you haven't watched it yet, I suggest you do it now or very soon. 

E: Coming up later, we hear from Nina Gold and Robert Stern casting royalty in their own rights. They're responsible for casting many critically acclaimed film and television series, and it was a real treat to hear them discuss the tools of their trade. But first, I had the great privilege to speak with showrunner, writer and creator, Peter Morgan.


02:22E: So I am here in a lovely part of London, Peter Morgan has very kindly invited us into his house. Thank you so much for allowing us to come here to deep dive into The Crown Series Three.

E: What’s a showrunner? How would you describe what a showrunner is to someone who doesn't know what a showrunner is?

P: I think it’s the person who ultimately, you know, has to take responsibility for some of the bigger tonal decisions. Ultimately when it comes to casting decisions, the hiring of directors, really the buck stops with them. The series that people enjoy the most are those that are authored. Ultimately, there has to be an author. There are lots of other crowns that could be written out there and lots of other people could tackle this material, but for better or for worse, we’re doing it this way, with me doing it.



E: Showrunner sounds like it has similarities to the Queen.

P: Oh I don’t think so! No! please don’t say that! It is sort of five full time jobs to do this job. And, and you have to, I think, in order to stay alive, you have to let three of those full time jobs go. And and I'm much more focused on the writing and the editing and the casting.



E: The series is about to be, you know, unveiled to fans and the world. How is your emotional state at that point, in terms of this season as people are about to start watching it?


P: I can't bear this part. It’s not that I…… I very much look forward to people seeing it, and I very much hope people enjoy it. But, I don't know…..I used to have this conversation with Ron Howard a lot, with Stephen Frears a lot, we just can't bear, you know, if only we could just make these films and never have to show them, because the moment it goes out, and the scrutiny and it's nerve racking and I think particularly nerve wracking at the moment because, you know, in these streaming wars that are going on where, you know, you recognise what's at stake for the companies that are making this and it becomes about much more, it's suddenly what I guess what I'm trying to say is it suddenly becomes about so many other things.


E: Yeah.


P: Whereas up until now, it's really just been a group of us that know each other very, very well, working as hard as we can and as devoted as we can to try and polish something as best we can, given all the limitations you have and all the constraints and all the challenges in terms of time or exhaustion or resources or bad luck or all the things that stand in between you and making the perfect episode. And, we all sit there like in a little cottage industry and do our very best and suddenly comes a moment where the hangar doors open, and it gets taken out you just fear for it in the way that you would fear for, you know, letting a child out into the world, you know.



E: How long ago then, were you writing Series Three?


P: I was probably writing it a couple of years ago. But in some way or another I would have been thinking about it a lot longer even prior to that. And the roots of all this go way back, you know, and so the whole thing kind of feels like one long journey. You know, it started really with the with the film, I suppose I wrote for television about the relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and that was in 19…. No, it was in 2002. I think 2002. So, this whole thing feels like one long continuous journey because that started with Tony Blair, and then when it came to writing The Queen, the film The Queen, that then only became interesting for me with Tony Blair in it because it was a relationship between the monarch and the Prime Minister that, I mean, everyone always talks about the royal family, but, underpinning all this has always been the relationship between head of state and Prime Minister,



E: Which is beautifully explored in Series Three, and we'll get onto that in a minute. When you're starting with constructing a series and those episodes, do you know your start and your end point and then you kind of work out how you split it up into those episodes and the narratives and the stories and the characters that you want to write about?


P: Yeah I'm a planner. I'm a planner. I mean, I think there are other people who are more OCD and more ‘planny’ than me. And, you know, I was once on a panel. And on that panel were, you know, six or seven writers and everybody, you know, we were asked what our process was and, and it ranged from the obsessive deranged planning, to the quite OCD planning. And to some, one writer, he just started writing and he had no idea where it was going to go, which felt like the purest art in its own way, and he was from South America. And when he spoke about writing, it sounded so much more interesting and sexy than when I speak about writing. I need a little bit more of an outline and an idea of where I'm going and so I figure it all out and, and to me, the figuring out is at least 80% of the writing.



E: So, Series Three, we left Series Two, and we also left a cast behind as well. Where do we find ourselves at the start of Series Three? Let’s take you back!


P: Well, I think, first and foremost, we find ourselves with a new cast, you know, and the first and overwhelming problem was how to, how to introduce them and what to do and, and I always think it's probably quite a good idea to just declare it, you know, just what the hell! Look the choice was simple. You either go with putting a whole lot of makeup or prosthetics on somebody or you just say, look, it's ridiculous. You can't ask someone in their late 20s or, or 30 to play someone who's 50 and really understand it. I mean, you can approximate it, but you can't draw on something within yourself. You know, I think that when you are middle aged and I speak, you know, and bits start to ache and things don't work in the same way and you you've already had some of the stuffing knocked out of you and and you wear that, just, you know, you can put lines on someone's face and you can maybe even digitally age them, but you can't breathe the fatigue of life and the bruises of life into a face and I don't think anybody can get to, you know, 50 or mid 40s, and you know, the age span in these two seasons, now three and four for The Queen is in between sort of early 40s and early 60s. And you know life’s had a go at you by then, you know, you show, you have a few scars, you have a few bruises and you walk with slightly hunched shoulders, and when you sit down you go…ahhhhhh….you let out a little groan of relief!


E: Even The Queen does it! She's aloud to!


P: Yes. And and so I figured, you know, we've got to get some people entering middle age into that. And so I knew it would be a big bump for everyone. And of course, that's a bit of a high wire rack because Claire was so fabulous. She, you know, she might have been a little bit more considerate and been slightly less fabulous.


E: Yeah, no pressure!


P: Right? Because it's not easy!



E: Knowing that there was going to be a new cast, not just for The Queen, but for a lot of the characters, did you write it differently?


P: No, no, I really didn't actually. And for a while we were even thinking of, you know, talking to some of the actors and saying, look, some of the things that Matt Smith did, the way he sort of moved, the fidgety-ness, could you repeat that? Could you echo that? And, it just so happens that Tobias Menzies who plays, you know, Prince Philip, he just isn't a fidgety type. He's a much more rooted type. And so he elected not to do that, and I don't think it matters. I don't think that suddenly, Prince Philip seems to have stopped fidgeting.



Ph: You do know, if that man wins today, he’ll want us out.


Q: Who?


Ph: Wilson! Half his cabinet will be made up of rabid anti monarchists. He’ll want our heads on spikes. Vive La Revolution! Except, I doubt they speak French in Halifax or Huddersfield or wherever he’s from! I even heard a rumour that he’s a KGB spy.


Q: Mr. Wilson! That’s ridiculous! Who did you hear that from?


Ph: A friend of mine at lunch club, he had a whole theory about Wilson being today turned while on a trade mission to Russia. Said he even had a KGB code name. Olding.



P: I do think the baton pass, you know, and that's sort of how I've always thought of it


E: Yeah


P: It's like a relay race and you pass the baton. And that they've, they've actually, they haven't done, they haven't mimicked what the previous actors were doing they’ve just taken the baton and done what they do.



E: And it almost feels like what you're talking about about that experience as well. It feels like those characters are at this place now. And they've got that, that experience has almost changed them as well. And that opening scene that you have for that first episode is it's so clever, because you kind of immediately forget even though there is, you know, Claire is referenced in there in that scene, visually, you’re kind of already on that journey with the with the new version. Did you take a little bit of time did it take a few well, while to come to what that opening scene was going to be and how you would start it?


P: No, that was one of those ones that was mercifully, you know, a fluke. You know, it just came and I did it and everyone went Oh, yeah, that's quite good idea and it was waved through, you know by the border guards.


E: Great way to put it!


P: They looked at the papers and went, yeah alright!


E: Stamp, you’re through!


P: Yes, you're through the idea got through and then we, you know, we just did it and and actually, the impact it's had or the enjoyment it seems to have created among people is disproportionate to the effort that it took. It was a real bit of fluke, mostly, it's the other way around. Mostly you toil and toil and toil and people don't even notice it. And this one happened to come quite quickly. It just went, uh, why not that, the stamp!



E: Did you know who was gonna be playing all the characters when you were writing it?


P: No, I knew Olivia would because we went to see her, you know….. What feels like 1000 years ago now. She happened to be a list of one, we hadn't considered anybody else


E: Wow


P: Yeah, no one else.



E: Why her then? Why just her? What was it about her?


P: First of all, foremost I think the every woman aspect because I think that you know, the Queen manages to be both the grandest woman in the country, and yet, entirely approachable it seems and

Olivia has something of that. She feels like someone who is very likeable, very connectable with, and that of course, doesn’t in any way suggest how complex both a woman she is and an actress. The hardest thing about playing the Queen I think is to walk that very thin line between being clearly a person who is shy, and private, and yet, someone one suspects has quite a lot of little Russian dolls within them, that have been locked away and hidden away and I felt pretty certain that Olivia could bring something to that, and….Anyway it was a list of one, Olivia, and then the phone call lasted one second, we said ‘would you like to…’…YES! You know, it was one of those, well yeah that was nice so I thought we probably should meet for lunch, and it was a lunch that was before she'd done the part of Queen Anne, for which she won the Oscar. So she was she said, I've got to eat a lot now because I've got to get fat. So she spoke with her mouthful throughout the entire lunch, but she was, you know, excited and happy and giddy and, and then, you know, was sworn to secrecy for quite a long time. I mean, it was long. It was long before the second season came out. So we we also knew that it was going to be Olivia. And had to be quiet about it.




E: But then you wrote it for her, you knew she was going to be….


P: I wrote it for her, but I didn't change the voice.


E: Yeah.


P: When you change a cast, the fact that you've got the same writer and the same locations and the same, the same heads of department filming it, it really is only the face that it's….. everything else has not changed.


E: Yeah, apart from their experience in life.

P: Yeah, and what they bring to it because of course all actors bring themselves into it too.



Q: I’m so glad you came. It gives me the chance to apologise in person


W: What for?


Q: There's no need to understand. All you need to know is that I misjudged you terribly. And I'd like to take this opportunity to say sorry.



E: To take a closer look at the challenges of casting a whole new set of actors for season three, we spoke with Emmy and BAFTA award-winning Casting Directors Nina Gold and Robert Sterne.



N: I can’t remember a time when we haven’t been talking about doing the crown…Seems like we’ve been talking about it for a long time. We even started talking about casting of this incarnation of it as early as we were talking about the first incarnation of it. While we were shooting the first two there was a lot fo ongoing conversation with Peter about who was gonna be the next Queen and it used to be a regular discussion. Normally around 7:45am, is Peters favourite casting chat time, we’ve discovered, possibly even earlier if we’re up





R: Well it was very very clear that the dream successor to Claire was going to be Olivia and fortunately, she agreed. I don’t think it has been done before, this kind of fascinating proposition to have something this up and going, that everybody’s made a connection with, and then, go again. And in a sense you’re starting with a blank piece of paper for the next two seasons but at the same time we had to have an awareness of what had gone before and the qualities that they had brought to it and the particular things about each actor that they brought to each of their characters….



N: Their version of the characters. That's in fact you're trying to cast the character and at the same time the character that's been informed by the previous person playing the character.


R: Yeah, So whatever alchemy has taken place between the actor and the original character you have to bear both of those things in mind when you're looking at the next incarnation of it



N: The first incarnation of let's say The Queen, what Claire did with it, I guess the kind of qualities that Claire brought to it were qualities that then inform the way we're going to portray The Queen in the next version, and that with Olivia, that seemed to be the thing that, because Olivia and Claire aren't really anything like each other in reality, but that they both had this incredibly identifiable kind of access to their humanity. And to make this character of The Queen who is, you know, we don't know who she is as

a real person, but they bring their transparent, empathetic humanity to it in a way that makes you believe in her as a real human being. And they, that's what they really have in common.


R: I think that's right. I think Peter didn't write a kind of brittle, aloof Queen, and that's not what Claire did. And you get a sense of a woman who is longing to have an ordinary life. And a woman who's dealing with kind of inter-family relationships, as well as juggling a job that she's very dedicated to, there's a great access to that woman through that approach to writing that character. And that's what Claire did so magnificently didn’t she, and what Olivia does brilliantly as well.



R: The casting of these real life characters, there's a degree of kind of technical specificity that the actors have to have, you know, being able to study. The voice is the mat. We're not looking for impersonations of people, but they have to be able to look at the voices and their physical mannerisms and use some of those elements as hooks on which to hang their own version of the character.


N: And to bring enough of that to make it seem like the real person but completely not make it a look alike, sound alike.


R: Yeah, or send them up. It's about finding a way to exist in the character that gives them freedom. But also, you can identify with the real life character. And the exciting thing is when people come in, and you don't know that they're going to make a connection with the historical character that they're looking at, but there's a some bulb goes on somewhere, and they've made that connection and able to fly with it.





N: I mean, it's really quite enjoyable if you find somebody who's going to play it brilliantly, and also has some way of making you….even if they don't look like them, really, of kind of capturing their essence in such a way that you recognise the real person in the fictional version



R: I think it’s just really wonderful that to get the chance to work on something that goes from season after season and see all the actors kind of gaining their confidence as they're doing it, to work through various decades has been quite fun


N: To be part of a story that you can really feel and watch, develop and unfold and in a kind of really progressive storytelling manner is really interesting!


 R: Aw it’s really exciting we’re holding our breaths slightly to see what everybody thinks!

Back with Peter, now we are just delving into the carefully woven themes of politics and the monarchy, which appear in various degrees in each episode of The Crown.


21:18E: What’s always been a lovely narrative, which you mentioned earlier was this political narrative that runs with the relationship Crown and, kind of, parliament sort of thing, and, within this first episode we have a whole big shift and there’s a couple of really beautiful scenes as well, in particular, where she goes to visit Churchill, who’s very poorly

Sir, The Queen


Q: Dear Winston


C: Your Majesty


Q: Don’t move. How are you?


C: Gripped…'s a proper nail biter. We’d better keep an eye on that one


Q: I can't imagine what that would be like. Having a prime minister one didn’t trust. When one thinks what it was like with you.

C: I was a terrible bully.


Q: You were my guardian angel, the roof over my head, the spine in my back, the iron in my heart. You were the compass that steered and directed me. Not just me, all of us. Where would Great Britain be without its Greatest Britain.




E: And that was a really special relationship that I think that's one of the many things I love about the series is the way you explore her relationship with these men who you know they kind of come and go in terms of:- they last in office for a certain amount of time and if you look at through her entire monarchy, how many she went through or is going through. It's quite extra-ordinary. But why is that an important part of the narrative to continue? And what are those relationships? And what did they bring to the……


P: I mean, first on the Churchill of it all, I mean, we really agonised about that. Because to bring John Lithgow over and hire him and just to do one scene, there was a lot of hand wringing about that, but the and we have the strict rule, which is that the minute a prime minister is out of office, you don't see them again. The reason why, ultimately, we decided to go back to, to having Churchill for a scene is because it felt like another bit of vulnerability for her, you know that now….he was a lost connection with her father. And also he was her first prime minister, you know, and, and she'd so relied on him but now of course, by this point in her life in her reign, she you know, she's confident she's had three or four Prime Ministers by now. I liked how vulnerable it made her feel. And in this episode in the first episode, of course, we're exploring, you know, the idea that not only you know, might Downing Street be compromised, but also Buckingham Palace is compromised, as you know, as we're in the cold war now by a traitor. And, she's left feeling even more vulnerable without Churchill there somehow to protect her. It's a certain kind of England that's gone. When he goes, you know, the post churchillian landscape you know is it's suddenly very different. Instead of him you have Harold Wilson. And the thing that you mentioned about prime ministers and the men in her life it it's useful. I've always found it useful when thinking about her relationship with those men to think of them in in family terms. And Churchill was a grandfather as a paradigm and then McMillan very much a father. I don’t particularlycount Douglas Hume, he was so brief and he was a family friend, but Wilson is the first, you'll understand what I mean, when I say husband paradigm, you know, he's the same. He's roughly the same age. Or he's within a decade, I think.


E: Yeah


P: And I think that also necessarily creates a very different relationship. And then you move through all the prime ministers and you get to someone like Blair, who would have been the first son.


E: That’s such an interesting way of looking at it


P: And Ed Miliband, had he…. there was a brief moment, of course, he would have been a grandson.



E: What about Thatcher?


P: Well, twin


E: Ohhhhh…


P: Because I mean they’re six months apart. You know, so that's, that's very much from those emblems, you know, the eagle with two heads facing in opposite directions. You know, Thatcher both very, very a lot of similarities and a lot of differences. And they were born just six months apart. So they've got an awful lot in common, not least their gender, which, you know, sometimes the things that you think will bring two people together actually drives them apart.



E: It's wonderful to watch Jason Watkins I think a great piece of casting for Harold Wilson.



W: I suppose I should kick things off with an apology.


Q: Whatever for?


W: For winning! I'm aware of your affection for my predecessor and doubtless you would have preferred him to have continued in office. And I can see the attraction of someone like Posh Alec, someone you can chat with about the racing someone. Well bred high born who knows how to use his cutlery as opposed to a roughian like me.


Q: Hardly



P: I'd worked with him we did a film called The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries about the man who was wrongly accused of murder in Bristol. And Jason was just sensational in that and he cleaned up with all the prizes. And I really, that was one piece of casting where I got more involved than usual. And it was just because I've been in the trenches with him and I knew what he could do and I'm glad you like what he's done. I think he's sensational.



E: We have these points in the show that we've seen on TV or we know have happened. But then that's the wonderful thing and the way that you've written and how well you know these characters in this world that the way that you write them, we absolutely believe it. And how do you do that? How do you decide what's what you fabricate or what you creative licence and, you know, as a dramatist, and as a writer to?


P: Well, there's a lot of different answers to that. I mean, you know, honestly, with the first bit and with regard to the characters, I mean, I think they feel consistent because they are consistent to the character that I imagine they are or that I've created that they. That is quite different from They are, you know, it could be that I'm quite wide at the mark on the number of occasions, but I'm consistently wide of the mark and therefore it feels it feels like a consistent characterization. I've spent no time with these people, none. I don't really want to, I'm interested in them and their predicament. I'm interested in, in the challenge of living within this extraordinary, you know, conundrum this this very, very specific anthropological challenge, you know, that they have. But I but I, you know, I don't know if I've got her right, I don't know how I'm just guessing. It's like well intentioned, well informed guessing, but it's just guessing and you're joining the dots and ultimately, as the dramatist, you've got a you know, you've got to try and provide something plausible that joins two moments because you know, the one great advantage of these people is that everything they do is minuted, you know, we've got caught circulars, we know where they were on at any given time on any given day. And then to that you then add things like what what was their age, then you add your own experience of life or what sort of things were I was thinking or feeling at that particular time in my life? or what is it like to be married? or what is it like to have a son? Or what is it like to have a daughter? or what is it like to be envious of a brother? And what does it like to feel eclipsed? And these things are universal. And it feels heretical when you impose them on these people, because we assume, well, we like to think of them as people without those issues, or we resent them for their humanity. But actually, their humanity is that they are no different to us. And yet, they're nothing like us. It's that thing you keep coming back to.



E: You never sway towards, you know, kind of rooting for one person or the other. You keep that balance really brilliant in terms of there's no villain really, you know, in terms of in a situation it's very much kind of, it's important to have both sides of the argument almost. Is that easy to do in terms of showing them as full rounded characters, showing their failures, showing their strengths?


P: I think they do that for us. I mean, you know, I mean, there's a lot that's hard to like about a lot of them. And there's also a lot of pity and compassion you can have, because it can't be easy. And also, I don't think it's entirely their fault. I mean, I think that the pressure cooker situation that they live in where you know, where they're exposed and visible to the degree that they are, that can't be easy. If I'd been God knows what, a member of the royal family and you were to impose all the things that have happened on my life into that it would read like a very, you know, it would it would be turbulent. And, and, you know, I'm really grateful that that every time I screw up in life and cut fall short, that it's not being written about and exposed. So, so I do feel I do feel for them, but at the same time, they have made some pretty disturbing decisions on occasions and, and you know, so you got to hug them and whack ‘em in equal measure, you know, because they are no different in that sense, you know.



E: I want to talk about, briefly about the threat of the Cold War and kind of what that, you know, kind of there's, there's events that happened. I just imagine that that's an exciting theme to write about in a way?


P: Unfortunately, the great problem with Episode One is that it had to be an episode one, which is the worst thing you can ask any episode to be because it's so much easier to write a mid season episode, where you have no obligations to do ‘introductoritis’, you know, Basil exposition, yeah. And here comes the charater. I am this person, by the way. And my agenda is this, this, this, this and this. I wish that I'd come to the, to the season, so that one could relish the fact that there was a KGB spy in Buckingham Palace and the suspicion was that there was a KGB spy in Downing Street. And that one could really draw that out and one could really plant that into. And we had to take quite a lot of stuff out that we filmed there. It was a that was a very, very challenging Episode, Episode One because had it come midseason, I can tell you there would have been all sorts of spies meeting in Washington, and there would have been all sorts of stuff that we had to take out because actually the first order of business, particularly in the first 15 minutes of the first episode, is to say to people, this is Helena Bonham Carter and she's now going to be playing Princess Margaret. This is Olivia Colman, this is Tobias Menzies, you know, yeah. And to let an audience just sit, sit with them for a little bit. And, and, and it is, therefore, it's the only episode in which you are having to make concessions to storytelling. And I'm sure every writer, you know, would agree with me, you know, get just get that first Ep out of the way and then you can actually start writing.



E: I love the little nuances, the way that Olivia reacts to, or, you know, the kind of gossip about the spy. And you know, every time it's insinuated that it's Wilson and her kind of reaction at the dinner table, and it's just, it's really subtle, but it's just a lovely tone of kind of, like of kind of, like comedy in a way that she’s kind of like gasping!


P: I think at one point we had a cut where I think about 400 people had told her that Wilson might be a spy. And we always wondered- are we overdoing the Wilson/ spy bit. And so we have toned it down. Trust me, there's a much worse version of it


E: I hope it’s on the extras


P: I think we've made that point Pete! Really are you sure?!




E: And lastly on episode 1, the kind of new family dynamics, you know, in terms of where Elizabeth and Phillip’s relationship is, but then also Margaret and Tony and where they are with their relationship as well and like you say you have to introduce all that, kind of, because, those stories and relationships have to develop in whatever way they do throughout the series….


P: Yeah…and people have to get used to different faces, you know, don't forget, people like, Vanessa Kirby, you know, they're very, very strong flavour to her performance. And, you know, Helena Bonham Carter neither particularly looks like her, nor was making any deliberate concession to what Vanessa Kirby had been doing. And so it takes, you need a bit of time, but what we cast with Helena Bonham Carter and it was a particularly inspired bit of casting I think, by Nina Gold was, you know, a, the internal map of of somebody and and it's really brave to do that and because they really don't look like one another at all, Vanessa Kirby and Helena Bonham Carter, but it was so interesting to see, in so many pieces of behaviour just as you're hanging out on set as you turn up to rehearsal. You know that the, I would say the chaos but but but as it were the tumult that, that Helena Bonham Carter brings into a room with an absolute replica of what used to happen with Vanessa Kirby. And the way she texts you know, the way you get text messages from both and they write identical text messages. And and you sort of realise, Oh My God. Nina Gold had been so perceptive in casting a spirit. And so I hope that works. You know, I hope that works.






E: (Phone rings) Oh I’m so sorry, that’s my Mum phoning, sorry!


E: That was definitely not protocol


P: Hi Mum!



I’m Edith Bowman and my special thanks to our guests on this episode, Nina Gold , Robert Sterne and Peter Morgan.


This is a production by Netflix and Somethin' Else, in association with Left Bank Pictures.


Join us for our next episode which goes behind the scenes of episode two, titled Margaretology which features the gripping performance of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.



M: Isn't it possible that we've stumbled upon something here? You have far too much to do, far too much pressure, far too much responsibility. And I too little, having no role, having nothing to do. It’s soul destroying. All I'm asking is if you were prepared to share a little more….for both our sakes.



Subscribe now, wherever you get your podcasts.