Category: Articles & News

Claire Foy, From ‘Crown’ Jewels To Golden Globe And Beyond

Monday, Aug 28, 2017
Claire Foy, From ‘Crown’ Jewels To Golden Globe And Beyond

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

Claire Foy Talks ‘The Crown’ Feminist Backlash, Queen Elizabeth’s Drinking Habits

Friday, Aug 18, 2017
Claire Foy Talks ‘The Crown’ Feminist Backlash, Queen Elizabeth’s Drinking Habits

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

Nicole Kidman and Claire Foy on Formidable Female Roles and Collaborating With Male Showrunners

Thursday, Aug 10, 2017
Nicole Kidman and Claire Foy on Formidable Female Roles and Collaborating With Male Showrunners

By Debra Birnbaum

“It’s six degrees of separation,” said Nicole Kidman, of her connection to Claire Foy. The two women had gotten to know each other when Kidman was on stage in London with Foy’s husband, Stephen Campbell Moore, in a production of “Photograph 51.” But it’s their TV roles that have everyone talking — Kidman as an abused wife in HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” and Foy as the reluctant Queen in Netflix’s “The Crown.”

The actresses open up to Variety about the roles that may win them Emmy gold.

Congratulations on your Emmy nominations. What do they mean to you?

Nicole Kidman: I’m absolutely over the moon, because obviously this is something that from conception all the way to now has been my baby and to see it get acknowledged in this way is extraordinary. It’s good to have all of the cast and all of the production and the director and everyone’s nominations. It just makes for a sort of joyous celebration.

Claire Foy: I feel the same. I think it feels a bit surreal because we finished shooting the second (season) of “The Crown” now, so it feels like we’re at the end, even though (the Emmy nomination) is about the first series. So exactly the same as Nicole really, that so many people from the show have been nominated, but it’s just a lovely excuse for everyone to get back together again and celebrate something that was so lovely to do. You get to celebrate it in a way where we can all go, “Hooray!”

What do you each look for in a part? What makes you say yes to any given role?

Kidman: For me, it changes every time. It can be a director, it can be the actual character and the journey of that character, it can be a small role in a film that I feel is really compelling. It can be because it’s being directed by a woman, or it’s written by a woman, it can be because my friend’s starring in it. There’s so many different reasons I do things. But, I suppose the underlying current for me is the idea of not doing something I’ve done before. I call myself a character actor and I’m always trying to stay a character actor.

Foy: I’m one of those people where I don’t really know what it is really until it’s front of me, and I have definitely said no to things that on paper would make a lot of sense. Or would be a really great part, but for some reason, I don’t feel like I’m the right person for that part or I don’t understand it in the same way as other things. That’s not to say I’ve done things that I completely understand, because the majority of my jobs, I’ve been terrified about not really getting to the heart of it or struggling to. I’m realizing the more jobs I do and as my career goes on that there seems to be a theme of choosing the things I’m most scared of doing in a weird way. I’ve never really taken a job and not been scared of some sort of aspect of it. It’s the challenge of it, I think. Continue reading Nicole Kidman and Claire Foy on Formidable Female Roles and Collaborating With Male Showrunners

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip next face the ’60s in ‘The Crown,’ says Claire Foy, and they don’t handle it well

Thursday, Aug 10, 2017
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip next face the ’60s in ‘The Crown,’ says Claire Foy, and they don’t handle it well

By Glenn Whipp

Claire Foy has spent most of the last two years playing Queen Elizabeth for the Emmy-nominated Netflix period drama “The Crown,” wearing tiaras and tartan, acting with the utmost reserve and enduring loads of questions about whether playing a monarch improves one’s posture.

On the latter front, Foy laughs off any illusions of regality, happily slouching in a leather chair throughout a leisurely interview at Netflix’s curated Emmy promotional space in Beverly Hills. Fresh off a transatlantic flight, London to Los Angeles, Foy is famished, devouring a Twix bar, only to find, minutes later, that somehow the chocolate worked its way into the designer trousers she borrowed for the evening event, a Q&A with costar Matt Smith and James Corden at the film academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater across the street.

“I’m such an idiot!” Foy shouts. “I’ve got chocolate on my bum!”

“You know,” she adds, after a couple of minutes of light dabbing averts the crisis, “if they were my own clothes, I wouldn’t be bothered. I’d be, like, ‘Eh. Who cares?’ Personally, my main use of clothes is if I can wipe my hands on it.”

Foy, Oxford-trained, extraordinary as Anne Boleyn in the 2015 BBC adaptation of “Wolf Hall,” Emmy-nominated for her quiet, controlled portrait of Elizabeth on “The Crown,” immediately comes across as an earthy sort. Having just finished shooting the second season of Netflix’s royal drama — each 10-episode run took nine months to film — she has no immediate plans to work (“I can’t even contemplate doing anything at all”) and eagerly shares two pressing, personal goals for her time off.

“I’d really like to go rock climbing, not rock climbing like Tom Cruise hanging off a mountain, but, because I’m not physically strong or muscle-y, I’d like to take that challenge, just a wall, you know,” Foy says. “And I’m going to fly a plane for the first time. I love being in the sky, but I also have a fear of flying. So it’s a weird fascination.”

Foy clearly likes a challenge, which is why she’s happy that the producers of “The Crown” decided to recast the entire show for the third season, which will jump ahead in time to the 1970s. Playing Elizabeth for six years would have presented its own mental demands, but at age 33, Foy is more interested in exploring her range than in trying to combat the complacency that can set in when working on a long-running show. Continue reading Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip next face the ’60s in ‘The Crown,’ says Claire Foy, and they don’t handle it well

Claire Foy Talks Moving on From ‘The Crown’: “It’ll Go On and Have Another Life”

Tuesday, Aug 8, 2017
Claire Foy Talks Moving on From ‘The Crown’: “It’ll Go On and Have Another Life”

by Bryn Elise Sandberg

The actress chats with THR about parting ways with the role of Queen Elizabeth, which the Netflix drama will recast next season.

When Claire Foy signed up to star in The Crown, she knew she’d only be playing Queen Elizabeth for two seasons. But the news may have come as a shock to many viewers of the Netflix drama who came to love the breakout actress’ portrayal of the young Royal.

“I’m quite philosophical about these things and I think the amazing thing about the show is the fact that it will go on and that it hasn’t ended badly. It’ll go on and have another life,” Foy tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t wait to watch it and I just think whoever they get to play that part, they’ll be extraordinary. I will never watch it with any sense of bitterness or regret. I will feel what I will feel now, which is so happy and lucky for the experience.”

Foy hopped on the phone with THR to further discuss what it feels like to leave the character behind as the drama looks to recast an older actress, her upcoming film with Damien Chazelle and how she’s adjusting to her newfound fame.

Since you wrapped shooting on the second season, do you get a bit of break now?

Well, we didn’t have much of a break because we went and did reshoots. So I went to New York for a bit and came back and did reshoots. But then now it’s officially done and so I’m just at home being mom and getting my washing done and seeing some plays. It’s amazing suddenly having that because it’s been two years of my life. I’m now catching up, which sounds dull but actually it’s really exciting. (Laughs.)

You had your first child right before the first season of The Crown. What was it like diving into motherhood and the show at the same time?

Yeah, I never would’ve planned it that way, but then I suppose that’s life. I had no idea it was going to pan out like that. But I think becoming a mother for the first time is a whirlwind in any situation that you’re in. I think mine was just slightly more mental in a sense that I was working long hours and my baby came with me to work, and not everybody has that luxury. So it was such a different way of working. I had been working for about 10 years before I had a child, so I knew the parameters as far as that was concerned, but I suppose this was the biggest job I had done up until that point. So I was aware going into it that it was quite a lot to take on and I think I’m only realizing now coming out of it just how much pressure I put myself under unnecessarily. (Laughs.) But I think all mothers at a certain point look back and go, “God, I was mad. Why did I stay up until 4 o’clock in the morning making puréed food? What was I doing?” I buy it. They have a packet. But that’s just what you do because this is the guilt, the amazing guilt. The amazing, amazing mother’s guilt.

You were able to bring her to set with you most of the time, yes?

Yeah, I mean, especially because I fed her for a good year, so she sort of had to be. But to be honest, film sets are not particularly interesting places for anyone other than the people who are making the film to be. My sister once came on set and she will never come again. She was like, “This is the most boring thing I’ve ever done.” (Laughs.) And I’m like, “Yeah, see. See. We’re in a car park in London.” So I think it’s only fun for a certain amount of time. Continue reading Claire Foy Talks Moving on From ‘The Crown’: “It’ll Go On and Have Another Life”

Claire Foy celebrates Emmy nod, teases ‘completely different’ season 2

Friday, Jul 14, 2017
Claire Foy celebrates Emmy nod, teases ‘completely different’ season 2

The actress plays Queen Elizabeth II on the Netflix drama

RUTH KINANE

Thursday morning, Claire Foy received an Emmy nomination for her performance in Netflix drama The Crown, where she plays Queen Elizabeth II. EW caught up with the actress to see how she reacted to the news.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is your first Emmy nomination — you must be super excited.
I feel very, very honored and also a bit all-of-a-fluster. I’ve never been before and I can’t wait.

The Crown was nominated in a few other categories too including best drama series, best supporting actor for John Lithgow, and for best writing and directing. Will you guys be in touch to celebrate? Is there a group text?
We’ll definitely be in touch. We just finished shooting the second season so we probably won’t see each other, but it’s not long to wait — it’s only until September — and we’ll all get together and have a big old party. I’ll definitely be getting in touch with John to say congratulations. But we’ve all just worked together again for a long time so we’re sick of the sight of each other — we’ll all be like, “Yeah, yeah, see you September.”

Looking back at season 1, was there any particular scene or episode that stood out to you and made you realize how big this show was going to be?
I really loved episode 9 (“The Assassins”). I just really thought it was near perfect. That’s the episode when Churchill is having his portrait painted and where Philip and Elizabeth have a real break in their marriage and you start to see the cracks in what they’ve been through. Not that I enjoyed playing that or relished the confrontation, but I felt like I could really get into it at that point and I really enjoyed doing those scenes with Matt [Smith], and Ben Caron, who directed those episodes, was just amazing to work with.

It’s so great because, as a viewer, you’re really rooting for both of them; you want both Elizabeth and Philip to get their way. I just want them to be happy together!
I know! That’s all you want, for them to work things out, but it only gets worse in the second series. It’s like, bloody hell, it’s just awful!

They need to go on another safari and have fun.
Exactly! Go back to Africa! I think that’s why it’s so great; they’re not perfect people, and Peter [Morgan, the series creator] is really good at not trying to paint them that way. I don’t know how he writes these scenes between people who’ve got all sorts of complications and problems and all you want them to do is have a cuddle. Continue reading Claire Foy celebrates Emmy nod, teases ‘completely different’ season 2

The Crown’s Claire Foy On the Struggles of Being a New Mom and an Actress

Thursday, Jul 13, 2017
The Crown’s Claire Foy On the Struggles of Being a New Mom and an Actress

by Lynn Hirschberg

Claire Foy was fairly unknown until 2016, when she changed everyone’s idea of royalty with her role as a coming-of-age Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown. Foy, who won both the SAG and Golden Globe awards for Best Actress in a Drama, has now proved that she is a star. Here, the British actress talks about how she landed the life-changing role, what it’s like to wear the Queen’s girdle, and everything you can expect from the show’s second final season.

How old were you when you started thinking about becoming an actress?
Probably 20, which is quite late. It never really occurred to me that it was something that I could do really being an actress. I never really thought it was a life or a job or anything that was accessible to someone like me. So it was only when I went to university and kind of got a bit of confidence that I considered it, I suppose.

What was the first thing you auditioned for?
It was a TV show called Being Human (click here for screencaptures). I played werewolf’s ex-fiancé who had epilepsy. And I wore like a really hideous sort of shiny coat with a fur hood. I didn’t have an agent at the time, so I went in just really luckily got the job.

Did you feel immediately like this is it, this is what I want to be doing?
Actually on that first job I had a terrible time and I was really bad in it. And I really struggled. I just didn’t get it. I remember the director shouting at me. “It’s time to start acting now, darling.” I’d never been on a film set in that way before. I had no idea what I was doing. But it was sort of a baptism of fire. But everyone’s got to have it because you can only learn on the job, in a way.

And did you not get depressed? You just kept going?
Yeah, then I just kept going really. I did a play, I did a bit more telly and then I just paid attention and tried to absorb how to behave as much as possible. Continue reading The Crown’s Claire Foy On the Struggles of Being a New Mom and an Actress

Claire Foy Doesn’t Believe the Queen Watches The Crown…

Thursday, Jun 1, 2017
Claire Foy Doesn’t Believe the Queen Watches The Crown…

But if Elizabeth II did watch, there’s the perfect British TV show that would let us watch her do it.

Like the no-nonsense monarch she plays on The Crown, Claire Foy has a finely tuned B.S. radar. And the actress doesn’t believe recent news reports that Queen Elizabeth has spent Saturday nights at Windsor Castle bingeing Foy’s Netflix show about her early days as Queen. Foy recently spoke with Vanity Fair about what to expect from The Crown’s anticipated second season (“sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll”), whether she believes the Queen is a feminist, and what she thinks of another complex heroine she’s rumored to be circling, Lisbeth Salander.

Vanity Fair: We are talking in a space that Netflix has built that houses props and costumes from many of its shows, including some from The Crown, like the giant crown you wear in the coronation episode. What did it feel like wearing it on your head?

Claire Foy: When I wore it in the coronation there was a lot of other stuff going on as well. The dress was also ginormous, and I had loads of scepters, and an orb, and a giant cape . . . and I was wearing platform shoes, and so it was all a bit too much, to be honest. I just sort of thought, “I’m walking straight ahead, and I’m not going to stop.” Then luckily it didn’t plop off my head . . . I always feel more like [Queen Elizabeth] when I’ve got the wellies on, and the tartan skirts, and the headscarves, because that, to me, is who she really is. When she’s got the big gowns on and stuff, I think she’s probably quite uncomfortable in them, and I am, so it sort of makes a lot of sense, really.

You’re playing someone who has basically made it her job to keep her feelings to herself. How do you find an interior life for this person? It’s not like you have her diaries, it’s not like she did some big Oprah confessional.

Imagine if she did . . . There’s always people wanting something from her. She never meets anyone and it’s just a non-transactional relationship. Someone always wants something out of that meeting, or that audience, or whatever it is. I think she’s constantly trying to gauge what her input could be and how it could be useful, and how she can alter what she says in order to remain impartial . . . I’ve always felt that she’s a very thinking character, I suppose.

The Queen has apparently watched all 10 episodes, according to a royal source.

What royal source?

Well, it was in the British press, which is never wrong, as you know.

I can’t believe, I hadn’t heard anything about it, and I will believe it when I see it is all I’ll say.

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