The Crown star Elizabeth Debicki has shared her take on one of the new series’ most divisive aspects.
Before the first half of The Crown’s sixth and final season began streaming on Netflix last week, much had been made in the press about scenes supposedly depicting a “ghostly” vision of Princess Diana.
This was later confirmed to be the case after the episodes were unveiled, with Dominic West and Imelda Staunton’s on-screen characters both exchanging words with the spirit of Diana following her death.
While the scenes have already proved divisive – with some of the more negative reviews of the season mentioning the sequences as a particular stand-out – Elizabeth herself has said she found them both “really devastating” and “really beautiful”.
In fact, she also revealed that the scenes were unrehearsed, meaning what viewers see on screen was “very raw”.
“[Dominic West] and I were very curious when we were heading into it,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
She continued: “I don’t think we knew how to play it, and I don’t think we rehearsed it actually. So, what people see is very raw; it’s like the first or second take for both of us. It’s kind of a meta conversation about grief. And for me, it felt so real, the idea that if you suddenly lose somebody that you love, you have to speak to them again.
“And also, in this imaginary incarnation, they’re able to say what they never maybe were able to say. I think that’s very real and accurate in grieving somebody.”
She added: “And having the opportunity as the character to say the thing that I feel I probably wanted to say inside that character for two seasons just absolutely destroyed me, but in the best way.
“But what you don’t see, of course, is we would do the takes and then someone would cut, and then we would both wail and it would be that really terrible aching kind of cry. And then we’d mop it all up and we’d do another take.
“I think we shot it for about an hour and by the end of it, we were on the table. We were so tired. But I’m really proud of that scene. I feel like it’s really honest and I just think that Dom’s work in the whole season, but particularly in that episode, is just astonishingly beautiful.”
Four seasons of The Crown season six are currently available to stream on Netflix, with the final six instalments coming next month.
These last episodes are thought to include events such as King Charles and Queen Camilla’s wedding, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first meeting at university.