Dominic West, the seasoned actor known for his roles in The Wire and The Affair, recently shed light on why he eagerly accepted the opportunity to portray Prince Charles in the acclaimed Netflix series, The Crown. West, 56, took on the role in the fifth and sixth seasons of the series, delving into the intricate dynamics of the British royal family.
The Weight of Success
Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, West acknowledged the immense pressure associated with joining a successful series like The Crown, especially following Josh O’Connor’s well-received portrayal of a younger Prince Charles in seasons three and four.
“There was an enormous pressure on The Crown because it was such a successful show before I went in, and Josh did such a great job,” West shared. However, the seasoned actor emphasized the importance of choosing roles that personally resonate. “When you’ve got a juicy part like that, you can’t turn it down. I loved playing him, he was brilliant.”
Channeling Prince Charles
To embody the character of Prince Charles authentically, West delved into extensive research, watching documentaries, including one with Jonathan Dimbleby. Revealing some behind-the-scenes tactics, he mentioned, “He’s on a plane, and he’s talking about, ‘I don’t do this for my own good, you know – I do this for jolly old Britain.’ And it was so funny, ‘jolly old Britain’; every time I was trying to get into him on set, I’d just go ‘jolly old Britain’. And I was in.”
West’s portrayal focused on pivotal moments in Prince Charles’s life, including his response to the untimely death of Princess Diana, the aftermath, and his eventual marriage to Camilla.
The Impact on Royal Encounters
Having met Prince Charles before taking on the role, West noted that his opportunities for such encounters diminished after becoming associated with the character. “I’ve done a bit of stuff for the Prince’s Trust, so I’ve stood in line and shook his hand a couple of times, so not particularly intimate. But those invitations dried up,” West shared, hinting at the inevitable consequences of portraying a prominent royal figure.
The actor, known for his ability to seamlessly inhabit diverse roles, demonstrated his commitment to authenticity in portraying Prince Charles. As fans eagerly await the next installment of The Crown, West’s portrayal adds another layer to the rich tapestry of performances within the celebrated series.
Q1: When did Dominic West join The Crown?
A1: Dominic West joined The Crown for the fifth and sixth seasons.
Q2: What challenges did Dominic West acknowledge in taking on the role?
A2: He acknowledged the pressure of joining a successful show and the expectations set by the previous portrayal of a younger Prince Charles by Josh O’Connor.
Q3: How did Dominic West prepare for the role of Prince Charles?
A3: West conducted extensive research, watching documentaries, including one featuring Jonathan Dimbleby, to capture Prince Charles’s character authentically.
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