Elizabeth Debicki, the star of The Crown, has offered her perspective on one of the most contentious elements of the new series. Before the initial portion of the sixth and final season of The Crown debuted on Netflix last week, considerable attention had been given to scenes that were described as portraying a “ghostly” manifestation of Princess Diana.
Subsequently confirmed in the released episodes, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton’s characters dialogue with Diana’s spirit posthumously. Despite the divisive reactions, with some negative reviews singling out these sequences, Elizabeth described them as “really devastating” and “really beautiful.” Notably, she disclosed that the scenes were unscripted, contributing to their “very raw” nature on screen.
“[Dominic West] and I were very curious when we were heading into it,” the star 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.”