‘The Crown’ Casting Director on How (and Why!) They Cast Emma Corrin as Princess Diana

Casting Director Robert Sterne on why they kept calling Emma Corrin back since they didn't believe how good she was in the role.

Casting Emma Corrin in The Crown

“She went in as a reader for the part in the previous season when we weren’t auditioning for it. And everybody had said, ‘Who is this amazing girl?’ – ‘The Crown’ Casting Director Robert Sterne on Emma Corrin

Of the many fresh faces that have appeared in the Netflix period drama series The Crown, perhaps none have had the breakthrough impact of Emma Corrin, who portrayed the young Princess Diana in Season 4 of the series. For their portrayal of Diana, Corrin was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Television Series Drama and was nominated for an Emmy Award. Not bad for an actor who had only a few television credits to their name prior to the show!

The casting director for The Crown, Robert Sterne, spoke with Awards Daily about how Corrin was cast in the role to play a specific version of Diana and why they kept calling Corrin back since they didn’t believe how good she was in the audition.

What was quite interesting about finding this version of Diana was that we were looking for the quite young version of Diana, the kindergarten teacher who found herself drawn into that circus. We weren’t looking for the iconic woman in her thirties, who was known all over the world.

It was the person that was going to go on the journey to become that person. And she had to be credible as a shy 16 years old at the beginning of it. And then go all the way to the end of the season where she’s struggling and growing up very, very fast.

And we looked all over the place. We brought in 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds, and then we’ve seen people in their early twenties. We had an extensive search—lots of people in America and Australia.

And in terms of Emma, she came in quite a few times because we couldn’t quite believe that she was as good as she was. Was it a fluke, or was it something that she could maintain?

We were quite surprised by the connection she made with the character. She came in several times; part of that was doing chemistry reads with Josh and making sure that works. But we just had to believe that the brilliant stuff that she was doing was real. And indeed it was.

You probably know that she went in as a reader for the part in the previous season when we weren’t auditioning for it. And everybody had said, ‘Who is this amazing girl?’ So when it came to casting the part, we brought her in quite quickly. Emma just had such a connection with Diana at that stage in her life and she loved doing it so much that there was a kind of magic and joy in the way she approached that character and her connection to it. She just blew everybody else out of the water.”

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