‘The Crown’ Star Emma Corrin on How She Got into Acting and Creating Her “Own” Princess Diana

“I’m not Diana. I was never trying to do an impression or mimic her in any way. This is my own portrayal of her… Gradually, stitch by stitch, you weave this whole person together.” – Emma Corwin

The Crown newcomer Emma Corrin is only 25 years old, but she has been acting for much of her life. In conversation with Netflix Queue about her work on the popular historical drama, Corrin talks about what inspired her to get into acting and how she created her version of Princess Diana, whom she portrays on the series — including her “Diana playlist.”

Corrin cites one of her co-stars on The Crown, Helena Bonham Carter, as one of her primary inspirations for wanting to become an actor. She reveals, “I fell in love with Helena Bonham Carter in A Room with a View when I was little. I watched that film so many times. I actually tried to recreate it in the playground of my school. I asked if my friends wanted to do a version of it with me. They did not. But I think I just got the bug from that.”

In addition to watching Merchant-Ivory movies as a child, Corrin made her stage debut at a young age in a school play. She explains, “My first role ever in my life was as Toad of Toad Hall in Wind in the Willows when I was about eight or nine years old.”

Not only did she enjoy the experience, but she relished in the feedback she received from a parent – even if in hindsight she realizes that it may not have been totally sincere. Corrin says, “I just remember that afterwards, one of my friends’ mums came up to me and said, ‘Oh darling, you were amazing. You should be an actor.’ It was a very generic, I’m-sure-she-said-that-to-everyone kind of comment, but I took it very seriously. And honestly, from that point onward I didn’t look back.”

Corrine has gone from starring as Toad in The Wind in the Willows as a child to playing one of the most famous public figures of the 20th century. On how she prepared for portraying Princess Diana, she says, “Oh my gosh, where to begin? Panic at first, and then I did a lot of research, and I got the scripts. That really helped because I realized that this is a fictionalized version of events; I’m not Diana. I was never trying to do an impression or mimic her in any way. This is my own portrayal of her. I started to do research that really resonated with the story that I wanted to tell, that we were telling. And then I worked a lot with Polly Bennett, who helped me with character and movement, and William Conacher, who helped me with the voice. Gradually, stitch by stitch, you weave this whole person together.”

One of those stitches that helped her piece Diana together is the music that she would have been listening to during the era that the season is set. Corrin notes, “I’ve grown up listening to that era of music, so it kind of is my favorite anyway. I made a playlist on my phone called Diana’s Playlist. I put that on every day.”

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

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