The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki recalls "core memory" that informed Princess Diana scenes

elizabeth debicki, the crown
The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki recalls Diana memoryKeith Bernstein - Netflix

The Crown star Elizabeth Debicki has revealed she used her “core memories” to inform her scenes as Princess Diana.

The actor played the Princess of Wales in the fifth series of the Netflix show, and is set to reprise her role in the sixth and final instalment.

The first part of the upcoming series is set to depict the events leading up to and the aftermath of Diana’s death, with Debicki revealing that her own memories of the tragic event informed her performance.

elizabeth debicki, the crown
Keith Bernstein - Netflix

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“I remember my mother’s reaction very, very strongly,” she told Deadline. “I remember sitting on the floor of our living room and my mother was watching the funeral procession and she was weeping.

“I didn’t understand what was going on, and she explained to me who this person was. It’s actually quite a strong core memory in a way, so I learned and did a lot of research when I was approaching this role.

“But I suppose knowing that this woman influenced my mother, a woman in Australia in the suburbs, so deeply is something that was already embedded into my understanding of the story.”

The series will also feature scenes of Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) and Prince Charles (Dominic West) interacting with visions of Diana, with Debicki praising screenwriter Peter Morgan for the depiction of grief.

elizabeth debicki
Robin L Marshall - Getty Images

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“I’ve always been very intrigued by Peter’s brain, and I think that it’s an interesting, beautiful way to have a conversation about the experience of grief,” she said. “I think that that is how we approached it as well.

“It’s such a slippery, human, crashing, impossible thing to reckon with, the loss of somebody, and I think that his way of imagining that was very beautiful to me, and it made sense.”

The Crown seasons 1-5 are streaming on Netflix, with season 6 part 1 premiering on November 16 and season 6 part 2 following on December 14. Seasons 1-4 are also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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