On Friday, November 4, Netflix revealed The Crown, a riveting new drama that invites the public into the private lives of Queen Elizabeth II, her royal family, and her political frenemy, World War II legend Winston Churchill. In anticipation of the show’s debut, Nerdist sat down with the series’ stars, Matt Smith and Claire Foy, and learned about the delicacy of this historical drama’s interpretation, as well as the shocking sex joke that was regrettably cut from season one.
Foy fronts the series as the 25-year-old Elizabeth Mountbatten nee Windsor, newlywed of Smith’s charismatic Duke of Edinburgh, Philip Mountbatten. Both know that she is destined to rule, but expect that heady family responsibility to still be years and years away. However, fate has other plans.
The series crafted by Peter Morgan (Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of The Queen) follows the pair through the dramatic shift in dynamic as they go from obedient wife and proud husband to grand ruler and reluctant subject. Many more personal dramas unfurl thanks to Elizabeth’s rebellious sister, her stubborn mother, and her snarky uncle, the ex-king who infamously abdicated choosing love over country. Political intrigue also brews as Elizabeth seeks to gain respect as a young queen, and Churchill struggles to maintain his standing as an aging hero. But at the heart of all this is the marriage of Elizabeth and Philip.
Speaking with Foy and Smith, we explored the obstacles of portraying living royalty, as well as The Crown’s respectful but honest approach to humanizing its regal protagonists. When discussing one such scene where Philip flirts with his wife making a cheeky oral sex joke, Smith was quick to note, “There was more than that, actually.” Foy concurred, “There was a lot more than that. They didn’t make it in.”
“There were other ones, naked ones,” The Doctor Who star continued, “Well, there was one where I knock on the door and go, ‘Knock knock, here’s cock.’ It never made the cut.”
Considering the laughs this line got, it seems a shame it was cut. But perhaps it could be looped in for season two? “I hope so,” Smith said.
He’s not alone.
The Crown debuts on Netflix November 4th.
What aspect of The Crown has you most intrigued?