Martin Childs Q&A: ‘The Crown’ production designer
“I treated this like a feature film,” reveals production designer Martin Childs as we chat via webcam (watch the exclusive video above) about his work on “The Crown.” This Netflix original series depicts the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), who came to power following the sudden death of her father, King George VI (Jared Harris). The show won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actress (Foy), as well as SAG Awards for Foy and John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.
“It’s not easy to jump on a production that’s going to tell the story of the royal family,” the veteran designer admits, “because that implies wealth, and that’s the expectation of the audience: they’re going to see a ton of wealth and beautiful things.” What excited Childs about joining the project was the prospect of portraying that fortune, “within the context of a country that was just coming out of a war. So it’s 1947, the country was on it’s knees, there was no money, and so we had, therefore, that contrast. We were able to place these impossibly wealthy people in an un-wealthy context.”
Childs won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” (1998) and competed once again for “Quills” (2000). He’s best known for his film work, including “Mrs. Brown,” “W.E.,” “Mr. Holmes,” and “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” Given the TV Academy’s predilection towards period pieces and his recent nomination by the Art Directors Guild, could “The Crown” bring him his first Emmy?