Matt Smith Q&A: ‘The Crown’
“For any man at the time, having to kneel before your wife. He lost his job. He lost his family name, and the kids took her name,” reveals actor Matt Smith about the insecurities of his real-life role as Prince Philip in the Netflix series “The Crown.” In our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “I suppose those things are, to some degree, emsaculating and, interestingly, Philip was always battling that in many ways… It stirred up a lot of different things in him which one can interpret several different ways. I definitely think it wasn’t easy for him, and it was a great conflict within him which made him quite interesting for me to play.”
The program was written by Oscar nominee Peter Morgan (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) and the first two parts were directed by Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot,” “The Hours,” “The Reader”). It 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). Before his death, it begins with the marriage in 1947 of Elizabeth to Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The show has already 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. The entire cast was nominated at SAG as Best TV Drama Ensemble, losing out to “Stranger Things.”
Many of Smith’s scenes are with Foy as they portray the royal couple. On working with her, he says, “I have such a profound and huge admiration and respect for Claire. She truly is a remarkable actress and indeed a remarkable person and someone whom I’ve had a great pleasure and honor to work with and get to know… She’s delivered one of the great screen performances I think, which is no surprise to me because I saw it happening. I thought, ‘Wow! She’s really good.'”
Smith first became famous at age 26 when he was cast in the iconic role of “Doctor Who” in 2010. He was preceded as that classic British science-fiction character by David Tennant and followed by the current version played by Peter Capaldi, who took over in 2014. In our interview, we also discuss that long-running program and an upcoming charity event that will raise money for Comic Relief. It offers a private breakfast conversation with seven doctors: Smith, Tennant, Capaldi, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Paul McGann, and Sylvester McCoy.