“It became a very creative editing process,” explains Jessica Hobbs about directing the closing episodes of the upcoming fourth season of “The Crown,” which had not finished filming when the industry shut down in March. Showrunner Peter Morgan resolved never to film the missing scenes; Hobbs reveals in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby that she is currently doing post-production virtually from a family vacation in Greece (watch the video above). She explains, “We wanted to deliver to Netflix — people are hungry to see new material and hopefully, they’ll love it when they see it. Hopefully, they won’t notice!” Hobbs says about the process, “I was actually really grateful for the creative focus of, ‘Okay, how else can we tell this story with what we’ve got?’ And we really succeeded. The actors were really blown away and Peter was delighted, so it was great, but it was a scary few weeks in there.”
Hobbs notably did not get to shoot the eponymous sequence of the “Avalanche” episode. She explains, “It’s the penultimate episode, but the avalanche is both real and metaphorical and we deal with what happened as a result of it. It still is there, but yeah, that was exactly what we were going off to film and initially, we were in Spain and then we switched to Scotland and then we would shoot during the day and then take the overnight train to Scotland, look at shooting there, but in the end, everything shut down and we realized it wasn’t go to happen.”
The next season will release November 15, with the other episodes directed by fellow returning guest director Julian Jarrold, new guest director Paul Whittington and producing director Benjamin Caron. Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin respectively join the cast as Margaret Thatcher and Princess Diana. Hobbs teases, “Diana and Thatcher are the two big female leads that come in and those two characters put enormous pressure on the family from different ends. It was wonderful for a cast that had fallen in love with each other and were very comfortable with each other to introduce these two new very rocket-fueled performances and have everyone else go, ‘Right! Okay, now we have to match that,’ so it’s pretty exciting.”
“The Crown” again has 13 Emmy nominations, with Hobbs cited for the season finale in the Best Drama Directing race. “I particularly related to Margaret’s story: I related to the age that she was, the situation that she found herself in about being second in the family. There were so many personal notes that I wanted to explore and particularly from a female perspective, what it is to start feeling invisible.”
Both Best Drama Actress nominee Olivia Colman and Best Drama Supporting Actress nominee Helena Bonham Carter have also submitted “Cri de Coeur” for academy consideration. Hobbs continues, “It is something that has a particularly female voice attached to it. You start to be aware of that difference and it is something that Helena and I bonded over.” Hobbs directed Colman on “Broadchurch” in 2015, years before she won an Oscar for “The Favourite” and three Golden Globes, the last for this role. Hobbs says, “She hasn’t changed actually. She’s a true north.”
Hobbs previously directed the third season’s “Moondust” episode, which she identifies as her favorite. “There was something very unique about how far he was prepared to go,” says Hobbs about actor Tobias Menzies, who leads that installment. She makes the case for the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award nominee to break through finally at the Emmys, “Tobias is probably one of the most thoughtful, intelligent brave actors that I’ve worked with. He is so able to be under the skin of the character and so unafraid of being unlikable or difficult. He has this beautiful stillness about him and that is actually quite a rare quality. He’s not trying to project out all the time; he invites you in when you watch and I wanted to keep working with him as much as possible.”
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