“With season 4, where we’re going into the eighties, it was the introduction of the next generation of the Royal Family,” declares music supervisor Sarah Bridge about the new challenges she took on with all of the musical elements the brought the acclaimed fourth season of Netflix’s flagship drama to life.
“Fundamentally, our goal and role is to support the director and the show’s creator in any vision that they have and really heightening the narrative and bringing characters alive, she explains. “We’re providing additional emotional input and really helping that narrative play out through the music as well and connecting the audience with what’s happening on screen.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
Netflix’s flagship drama “The Crown” was created by Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated writer Peter Morgan. The series’ current cast debuted in 2019 for its third season, with Oscar winner Olivia Colman replacing Emmy winner Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Tobias Menzies stepping in for Matt Smith as Prince Phillip, Helena Bonham Carter replacing Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, and a raft of new characters joining the fold like Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Erin Doherty as Princess Anne.
After three seasons in which “The Crown” focused on the earlier years of the Queen’s reign as monarch, the series returned late last year as the beloved royal family continued to evolve and age over time. Season 4 premiered to rapturous reviews stateside (it got an impressive 97% “certified fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes), introducing relative newcomer Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and previous Emmy and SAG Award winner Gillian Anderson as UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher, both of whom recently dominated (along with the show itself and co-star O’Connor) at the recent Golden Globes, SAGs and Critics Choice Awards.
Bridge had a vast array of iconic eighties tracks to choose from to underscore Diana’s journey over season 4, where she is introduced as an innocent ingenue but ends up as the People’s Princess by season’s end, playing the part the public demanded of her, but deeply troubled as a young mother trapped in a loveless marriage. Songs such as Duran Duran‘s “Girls on Film,” Stevie Nicks‘ “Edge of Seventeen” and Elton John‘s “Song For Guy” feature prominently in the standout Diana-centric episodes that punctuate the season, as does a memorably re-imagined performance by British singer/songwriter Purdy of the classic Frankie Valli hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which features prominently in the sixth episode of the season (“Terra Nullius”).
Asked whether she often finds herself cataloging sounds and songs and music in her daily life, Bridge immediately responds that it is “relentlessly all the time. I mean, I’m literally just, anywhere I am, I have playlists, I have notes. I have folders of stuff,” she admits of the priceless nuggets of gold that she keeps stashed away for that perfect scene or sequence that she can hopefully use one day. “I’ve got kind of constant playlists of stuff. And also just songs that I love, like or new discoveries,” she says, adding that she is “constantly barreling great ideas and beautiful works away!”
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