“He had a very sane understanding of what it was to be in the public eye and that if you’re in the public eye, you’re there to be shot at,” declares Emmy nominee Tobias Menzies about Prince Phillip, who was a divisive figure in the British royal family throughout his life, but who was ultimately celebrated and lionized by the media upon his passing earlier this year. Watch our exclusive video interview with Menzies above in which he recalls the highlights of playing Phillip on his final season on the show before handing over the baton to Jonathan Pryce for the show’s fifth and sixth seasons.
“The Crown,” was created by Oscar, Emmy and Tony-nominated writer Peter Morgan, who is now in production on the show’s anticipated fifth season. Menzies stars as the late Prince Phillip, taking over last season from Emmy nominee Matt Smith, who played a younger version of Phillip during the show’s first two seasons. Menzies joined Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Olivia Colman, who replaced Emmy winner Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, Oscar and Emmy nominee Helena Bonham Carter, who replaced Oscar and Emmy nominee Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, and a raft of new characters who joined the fold, like Emmy nominee Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles, Oscar winner and Emmy nominee Emereld Fennell as Camilla Parker-Bowles 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, it returned late last year for season 4, its most acclaimed season to date, as the beloved royal family continued to evolve and age over time, introducing Emmy nominee Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Emmy winner Gillian Anderson as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The show has dominated the awards circuit this year, winning at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards with the show’s cast, plus Anderson and Corrin also adding a SAG Award to their mantles. Last month, the series scored a staggering 24 Emmy nominations, leading all other programs alongside drama series “The Mandalorian,” and up from 13 nominations for each of its three previous seasons. Perhaps it is not surprising that its nominations haul almost doubled this season, given that it was not only one of the most buzzed-about series on any platform, but also arguably one of the most critically acclaimed, premiering to rapturous reviews stateside and scoring an impressive 96% “certified fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
Surprisingly, this is Menzies’ first Emmy nomination, after having won the top drama ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (alongside the cast) for the show’s last two seasons. This has been a banner year for the actor, having earned nominations for his portrayal of the Duke of Edinburgh at the Golden Globe Awards, the Critics Choice Awards, the BAFTA Awards and our very own Gold Derby Awards.
Menzies humbly takes the accolades in his stride, more interested in celebrating the show’s success overall, which he admits exceeded their wildest expectations. “It’s a significant achievement,” he declares. “Obviously, ‘The Crown’ has had huge success in terms of awards over the years, but I think for a show and it’s fourth season to have this number of nominations still, I think counts for quite a lot.”
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