Jonathan Pryce interview: ‘The Crown’
“I had the same preconceptions that many people have,” admits Oscar and Emmy nominee and double Tony and Olivier winner Sir Jonathan Pryce about portraying the late Prince Philip in Season 5 of the Emmy-winning “The Crown.” For our recent webchat he adds, “He didn’t have a lot to say for himself and whenever he did, he would put his foot in his mouth and say some off-color comment. Since doing a lot of reading about him and watching a lot of video and talking to people who knew him and worked with him, I got a completely different picture of the man.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“The Crown,” was created by Oscar and Tony-nominated and Emmy-winning writer Peter Morgan, who is currently in production on the show’s anticipated sixth and final season. The Netflix drama uniquely reinvents itself every two seasons by replacing its main cast, as the royal family continue to evolve and age over time. Taking the reins for the show’s final two seasons are Oscar and Emmy nominee Imelda Staunton as the Queen Elizabeth II, Dominic West as the former Prince of Wales (and now King Charles III), Debicki as Diana, Oscar nominee Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles. The show has dominated at previous Golden Globes, Critics Choice, SAG Awards and Emmys, shattering records at the 2021 Emmys by being the first drama series to ever claim a clean sweep of awards handed out on the big night — winning Best Drama Series, all four acting wins (Colman, O’Connor, Menzies and Anderson) as well as for writing and directing.
Season 5 focuses on the Royal Family’s place in a fast-evolving modern British society. Pryce plays an older version of Phillip, taking over the role from Emmy winner Tobias Menzies, who portrayed the middle-aged Phillip in Seasons 3 and 4. He was keen to explore the man himself, rather than focus too much on his public persona. “What ‘The Crown’ tries to do in general is to humanize these people, who are seen as icons and fairly distant, and we all have to look up to them,” the actor explains. “He was a very humane man. He worked for lots of charitable organizations set up the World Wildlife Fund. He did a great deal of good throughout the world and obviously a great support for the Queen. I tried to put some of that, or as much as possible of that humanity into him, and also a sense of humor. Not the sense of humor that people thought he had, but there is definitely a warmth to the man.”