Matt Smith Interview: ‘The Crown’
“It’s nice to be invited to the party,” smiles Matt Smith (“The Crown”) about receiving his first-ever Emmy nomination this year. He’s nominated as Best Drama Supporting Actor for Season 2 of Netflix’s regal drama, which he divulges is “a better category for me” than the leading race. After playing Prince Philip for two seasons, Smith’s Emmy bid came at the perfect time because he recently said goodbye to “The Crown” as it’s jumping forward in time next year with all of the actors being re-cast. Watch our exclusive video interview with Smith above.
“We always knew that it would only be two years,” Smith admits about the drama’s unique strategy of swapping out its performers as the characters age. “Actually, that’s quite an appealing thing [for actors]. And if they can get it right over the six years, which I think they’ve cast it fantastically this year, it will be an event. It’ll be something that hasn’t really been done before.” Smith will be replaced by Tobias Menzies in Season 3, with Claire Foy‘s Queen Elizabeth II to be played by Olivia Colman and Vanessa Kirby‘s Princess Margaret to be portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter.
“I think it’s a brilliant bit of casting,” Smith confesses about Menzies taking over the Prince Philip role. “We’ve spoken already. I know Tobias quite well. And also, I’ve done it with ‘Doctor Who’ where you hand over a part and I’m sort of fine with that. That’s just not a problem for me. I’m just excited and I watch it as a fan. I’m intrigued to see what happens.”
As for why he loved playing the character of Prince Philip so much, Smith tells us, “I always kind of emphasized with the rebellious streak in Philip, and the competitiveness I liked, and I found him very funny.” Playing opposite Foy for two years didn’t hurt either. “We have a fantastic working relationship and a fantastic personal one,” he recalls. “Spending all day and every day with her was just a laugh. She’s very funny. Even when we’re doing those scenes that feel quite difficult and quite hard, it was good fun.”
Smith is just one of “The Crown’s” 13 Emmy nominations for 2018, with others including Best Drama Series, Foy as Best Drama Actress, Kirby as Best Drama Supporting Actress and Matthew Goode as Best Drama Guest Actor. Last year the show won Emmys for Best Production Design, Best Period Costumes and Best Drama Supporting Actor for John Lithgow. “I love John Lithgow!” Smith declares with gusto. “He’s one of my heroes. I think he is amazing.” Will Smith follow in Lithgow’s shoes at this year’s Emmy Awards?