The actress plays Queen Elizabeth II on the Netflix drama
She already has the crown — but will she take the Emmy too?
Thursday morning, Claire Foy received an Emmy nomination for her performance in Netflix drama The Crown, where she plays Queen Elizabeth II. EW caught up with the actress to see how she reacted to the news.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is your first Emmy nomination — you must be super excited.
I feel very, very honored and also a bit all-of-a-fluster. I’ve never been before and I can’t wait.
The Crown was nominated in a few other categories too including best drama series, best supporting actor for John Lithgow, and for best writing and directing. Will you guys be in touch to celebrate? Is there a group text?
We’ll definitely be in touch. We just finished shooting the second season so we probably won’t see each other, but it’s not long to wait — it’s only until September — and we’ll all get together and have a big old party. I’ll definitely be getting in touch with John to say congratulations. But we’ve all just worked together again for a long time so we’re sick of the sight of each other — we’ll all be like, “Yeah, yeah, see you September.”
Looking back at season 1, was there any particular scene or episode that stood out to you and made you realize how big this show was going to be?
I really loved episode 9 (“The Assassins”). I just really thought it was near perfect. That’s the episode when Churchill is having his portrait painted and where Philip and Elizabeth have a real break in their marriage and you start to see the cracks in what they’ve been through. Not that I enjoyed playing that or relished the confrontation, but I felt like I could really get into it at that point and I really enjoyed doing those scenes with Matt [Smith], and Ben Caron, who directed those episodes, was just amazing to work with.
It’s so great because, as a viewer, you’re really rooting for both of them; you want both Elizabeth and Philip to get their way. I just want them to be happy together!
I know! That’s all you want, for them to work things out, but it only gets worse in the second series. It’s like, bloody hell, it’s just awful!
They need to go on another safari and have fun.
Exactly! Go back to Africa! I think that’s why it’s so great; they’re not perfect people, and Peter [Morgan, the series creator] is really good at not trying to paint them that way. I don’t know how he writes these scenes between people who’ve got all sorts of complications and problems and all you want them to do is have a cuddle.
How’s working with Matt Smith? He seems like he’d be a dream.
Doesn’t he? He’s amazing. He’s become a real, real friend, so going to work with him was amazing. It was great when I knew the days that he’d be in. I love him.
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So is season 2 all wrapped?
Yeah, it’s all done. It was amazing. It was completely different, like a completely different show in a way. The direction the show has gone in is very different and the period of time is moving on, so it does feel very different. It was also lucky because [season 1] came out while we were all shooting so it was really lovely that it went down so well. It was really lovely for all of the crew and the cast to be like, “Woohoo, we’re doing it again!”
Is there anything you can tease for the next season? You’ve got the Americans to contend with now with the addition of J.F.K.
I absolutely fell in love with Jodi Balfour [who plays Jackie Kennedy]. She’s just brilliant, and Michael C. Hall [who plays Jack Kennedy] is just incredible. You really see how amazing it is to put Philip and Elizabeth — their marriage and their world — suddenly into the 1960s. You see how the royal family has to start changing and move with the times and realize that things and people are different, and you start to see the evolution of the modern monarchy.
Do you have a preference in terms of fashion for those different decades?
I loved wearing 1950s skirts, but I’m not a massive fan of the queen’s choice of wardrobe. I think when she was younger she didn’t have to have the uniform, she was more free, but as she gets older in the second season, she becomes much more like, “This is what I wear for work.” You start to see the formation of the queen as she looks now — the hair and everything.