On Wednesday, season five of The Crown finally debuted on Netflix, and the response has been heated in every meaning of the word. This season tells the story of the royal family during one of their most tumultuous modern eras. The 1990s were a scandalous time: three of Queen Elizabeth’s children went through divorce, most notably Prince Charles, who currently sits on the throne as king.
Charles divorced his young wife Diana, Princess of Wales and the “People’s Princess” and then reenters his relationship with his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, who currently serves as the Queen Consort. This was also the decade in which Diana died in a car crash with her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, as they were chased by paparazzi. Because of the high level of controversy, reaction to the season has been mixed so far. But the most unexpected reaction to actors Dominic West and Olivia Williams is that everyone thinks they’re far too “hot” for their roles.
West and Williams play Charles and Camilla, respectively, and according to an interview they just did with Variety, they’ve been reading all the feedback.
Interviewer K.J. Yossman told the pair, “The main criticism I’ve seen is that you both are too hot to be playing Charles and Camilla. What’s your response to that?”
“Well I think there’s something in that you know,” joked West. “I’ve had worse.”
Williams added, “[The production] will just have to try and suppress how very deeply hot we are for Season 6.”
Other than that, Williams says she’s stayed away from reviews. Not West.
“I read every single [review],” he admitted. “Because I always find if you don’t read it and then you go in – I remember doing a play on Broadway once and I thought, ‘Well, I’m not gonna read the reviews.’ And I came into the theatre and it was like a morgue. Everyone looked at me as if my dog had just died. And from then on I’ve read reviews.”
West added, “I think what’s obvious is this season, probably more than previous ones, has stirred up a lot of controversy, partly because the Queen has died. And also because it’s about probably the most tumultuous time of their lives and over a time that more people remember than ever before.”
The Queen’s death did indeed delay production and external pressure from Dame Judy Dench and other notable voices made The Crown add a disclaimer that the show was work of fiction.
The warning states, “Inspired by real events, this fictional dramatisation tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the political and personal events that shaped her reign. It’s a new decade, and the royal family are facing what may be their biggest challenge yet: proving their continued relevance in ‘90s Britain. As Diana and Charles wage a media war, cracks begin to splinter the royal foundation.”