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Los Angeles Times – Claire Foy has spent most of the last two years playing Queen Elizabeth for the Emmy-nominated Netflix period drama “The Crown,” wearing tiaras and tartan, acting with the utmost reserve and enduring loads of questions about whether playing a monarch improves one’s posture.
On the latter front, Foy laughs off any illusions of regality, happily slouching in a leather chair throughout a leisurely interview at Netflix’s curated Emmy promotional space in Beverly Hills. Fresh off a transatlantic flight, London to Los Angeles, Foy is famished, devouring a Twix bar, only to find, minutes later, that somehow the chocolate worked its way into the designer trousers she borrowed for the evening event, a Q&A with costar Matt Smith and James Corden at the film academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater across the street.
“I’m such an idiot!” Foy shouts. “I’ve got chocolate on my bum!”
“You know,” she adds, after a couple of minutes of light dabbing averts the crisis, “if they were my own clothes, I wouldn’t be bothered. I’d be, like, ‘Eh. Who cares?’ Personally, my main use of clothes is if I can wipe my hands on it.”
Foy, Oxford-trained, extraordinary as Anne Boleyn in the 2015 BBC adaptation of “Wolf Hall,” Emmy-nominated for her quiet, controlled portrait of Elizabeth on “The Crown,” immediately comes across as an earthy sort. Having just finished shooting the second season of Netflix’s royal drama — each 10-episode run took nine months to film — she has no immediate plans to work (“I can’t even contemplate doing anything at all”) and eagerly shares two pressing, personal goals for her time off.
“I’d really like to go rock climbing, not rock climbing like Tom Cruise hanging off a mountain, but, because I’m not physically strong or muscle-y, I’d like to take that challenge, just a wall, you know,” Foy says. “And I’m going to fly a plane for the first time. I love being in the sky, but I also have a fear of flying. So it’s a weird fascination.”
Foy clearly likes a challenge, which is why she’s happy that the producers of “The Crown” decided to recast the entire show for the third season, which will jump ahead in time to the 1970s. Playing Elizabeth for six years would have presented its own mental demands, but at age 33, Foy is more interested in exploring her range than in trying to combat the complacency that can set in when working on a long-running show.
“I need change, and, not that I think I’ll ever get a part that’s like the queen again, but I need to play somebody who expresses themselves and is able to communicate on a more open level,” Foy says. “And that’s not Elizabeth.”
Indeed. Although the queen holds the center of the story in “The Crown,” guiding the audience through the events, Elizabeth doesn’t reveal her emotions freely. You can see her mind moving a million miles an hour, thanks to Foy’s sublime ability to convey thought through facial expressions, her eyes — “big saucer eyes that are like a window into her soul,” says Dearbhla Walsh, who directed Foy in her first lead role, 2008’s “Little Dorrit” — registering nervousness, naiveté, a growing confidence and a pained resignation to subjugating desire for duty.
After 10 hour-long episodes, Elizabeth remains something of an enigma, a woman caught between centuries of tradition and a longing to fulfill the intimate promises she made to herself and her family.
Don’t look for any dramatic changes in the show’s second season, which Foy describes as Elizabeth and her husband, Philip, still chafing at his role, facing down the ’60s and the ’60s winning every time.
“It’s a torrent coming at them and they don’t know how to cope,” Foy says of upcoming episodes, which take place between 1955 and 1964. “They judge it wrongly every single time.”
Foy’s favorite episode focuses on John and Jackie Kennedy visiting Buckingham Palace in 1961, contrasting the youth of the Kennedys with the royals’ middle-aged mopes, one couple embodying a new hope, the other a stagnation.
The women didn’t immediately bond, with Jackie telling Gore Vidal that she found the queen “pretty heavy going.” But beyond the culture shock, Foy says, the women shared a strange connection in that they were both the star attractions, much to their husbands’ resentment.
“I loved the episode because it’s about these two disparate women, women who are so very observed, coming to know each other,” Foy says. “It was such fun to play.”
The only playing Foy plans on doing now is of the park-and-playground variety. She has a 2-year-old daughter with her actor husband, Stephen Campbell Moore. When she learned of her Emmy nomination last month, she was out for an evening walk in Hampstead Heath, near their London home.
Foy shoots down any and all rumors about upcoming roles. Will she be playing Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” the long-delayed follow-up to the 2011 David Fincher film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”? (“Good god, no. I’m not even in the same arena.”) How about starring opposite Ryan Gosling in Damien Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic, “First Man”? (“He’s a very special director and I loved ‘La La Land’ and … I’m not talking!”)
She issues the latter denial with the sort of enthusiastic burst that punctuates much of her conversation. When more food arrives, Foy greets each item with unbridled joy — the tandoori chicken elicits a gasp, the onion and Stilton cheese tart is “amazing!” the cucumber sandwiches are “marvelous!” — and you can understand why she’s eager to move beyond the prim and proper queen, the woman King Edward nicknamed Shirley Temple.
Not that she hasn’t come to love Elizabeth.
“Did you know that I met her once?” Foy asks. “Years and years ago I was in a Charles Dickens program with a thousand other people celebrating the bicentenary of his birth. And then I stood in line and my name was shouted out, and I shook her hand. It was really lovely.
“But I came away going, ‘God, they work hard,’” Foy adds. “It’s 11 o’clock at night; she was 85, 86. I wouldn’t want my grandmother up, shaking the hands of a thousand people at that time. But that’s her job. It’s all so regimented. I admire her because not in a million years could I do that.”
Today, Entertainment Weekly and Netflix released new content for the second season of ‘The Crown’. A teaser and stills were shared, combined with an article. Check it out:
Entertainment Weekly – Without a dragon or superhero or zombie in sight, The Crown became an immediate international hit when it debuted on Netflix last fall, earning star Claire Foy a Golden Globe and netting the streaming service 13 Emmy nominations. Creator Peter Morgan’s (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) sumptuous look at England’s royal family took viewers into what felt like every corner of Buckingham Palace — and many of the British Empire’s farthest-flung territories — to tell the story of Elizabeth II’s ascent to power, covering her public triumphs and private challenges with an equal degree of precision.
The series’ second season, which covers 1956–64, will follow Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (Foy and Matt Smith, reprising their roles for just one more season) everywhere from Tonga to Papua New Guinea, and even the Antarctic — while focusing more on their private lives as the family expands with the birth of Princes Andrew and Edward. In this first look at the new season (out Dec. 8 on Netflix), we see a much more self-assured leader emerging, even if things at home are still fractious at the onset.
“I think [Queen Elizabeth] starts to realize she needs to pay more attention to her personal life now that the other part of her life is going all right,” says Foy. But the swinging ’60s aren’t an easy time to be the monarch: “The world’s changing faster than anyone can catch up with. There is no letup. She just keeps having to go from one crisis to another to another, and at some point, it’s about five crises at the same time and you have no idea how she manages to get up in the morning,” says Foy.
Below, find an even deeper dive into some exclusive first-look images from the season.
When President Kennedy (Dexter’s Michael C. Hall) and his impossibly stunning wife, Jackie (Jodi Balfour), come to the palace, the Queen is equally enthralled and intimidated. “Her focus is really on this dazzling woman — and not just because of her husband’s flirting, but the whole attention on Jackie as a phenomenon,” says the episode’s director, Stephen Daldry, of this imagined version of what might have happened during the president’s actual 1961 visit. “The Queen’s beginning to feel the first aches and pains of middle age, and here is this woman who seems to have a huge role even within foreign policy.” Adds Foy: “The Kennedys were a real symbol of the ’60s and the world moving forward, and the Queen is very much stuck in the past at that point. It’s a real wake-up call.”
Having it All
At the end of the first season, Elizabeth had become comfortable in her role as monarch and in exercising her authority. Her home life was the struggle. And finding her footing doesn’t get any easier for the Queen. “She’s neglected her personal life, so there are all sorts of things she has to sort out,” says Foy of her character’s evolution in season 2. So will we see a shift in Elizabeth and Philip’s relationship? “As politics change around them and as they become older, there are huge changes that take place in them as human beings,” says Smith. “But to talk about [specifics] would give things away. You will have to watch!”
In the Family Way
In addition to delving more into Prince Charles’ troubled youth, season 2 of The Crown introduces two new royals: his and Princess Anne’s siblings, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. “We never really got to do the new-mother thing [in season 1]. We just jumped a period of time, so you will see a bit of that,” says Foy. Adds Smith:“It’s The Crown. It’s still about politics and the crown and how these two wrangle their marriage and how they bring up their children.”
Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) — whose doomed affair with Capt. Peter Townsend ended in sadness in season 1 — starts a relationship with society photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones (played by Matthew Goode), a story set in the bohemian, artistic world of London’s Chelsea neighborhood. “We follow her struggles to find a relationship that is not only suitable, but a man who she feels that she could love,” says Daldry. “It’s a chaotic situation, and they get into trouble. It’s fun.”
The Crown season 2 debuts on Netflix on Dec. 8.
Also, we have added some stills in UHQ in our gallery, check them out:
W Magazine – As movies increasingly play to a global audience with an endless stream of superhero blockbusters, the television landscape is becoming more varied—and more compelling. So, this year we turned our attention to dramas and the 13 actors and actresses who have given performances that are deeper and more thrilling than any you might find at the cinema. From Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård, who played a couple caught in an impassioned and physically abusive relationship in HBO’s Big Little Lies, to Millie Bobby Brown as the otherworldly Eleven on Stranger Things and Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson, the flawed but compassionate father at the heart of NBC’s breakthrough hit This Is Us, here is a closer look at the hottest TV stars of the year.
6/13 – CLAIRE FOY, THE CROWN
“I went to work on The Crown four months after giving birth. The queen didn’t wear a corset, but I did in the beginning. Now, in the second season, I have to wear a significantly padded brassiere. In the first season, it was all my own breast work, but now it’s ‘Ha! Where have they gone?’ The queen would be so ashamed of me.”
Foy wears a Louis Vuitton dress; Messika Paris bracelet.