It is the entire world’s opinion that The Crown is a fantastic show about the English royal family with a lot of perfect actors pretending to be the royals perfectly. I will not argue with this assessment. In the several episodes I have seen, everything seemed to be in order. However, allow me to tentatively counter with this: If I wanted a faithful representation of how history went down, I’d read a fucking book.
And that is why I adore the absolutely chaotic, somewhat controversial decision to cast America’s surliest actor, Kristen Stewart, as the People’s Princess, Diana née Spencer before she gave her last name to antiquity, in the forthcoming film, Spencer. According to the new teaser trailer, Stewart’s Diana is not all sweetness and light. She hates her life and the stupid hats she must wear to live it, much like a Twilight-era Kristen Stewart. This is the angle on this story we need. And while there’s much to praise about The Crown, its dedication to having people who “make sense in the roles they are cast” ultimately makes the show too respectful of an institution that should absolutely be given the Lifetime treatment whenever possible.
This is also why the casting of my unpopular pick for second most fuckable person from the UK copper mining soap opera Poldark, Jack Farthing, to portray Prince Charles in Spencer, is also so perfect. Farthing, a very hot man in real life, plays George Warleggan, a man who is dickishly not hot, so well in Poldark that he brings it full circle and makes the churlish whiner fuckable again out of sheer audience hatred. Unlike the casting of Dominic West as a middle-aged Charles in The Crown, this choice makes perfect soap opera sense. West will do a fine job, certainly, but he is a hot man, who, as recent scandals prove, lots of people want to bone. Farthing makes you hate yourself for it, and that is exactly the energy Charles needs in a reworking of the Princess Diana story that we all know a little too well at this point.
Also appearing in Spencer, according to IMDB, will be Anne Boleyn in some capacity, though as my colleague Kelly Faircloth rightly points out, if one is trying to build on beleaguered wife folklore in English royal history, why leave out Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, who was actually Diana’s relative?
But overall, the trailer looks good, right down to Stewart not quite chewing perfectly on her mouth sounds in the way the richest Brits do. That just slightly wrongness is absolutely what I’m waiting for on November 5th, when Spencer is loosed onto a likely ungrateful world.