Actress Emma Corrin says she has got to know Diana, Princess of Wales, “like you would a friend” while playing her in The Crown.
The 24-year-old actress will portray Diana during the early part of her relationship with the Prince of Wales, before handing over the role to Elizabeth Debicki, for series five and six of the hit Netflix drama.
Corrin, a relative newcomer whose previous credits include Misbehaviour and Grantchester, said she had developed a sense of empathy and understanding for the late princess.
She told British Vogue: “I feel I’ve got to know Diana like you would a friend.
“I know that sounds really weird, but I get a great sense of companionship from her.
“I suppose, over time, you kind of start to patch together a sense of empathy and a sense of understanding. I love figuring people out.”
Corrin said she had kept the role secret, but that some friends had correctly guessed her casting.
“I didn’t tell anyone for a while,” she said.
“I love my mates but I think it would have got out.
“My friends from school did this incredible thing, where they made me a scrapbook filled with all of the screenshots from our group WhatsApp, where I have said, ‘Oh my God, guys, I’ve been invited to read’.
“Or a random conversation we’d had four years ago when I said, ‘Isn’t Diana amazing!’”
The young actress also recalled filming the first scene with Diana in her wedding dress, designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel and featuring a 25ft train.
Corrin said that she had needed 10 others to help her put on the replica dress, and that the crew went silent seeing her in it for the first time.
She told the magazine: “The Emanuels, who designed the original, gave us the patterns, and then it was made for me.
“We were filming the scene when you first see her in the wedding dress – I think it was Lancaster House in London – and I had a team of about 10 people helping me put it on, because it’s massive.
“I walked out and everyone went completely silent.
“More than anything else I wear in the series, it’s so… it’s her.”
In the next series, Imelda Staunton will play the Queen while Lesley Manville has been cast as Princess Margaret.
They will replace Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter respectively, who will bow out after the forthcoming fourth series.
The full interview is in the October issue of British Vogue, available on Friday September 11.