The Crown’s Josh O’Connor: My portrayal of Charles is not an impression

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The Crown star Josh O’Connor has said his portrayal of the Prince of Wales is not an impression, as he would be “rubbish” at mimicking him.

O’Connor, who plays a young Charles in the Netflix drama, said he remained an “all-out Republican” who does not follow the royal family.

The 30-year-old debuted as the royal in series three of the Netflix show and will reprise the role in the forthcoming fourth series, which will feature Charles’ wedding to Diana, Princess of Wales, played by Emma Corrin.

Speaking with designer Jonathan Anderson at the virtual Esquire Townhouse event, he said: “I really avoided the person Prince Charles, so firstly I didn’t know an awful lot about him, I don’t follow the Royal Family, I’m an all-out Republican, so that’s not really changed… I’d be rubbish at trying to do an impression of Charles where everyone goes, ‘That’s exactly him’.”

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O’Connor appears in the forthcoming film Mothering Sunday, which is directed by Eva Husson, from a screenplay by Normal People’s Alice Birch, and stars Olivia Colman and Colin Firth.

Addressing the part, he told Esquire UK: “Sometimes it’s helpful to bring your own lived-in experience into a role.

“Sometimes it’s even more exciting to create something from the beginning and in this film (Mothering Sunday) my character’s story is a tragedy and I haven’t experienced such tragedy in my own life, luckily, so you create this narrative completely unique to you and no one will ever see it because it’s private.”

Josh O’Connor (Matt Crossick/PA)

He also admitted he was unable to watch some of his older films or TV series because all he could see was “failure”.

He said: “Failure’s all part of the process.

“It comes back to this sense of speed and content, that if we’re being forced to create stuff quickly and routinely, and it’s pressured, it doesn’t allow for any thought about any failure because we can’t really reflect on what we have failed on…I’ve made terrible decisions about characters or stuff that I now can’t watch the film, or the series, because all I see is failure.

“But I’ve learned that what failed for that character, that audacious, outrageous decision made for that character that doesn’t work, could work for something else. And then you have the time to reflect on it.”

He spoke during Esquire Townhouse at Your House with Breitling.

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