The Crown Season Five: Dominic West talks playing Prince Charles

Dominic West takes on the role of playing Prince Charles in Season 5 of The Crown having met the King through his work with The Prince’s Trust.

But that’s not why the actor found his new royal role in the drama “daunting”.

The 53-year-old actor plays King Charles in the hit Netflix show, and he’s advised people who don’t approve of ‘The Crown’ to watch royal documentaries instead.

He said: “It’s a drama, an imaginative speculation in a way. ‘The Crown’ is “imaginative speculation”, according to Dominic West.

“I watched every documentary that has ever been made about my character, and there are plenty of those that people can watch if you don’t want to watch what a great dramatist has created imaginatively.”

At the World Premiere of the new series in London on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning AEDT), the 53-year-old actor revealed it was for another reason.

“It is the first part I’ve ever played where the person is still living,” the actor explains on the red carpet.

“And that is both very daunting, but also amazing because you have a constant resource – you just turn on the telly or read the papers and there he is, and that feeds into a lot of your research and how you deal with the scenes and in the drama that Peter’s [Morgan] written.”

The Golden Globe-nominated actor, best known for his role in The Affair, says playing the role was “a bit of a gamble”.

“It was hugely daunting not just because [King Charles] is so famous but because it’s such a famous and successful show,” West tells 9Honey Celebrity, adding that the actor to come before him, Josh O’Connor, did so “to enormous acclaim”.

“So it’s always a bit of a gamble taking on that, but as an actor, you live for great parts with great people and that’s what this is, and so how could I turn it down?”

Entertainment reporter, Culture expert and commentator, celebrity publicist Mark Boardman told Newsweek “I found all episodes of The Crown enthralling with the show focusing on many aspects of the royal family history.”

In a moment of life imitating art, West stars alongside his son Senan West, who plays a teen Prince William.

Another aspect of playing the future monarch in the ’90s, through the period known as “The War of the Wales'” which is when Charles and Princess Diana’s split turned ugly, was how much West remembered of the time.

“I’ve always been interested in the royal family and I particularly adored Diana and so I remember it really well,” the actor revealed.

“So in a way it was an incredible treat to learn a lot more about that and think much more about that and try to imagine what was going on behind what we all saw.”

Season 5 of the Netflix drama stars Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana and covers many front page news events from the Prince and Princess of Wales’s life at that time.

The BBC Panorama interview as well as Prince Charles’s Jonathan Dimbleby interview and the phone hacking tape known as “tampongate” all have dedicated episodes as the series explores their messy split.

Season 5 of The Crown is streaming now on Netflix.

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