The Crown season 3 creators still looking for “established actor” to play Prince Philip

Netflix drama creator Peter Morgan says that the producers are still working on who could take over Matt Smith's role after Olivia Colman was confirmed as Claire Foy's replacement

(Netflix, TL)

Netflix royal drama The Crown confirmed in October last year that Olivia Colman would be replacing Claire Foy in season three – but finding an actor to play Prince Philip is proving more of a battle.

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Creator Peter Morgan revealed that the process of finding an “established actor” to replace Matt Smith is just beginning, with filming due to start later this summer.

“Because of the age of the Queen and Philip, we’re going to pretty established actors,” he said during a Bafta Masterclass panel discussion.

The Crown - Matt Smith, Peter Morgan, Claire Foy - Writer/Creator Peter Morgan with Matt Smith (Prince Philip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth II) (Netflix, TL)

That means, he explained, that the producers are not able to do the same extensive “chemistry tests” that they were able to with Foy and Smith.

“You can’t get them to come in, mess around and read,” he said. “They’re all people who have been working for a long time; they’d tell you to get stuffed if you asked them to come in and read! So you have to make offers.”

Despite this however, Morgan said that the process of casting Colman for the Netflix series happened remarkably smoothly.

“I think we all felt that Olivia Colman had something that corresponded to the Queen,” he said. “That ability to be both plain and dazzling, both knowable and unknowable. There’s a sort of everywoman to her, she’s very connectable – and yet also somehow anonymous.

“We all were excited about her, so we rang her up – and she said yes on the phone. She didn’t want to meet, she didn’t want anything, she just said yes,” he said. “Now we’ve spent some time with her, it’s exciting – but we’re just starting the process to find Philip.”

Colman revealed to RadioTimes.com that she is scheduled to begin filming in July, and has already discussed the role with outgoing star Foy.

“They – the people, the grown ups – put us in touch so I could ask her about it and she was just lovely – she’s one of the sweetest people ever and she’s brilliant,” she said. “She’s f***ing amazing and it’s a very hard act to follow.”

Season three will feature a whole new cast as the series enters the 1970s. “The third season starts in 1964 and ends in 1976,” Morgan confirmed, saying that while he has written some of the episodes he is still working on others.

Executive producer Suzanne Mackie added, “It’s all or nothing: everyone has to change. Even actors in their 90s will suddenly be different.”

Morgan said that he would miss having the opportunity to see Colman audition with her on-screen husband, saying that the ‘chemistry tests’ for season one convinced him that Foy and Smith were right for The Crown.

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“Matt and Claire were instantly obvious together,” he said. “I’m ashamed to admit, I needed persuading about Matt Smith, but I saw him with Claire and it was instant. Separate, they were completely different, but together their chemistry was incredible.”