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The Crown's Bertie Carvel on playing Tony Blair: "We're not making a documentary"

The Doctor Foster star is one of the latest big names to join the cast of the royal drama.

Published: Friday, 26th November 2021 at 12:34 pm

The star-studded cast of The Crown continues to grow – and one of the latest big names to be confirmed for the upcoming fifth series is Bertie Carvel.


The Doctor Foster star – who recently played the lead in Channel 5's detective series Dalgliesh – will be taking on the role of former Prime Minister Tony Blair in the acclaimed royal drama, and he recently revealed he's not exactly sure what his performance will look like just yet.

"I don’t know quite what shape it’s going to take for me," he told i News. "I’m approaching it a bit like apparently Michelangelo did with his blocks of marble and allowing things to be revealed."

But he added that he isn't too concerned with making sure his performance is an inch-perfect impression of the Labour politician, pointing out that the series is a drama and not a documentary.

"Actors are a different kind of truthtellers from historians or journalists," he said, later adding, "I can’t tell the whole truth of Tony Blair through whatever Peter Morgan chooses to write about him in seasons five and six, but I can offer an insight or a way of looking at that story differently."

He continued: “Asking if The Crown is accurate really misses the point, and is slightly patronising to audiences. We’re not making a documentary.”

Carvel is one of many new faces joining the series ahead of the new season, with the entire cast set to be refreshed for the second time in the show's history.

Imelda Staunton will be taking over from Olivia Colman in the main role as Queen Elizabeth II, while Jonathan Pryce and Lesley Manville will star as Prince Philip and Princess Margaret – previously played by Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter respectively.

Meanwhile other confirmed new cast members include Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, Jonny Lee Miller as former Prime Minister John Major and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles.

Netflix confirmed the release date of season five during the streamer's TUDUM event in September, with the penultimate season set to arrive on our screens in November 2022 – so we've still got a whole year to wait.


You can watch seasons 1-4 of The Crown right now on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, visit our TV Guide, or find out about upcoming new TV shows 2020.


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