When tackling the final season of Netflix’s popular royal drama, creator Peter Morgan took extra care to handle certain stories — namely, Princess Diana’s tragic death — with a sensitive touch.
After previously revealing to Variety in his Oct. 25 cover story that the show would not be showing the disastrous car crash that ultimately killed the princess, Morgan opened up more about Season 6 of the show and its handling of the late royal’s passing, telling Variety at Sunday night’s premiere that it was never his intention to explore how Princess Diana died or the conspiracies surrounding her death.
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“This was never going to be a story about how did she die? The police inquiry sorted all that out. We were never interested in that. It was always about, what was the impact on the family before and after her death? What was the truth of the nature of her relationship with Dodi Fayed?” said Morgan.
Elizabeth Debicki, who returns for a second season to portray the late princess, was also present for the LA premiere, where she channeled Princess Diana while sporting a black Bottega Veneta dress that resembled her iconic “revenge dress.”
The “Guardians of the Galaxy” star admitted tackling the story in Season 6 was “unusual territory” due to the “historical blueprint” of the royal tale, which made her feel a duty to live up to the “huge responsibility” of doing it “beautifully and honestly.”
“It’s a tricky conversation to have because you can’t say something like, legacy because it’s not — it’s an intelligent drama. But at the same time, we know that we’re dealing with an audience’s blend of real life memory and then an invention in the television show,” Debicki said. “We did tread with as much respect as we possibly could have had — and that I know for sure. So, I’m glad because when I watched it back, I realized what a serious thing it was to make.”
Also explored this season is the relationship between Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, the Egyptian film producer and son of billionaire Mohammed Al-Fayed. Portrayed by Khalid Abdalla, Debicki says working with “The Kite Runner” alum was “so easy” as they told Morgan’s version of the famous relationship.
I would honestly say I wasn’t sure what it was going to be before we started,” she said. “There was this real sense of relief to find a sort of human that you just like to be around, which is what everybody’s looking for in life. I think we know our interpretation together was to portray a relationship where two people, under really unusual circumstances, fall into a realization that this person makes you feel good about yourself and that’s worth sort of chasing.”
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