The life of Princess Diana is getting ready for a high-profile close-up, first in the upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s “The Crown” (where the late British royal is played by Emma Corrin) and then in Pablo Larraín’s feature film “Spencer.” The latter project was announced in June and caused a stir among cinephiles as Kristen Stewart is set to tackle the role of Princess Diana in Larraín’s return to unconventional biopics after acclaimed films such as “Jackie” and “Neruda.”
Why tackle one of the most iconic British royals in history? In a new interview with InStyle, Stewart said she remains “viscerally affected” by images of Princess Diana’s funeral, which she remembers watching as a child. Stewart’s comments were the first time she’s go on record talking about “Spencer.” The project begins filming at the start of 2021.
“The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular,” Stewart said. “I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach. In terms of research, I’ve gotten through two and a half biographies, and I’m finishing all the material before I actually go make the movie. It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana — I want to know her implicitly. I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”
Stewart continued in a follow-up video interview (see below), “I think there is sort of an unbridled, open, and intimate exchange that she had with the public that was so striking for people that were used to a sort of different face to the royal family. That’s not something I grew up with. I always thought this person was stolen from us and I always had a curiosity about her. Every day that I unfold this story the more emotionally invested I get.”
Stewart has experience taking on real historical figures after playing “Breathless” actress and French New Wave icon Jean Seberg in the film “Seberg.” Neon has already picked up North American distribution rights for “Spencer” in a deal reportedly worth $4 million. Filming on the project is scheduled to begin in mid-January.
“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” Larraín told Deadline earlier this year about casting Stewart. “To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile an ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. … I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.”
Head over to InStyle’s website to read more from Stewart’s latest interview.