How Olivia Williams turned into Camilla Parker-Bowles for The Crown

INTERVIEW – The brunette actress, seen in An education and The sixth sensehad more freedom than his partners to seize the wife of prince Charles at a time when it fled the media.

When I was offered the role of Camilla Parker-Bowles, I couldn’t believe it. I don’t look like him at all. Many people were surprised and told me it can’t work. I don’t know whether to take it as an insult or a compliment. And then they put a huge blond wig on my head. Suddenly I was her. I no longer recognized myself in the mirror.laughs the brunette Olivia Williams by videoconference alongside a tender Dominic West.

The ebony-haired Brit, seen in An Education, The Sixth Sense and the series, had a singular and different preparation process than her castmates. season 5 of The Crown . There where Dominic West, who plays Prince Charles at the time of his divorce from Diana, was able to rely on hours of video archivesa litany of books and articles, the 54-year-old actress had a more pristine canvas at her disposal, even if like Dominic West she had the opportunity to meet her alter ego face to face during an edition of the Booker Prize literary prize.

Greatness of soul and resilience

When the tabloids revealed, in 1993, the extramarital affair of Charles and Camilla through salacious and illegal telephone tapping, the future queen consort of England was hunted down by the paparazzi and took refuge in the shadows. “At this time, Camilla keeps a low profile. The few documents I had to identify her were photos of her and Charles taken on the sly. On these spontaneous shots, we see them laughing“recalls Olivia Williams, “I prefer them to shots where she is aware of being in the lens of the paparazzi, where naturally she displays a closed and hardened face“.

Dominic West and Olivia Williams in a scene from The Crown netflix

The actress sees in these moments of humor between the future monarch and his wife the key and the strength of their relationship. “As Dominic West points out, The Crown reveals how much they make each other laugh, how much it allows Charles to hold on“. And to add:There is a YouTube video, taken during Donald Trump’s presidential visit to London, that stuck with me. They must submit to an official photo. The exercise annoys Charles who slips away out of frame. But she winks at the photographers. This bonhomie is extraordinary when you think that the paparazzi have been chasing her for years. She put them in her pocket. What grace, what greatness of soul. This demonstrates an ease, an ability to move from one social circle to another prodigious“.

The other element that has guided Olivia Williams is the resilience of Camilla Parker-Bowles: “For years she was defamed and caricatured by the press. She and Charles had an extremely traumatic journey which nevertheless resulted in a solid, complicit and fulfilled marriage.“.

To the English journalists who questioned her about the torrent of outraged reactions that this new season, not even yet put online, aroused, Olivia Williams saluted the pen of screenwriter Peter Morgan: He created a version of Camilla that looks nothing like the harassed and stressed woman presented to us by the media“.

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How Olivia Williams turned into Camilla Parker-Bowles for The Crown