*The following article contains spoilers for season four of The Crown*
Emma Corrin (Pennyworth) made her debut as Princess Diana in season four of Netflix’s The Crown and spoke out Monday in regards to the show’s portrayal of the Princess’s eating disorder. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Corrin stated that in order for the show to do Princess Diana justice they had to depict her struggle with bulimia.
The highly anticipated fourth season of The Crown premiered on Netflix Friday and it introduces Princess Diana as she falls in love with Prince Charles. Depicting Diana’s chaotic immersion into the royal family and newfound fame, it also shows her intense struggle with an eating disorder. Along with Corrin, season four of The Crown stars Olivia Coleman (The Favourite), Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech), Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Tobias Menzies (Outlander) and Josh O’Connor (Emma).
Corrin discussed reading the initial scripts of season four and why she believed the detailed depiction of bulimia was crucial and necessary. She told Entertainment Weekly: “I read the scripts, which weren’t drafts at all, I don’t think, but they weren’t the fully-formed thing…I remember reading them and they had alluded to her bulimia in it. I was at the time doing a lot of research and working with this amazing woman called Polly Bennett. She’s an incredible movement and character coach who helped Rami Malek on Bohemian Rhapsody. A lot of our research ended up being centered around Diana’ bulimia, because it was incredibly central to everything she was going through. It’s both symptomatic of something and causes a lot of it as well.”
Notably, there is a trigger warning at the beginning of the season’s third episode alerting viewers that it depicts an eating disorder. Regarding that decision, Corrin told The Hollywood Reporter: “If we just alluded to it, you saw her flushing a toilet or you saw her wiping her mouth and it was like, ‘is she suffering from bulimia?’ I think that people who have suffered from it would probably think, ‘come on, are they just not going to show it? Why aren’t they going to show it?’ So many people go through this…We should be talking about it. And Diana talked about it. We needed to show it and I think as much as I hope people who have experienced it will be glad that we’ve showed it, also it obviously is triggering and so I think it’s important that disclaimers are there at the same time.” In the 90s, Princess Diana publicly shared her ongoing battle with bulimia, something that was seen as revolutionary at the time.
The fourth season of The Crown marks the beginning of a new era for the series. As it ventures into the late seventies and early eighties, it marks a significant change to the political atmosphere. Anderson makes her debut as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to ever fill the position. The series portrays her relationship with Queen Elizabeth ll, and their differing views on how to lead and govern. Season four is Coleman’s final appearance on the show as she and the rest of the cast will be replaced by an older generation of actors for the fifth season. It was announced earlier this year that the show would end with a sixth and final season.