9 Actresses Who Played Lady Diana In Movies! Kristen Stewart Wasn't The Only One!
The long-awaited movie Spencer in which Kristen Stewart takes on the role of Princess Diana has finally hit cinema screens. 24 years had passed since the passing of the Queen of People’s hearts but to this day, we continue to talk about her, we continue to see her life on the side not just from the royal perspective but also from the side of the Spencer family. And since she and the British royal family interest many people, there have been plenty of productions about what their lives look like and telling many different stories. Besides Kristen Stewart who else had played Princess Diana? What other productions featuring the Princess are there? And why was one movie never released except in just one country? Read on to find out!
Spencer - Kristen Stewart
One of the most talked-about and upcoming productions that focus on Lady Diana and solely on her, is the brand new movie, Spencer. There already is talk that this film will be a contender for an Oscar. But more about the film, the film stars Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana, Jack Farthing as Prince Charles, and Stella Gonet as Queen Elizabeth, among others. Pablo Larrain’s biopic takes place in December 1991, over a period of three days as Lady Di spends Christmas at the Queen’s Sandringham estate and realizes that she needs to end her marriage to Charles. Since the first movie previews, this movie and its cast have been praised, certainly raising the bar for any future movies. Many had also noted that Stewart’s portrayal of Bella in Twilight, could bring younger audiences in to see this biopic. But this latest movie isn’t the only time the world went crazy about the portrayal of Lady Diana so read on to find out who else took on the role.
The Crown - Reception
One of the most controversial productions about the British royals has most certainly been The Crown, which in great part highlighted the ups and downs of the royal family, from the speculations about infidelities in the relationship of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth to now, most recently, with the last season where people were able to see the princess being the icon and a sympathetic person that many remembered her to be. Naturally, some have complained about some of the details, even her brother Charles Spencer who was dismayed by the public’s perception of his sister to the point where he said: “I find that American’s say they’ve watched The Crown as if they’ve had a history lesson. Well, they haven’t.” And as reports seemed to suggest, while some members of the royal family had watched this show, others were not so thrilled by it and the fact it dramatized their private lives.
Emma Corrin thanks Princess Diana after winning at the #GoldenGlobes: "You have taught me compassion and empathy beyond any measure that I could ever imagine. On behalf of everyone who remembers you so fondly and passionately in our hearts, thank you." https://t.co/Eex5uyCwfHpic.twitter.com/qHMOsPTB4X— Variety (@Variety) March 1, 2021
The Crown - Lady Diana Actresses
Though despite some negative opinions a few had been able to resist the drama, especially with the way that Emma Corrin captured the young Diana so well and earned some high praise. The young star had wowed audiences with her portrayal and as a result, won several awards including a Golden Globe. Though while she only starred as Lady Di in one season, Elizabeth Debicki will take over the role, and expectations are sky-high. Her Diana will be going through the most terrible of her years within the British royal family, the scandalous divorce from Prince Charles, and the fact that through all this she continued to help those in need, lending her image to many charities as well as being a fashion icon. It is uncertain where exactly the series will end in terms of Princess Diana though it is highly speculated that the show could end in the aftermath of her passing, as producers stated that they do not plan to bring the action to the modern-day. While Corrin might have been a new face in the game, fans might recognize Debicki from such productions as Tenet and The Great Gatsby. Now recent productions aside what are some past productions that featured Lady Di that weren’t as well-received?
Naomi Watts - Diana & the ‘sinking ship’
When the Australian actress took on the role, her portrayal of the beloved royal was less than adored. To prepare for the 2013 movie, which was simply titled Diana, and which told the story of her life Watts had put in a lot of work. She trained with a dialogue coach for six weeks, watched interviews repeatedly, and physically transformed with the help of wigs and prosthetics, and she had even claimed that the Princess visited her in a dream and gave her permission to play her. But while many had called her performance wooden, and her role was far from critically acclaimed, even Naomi herself had called the production a sinking ship. Even some reviewers did not hold back, with the Guardian at the time writing, “I hesitate to use the term 'car crash cinema', but the awful truth is that 16 years after that terrible day in 1997, she has died another awful death.”
Prince Charles’ Cousin Played His Wife?!
The Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg actually took on the role of Lady Di in a 1982 TV movie production of The Royal Romance, which turned out to be her acting debut. She later reprised the role 10 years later in Charles & Diana: Unhappily Ever After. As you can imagine from the titles, both of these movies focused on the relationship between Charles and Diana the first one from the point of view when their courtship seemed to be a match made in heaven and the latter when their marriage had started to crumble. Though what is funny in this case is that Catherine is actually a second cousin once removed from Prince Charles through her mother, Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. She had nearly scored an invite to the royal wedding in 1981 but given that she accepted to play her cousin-by-marriage that had some consequences. In a 2019 interview with Closer, she looked back on those days and said, “The only thing that the film cost me was return visits to Buckingham Palace.” But what are some of the less known productions about Princess Diana? Find out on the next page!
A Tribute And Diana’s Final Days
Though of course there were other productions that featured the life and work of Lady Di that didn’t just focus on her relationship with the royal family. One of those movies was Diana: A Tribute To The People’s Princess which starred Amy Seccombe in the titular role. This production had come out just one year after the Princesses death, and it followed the royal through her final months, delving into her romances with Dodi Al Fayed and highlighting her meetings with landmine victims along with her various other charitable endeavors. While most had only positive things to say about her, there were some who at the time had claimed that the movie was used to manipulate viewers and turn them against the monarchy.
Princess Diana Her Relationship’s On Screen
Of course many movies, such as the 1982 Charles & Diana: A Love Story, had focused on the Queen of People Heart’s relationship with Prince Charles. This movie, in which Caroline Bliss takes on the titular role, dramatizes the day when 750 million people around the globe watched the royal couple tie the knot. Though not all movies focused exclusively on her relationship with the heir to the throne, one movie that starred Julie Cox titled Princess In Love that was released in 1996 and that was based on the biography by Anna Pasternak showed just that. The tell-all TV film detailed Captain James Hewitt’s affair with Lady Di and showed that “her story contained all the elements of a fairy tale and tragedy”. But why was there one movie about Diana that was never released? Find out on the next page!
Diana The Musical!
All great stories at some point get turned into a stage production or a musical and the same had happened to Lady Diana’s story. The musical is set in 1981 and it follows Lady Diana as she prepares to marry into the royal family. Then it explores the aftermath of that marriage, including Diana’s complicated relationship with the press as well as Prince Charles’ highly publicized affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles. The musical, which is available to stream on Netflix, stars London-born actress Jeanna de Waal. Previews began on Broadway in March 2020 but due to the global lockdowns, the production was sent into a hiatus until early November this year and the opening night is planned for November 17th at the Longacre Theatre.
The Lost Diana Movie
While there had been countless movies featuring Lady Di whether they are solely based on her on the royal family in general, there has been one that for the most part never saw the light of day. The ‘lost’ film in question was titled Diana & Me and starred Toni Collette. However, there is a very good reason that this film wasn’t released and that was because the producers felt too awkward to do it. The reason for that was because the plot revolved around an Australian lady named Diana Spencer who traveled to the UK to catch a glimpse of her famous namesake and in one of the scenes she teamed up with paparazzi to chase her...and as you know given that Diana’s crash happened as they were driving quickly to escape the paparazzi the team had thought that it wasn’t the best idea to release this film. Though it was released only via German DVD release.
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