Lesley Manville becomes the latest addition to the cast of The Crown as the Oscar-nominated actress is set to take over from Helena Bonham Carter in playing Princess Margaret when the fifth and final series begins filming next year.
Many public television viewers will recognize Manville for her brilliant portrayal as Cathy Bradshaw in the critically acclaimed hit British situation comedy, Mum, which centered around the recently widowed, suburban 59-year-old Cathy and her family, following her husband’s death. Nominated for the 2017 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Phantom Thread, Manville recently appeared in World on Fire, which aired in April and May of this year as part of PBS’ Masterpiece series.
Lesley Manville will play Princess Margaret in the fifth season of The Crown. pic.twitter.com/R5aZEBOW0t
— The Crown (@TheCrownNetflix) July 2, 2020
According to Deadline, Manville was approached by The Crown showrunner Peter Morgan and, during a meeting at the writer’s home, she was offered the role in the room. “There was never any doubt that I would say yes,” she remembers. “When they said ‘Margaret,’ I hadn’t really thought about it. Then I thought, yes Margaret! That’s fabulous because she was so avant-garde. So naughty, delightful and funny. What a wonderful woman to play.”
Manville joins Imelda Staunton, who signed up to play Queen Elizabeth II in January, replacing Olivia Colman. Princess Margaret is the Queen’s younger sister and was portrayed by Vanessa Kirby in series 1 and 2 while Bonham Carter held down the role in series 3 and the forthcoming series 4, which is expected to stream on Netflix beginning in December of this year. Fortunately, production of series 4 wrapped up just prior to the production industry shutdown just before the coronavirus pandemic swept through the UK.