Post Mortems

The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki Takes Us Inside the Making of Charles and Diana's 'Beautiful' Episode 9 Scene

The Crown Diana Season 5 Episode 9

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Episode 9 of The Crown‘s fifth season.

They may be married, but Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s paths didn’t actually cross all that much during Season 5 of The Crown — until one long scene that stands as the highlight of the season.

In the ninth episode, Charles and Diana’s divorce was finalized, and after the papers were signed, Charles (played by Dominic West) dropped by to see Diana (played by Elizabeth Debicki) for an unexpectedly warm and frank “autopsy” of what went wrong in their marriage. It’s a lengthy scene, about 12 minutes long, and it stood out to Debicki and West from the start.

“Dom and I started calling it our ‘one-act play,'” Debicki told reporters at a Netflix press event on Thursday. “We didn’t see each other much on set because the stories just don’t interwine, really, until that point in the season. Every time I’d see him in the trailer, we’d always say, ‘When are we doing that play?'”

The production took three days just to shoot that one scene, Debicki reveals… including “an entire day making an omelet. I’m not exaggerating.” (At one point, Diana tries to make Charles an omelet and gives up, serving him scrambled eggs instead.) “I think there’s 40 seconds of it in the scene. It was the day [showrunner] Peter [Morgan] came to set, and he got so grumpy: ‘Are you going to make that omelet all day?'”

All told, “I think I made 42 omelets or something,” Debicki recalls, but all that repetition did prove to be beneficial for the actors. “We were so relaxed after making the omelet 40 times that when we sat down at the kitchen table,” she notes, “we knew inevitably that it was going to descend into this really painful place, [but] we were always laughing, still, about the scrambled eggs.”

The scene has “this beautiful movement through it,” she adds: “It’s the kind of material that feels like a gift because you just get to explore so much in the scene.” In fact, even though the scene is ultimately a tough one for Diana, Debicki admits she enjoyed it on a certain level: “The material that I was doing is heavy, and it takes you to a really deeply sad place. But there’s also a part of your actor’s brain that is just having the most amazing time… I’m crying, and there’s all this snot pouring down my face, and then this little actor’s antenna pokes up and says, ‘God, this is so good. This is so much fun.'” (Additional reporting by Kimberly Roots)

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