Having been born into the white-hot heart of the fashionable British monarchy, princes William and Harry have arguably been documented extra prolifically and publicly than some other people on the planet. This resonated with Ed McVey and Luther Ford, notably after The Crown solid them to play the brothers within the sequence’ last episodes—and Netflix introduced every actor with strong analysis packets chronicling the princes’ lives.
“At first it was fairly overwhelming, as a result of there’s been a lot media surrounding them from delivery,” says Ford of being solid because the youthful son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. “They had been born right into a contractual obligation with the press.”
It may need been exhausting to summon the sibling bond that comes from sharing such a uncommon expertise. However McVey and Ford shortly solid their very own brotherhood as a pair of unknown actors solid in two of probably the most anticipated roles on an unusually costly, award-winning sequence that’s been seen by not less than 73 million folks worldwide because it first aired in 2016.
“It’s scary going onto a set like that,” Ford tells VF on a latest Zoom, recalling the intimidating scale and an ensemble solid that features Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, and Dominic West. Not like most of their costars, McVey had by no means appeared onscreen—although he did research at drama college and carry out onstage—and Ford had no earlier performing credit.
Ford, who auditioned after his brother’s girlfriend noticed a casting discover for The Crown on social media, remembers the primary day that he and McVey filmed on the sequence. Their preliminary scene was shot on the sequence’ most royal location: Lancaster Home, the Nineteenth-century mansion neighboring Clarence Home and St. James’s Palace that’s only a five-minute stroll from Buckingham Palace. As if the situation weren’t intimidating sufficient, the actors had been performing a heated sibling dialog in entrance of about 60 supporting artists together with Staunton, Worth, and West—all of whom, for audio causes, had been miming conversations within the background.
“Basically the primary day was them watching us do a scene, which was insane,” says Ford, calling it “probably the most pressurized place to place us in.” He provides with fun, “We might have simply began with some pictures of us strolling.”
Then got here a scene that Ford describes as “a lot worse”—a whispered dialog that William and Harry have in between singing hymns on the Queen Mom’s funeral. Once more, he says he and McVey needed to sing alongside to music that solely they had been listening to by means of earpieces whereas about 400 supporting artists inside a cathedral silently bore witness.
“We had been singing a cappella in entrance of the principle solid. When your solely intention is naturalism, and also you’re doing one thing fully unnatural, it simply feels incorrect,” says Ford, noting that the completed scene fortunately “doesn’t mirror the ache” of filming.
Ford and McVey had gotten collectively earlier than manufacturing started—taking walks, speaking about their characters on the pub. Nevertheless it was the shared surreality of becoming a member of a celebrated ensemble sequence in its last season that sealed their camaraderie.
“The expertise of going by means of it collectively bonded us,” says Ford, earlier than delivering a line that might precisely describe William and Harry’s relationship as effectively. “The scenario felt so excessive that it was like, ‘Effectively, you’re the solely individual in my place, and I’m the one one who’s in your place. So we’re bonded.’” In a separate dialog, McVey confirms that they gelled shortly: “If we didn’t like one another and had been simply on well mannered phrases, the expertise wouldn’t have been pretty much as good.”