Dominic West was told he was “too handsome to play Prince Charles” in Season 5 of The Crown by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
The British actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to discuss his role alongside Australian star Elizabeth Debicki in the latest installment of the Netflix show, in which they recreated Charles and Princess Diana’s messy divorce.
Kimmel said: “They’ve been saying that you’re too handsome to play Prince Charles and I think that’s true.”
West replied “Well thank you very much. I’ve had worse criticisms,” while the host added: “You’re more Prince Charming than Charles.”
The new season, released in early November, covers most of the 1990s, spanning an era described at the time in the British media as the “War of the Waleses.”
Charles’ affair with Camilla, now the Queen Consort, became public knowledge and he conceded in a BBC interview in 1994 that he had been faithful only “until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.”
West, whose son Senan West stars as Prince William in the show, described how for Charles the era was “the lowest point of his life.”
Kimmel asked: “Does that make you at all nervous seeing as he could have you beheaded if he wants to, he’s the king.”
“Right, yeah, well, no he can’t,” West said. “I mean, they’ve sort of tried. They’re having a go. This was his sort of nadir of his whole life. You see pictures of him then and video and stuff and he’s very, very sad and that’s quite a responsibility taking that on.”
The Crown sparked a backlash in Britain, with former Prime Minister John Major among those to accuse the show of blurring the lines between fact and fiction.
The former Conservative Party leader’s office said in a statement to The Mail on Sunday: “As you will know, discussions between the Monarch and Prime Minister are entirely private and—for Sir John—will always remain so. But not one of the scenes you depict are accurate in any way whatsoever. They are fiction, pure and simple.
“There was never any discussion between Sir John and the then Prince of Wales about any possible abdication of the late Queen Elizabeth II—nor was such an improbable and improper subject ever raised by the then Prince of Wales (or Sir John).”
“Thus, if the scenes you describe are broadcast, they should be seen as nothing other than damaging and malicious fiction,” the statement continued. “A barrel load of nonsense peddled for no other reason than to provide maximum—and entirely false—dramatic impact.”
The intervention appeared to have little impact on West, however, who allowed himself to be coaxed by Kimmel into imitating Charles attempting to breakdance.
West said: “It’s much harder to dance out of time. He [Charles] does it brilliantly.”
Kimmel added: “I think he’s a good sport just for dancing in the first place. But he should never, ever dance again.”
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