The Crown star Josh O’Connor is opening up about the challenges he has faced following the success of the hit Netflix historical drama series.
In a recent interview with GQ, conducted prior to the SAG-AFTRA strike, the actor, who portrayed Prince Charles, admitted that he initially didn’t want to audition for the show, but after reading the script for a specific scene in season three, he changed his mind.
O’Conner made his debut as the late Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son halfway through season three and then starred alongside Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana in season four. His performance also scored him an Emmy Award for best lead drama actor.
But playing one of the most notable British royal family members on the show also came with a level of fame — something O’Connor wasn’t very fond of.
“It was a fucked-up time. I found it so impactful, people stopping me,” he told the outlet. “You want to be in stuff that’s successful and seen, but I think sometimes we underestimate how powerful even a slight loss of anonymity can be.”
The Challengers actor previously told The Hollywood Reporter in a 2021 interview that he believes if it wasn’t for the release of season four during the COVID-19 lockdowns, there would have been a gradual increase in people spotting him in public. “But because of COVID, we’re suddenly all out of lockdown and … it’s a real shock to the system,” he said at the time. “Before I wasn’t recognized at all, and now I am. It’s so weird!”
While speaking with GQ, he added that amid all the success he has received in recent years, he finds himself looking back at a time when he was working on smaller film and TV projects. He said, “What I was doing in my career before The Crown — I just wanted to carry on doing that.”