‘The Crown’: Claire Foy Had Second Thoughts About Playing Queen Elizabeth II — ‘I Felt I’d Made the Worst Mistake of My Life’

Claire Foy is the OG Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown. The 36-year-old actor portrayed the leader of the British royal family in the first two seasons of the Netflix original series.

Claire Foy attends the BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party
Claire Foy attends the BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

However, the experience wasn’t all crown jewels and corgis. Foy found herself in a difficult situation on the first day of filming that resulted in her wondering if she’d made a mistake in joining the program. 

Claire Foy didn’t land the role of Queen Elizabeth II right away

Foy shines as the queen in The Crown but she nearly missed out on the opportunity to play the monarch. Peter Morgan, the creator of The Crown, told Variety in 2016 he exhausted all of his options before landing on Foy. 

“I tried to cast almost everyone in Britain before Claire Foy,” he said. “It was weird. Every time I went to a read through where we were doing auditions for ‘The Queen,’ I was interested in actress A or B I would skip the bit where Claire was in there.”

Until one day well into casting the role of the queen, Foy caught Morgan’s attention. 

“After about the fourth time, I went, ‘This one is sensational, who’s this?’ And they said, ‘Pete, she’s been in four times. And you’ve gone for a better-known actress,’” he added, calling Foy as “queen-like” and “brilliantly effective.” 

RELATED: ‘The Crown’: Claire Foy Reveals Her Favorite Episode

A challenging moment on set made Claire Foy question her decision to join ‘The Crown’

When filming started on The Crown, Foy had recently given birth. During a particularly tough day on set — it just so happened to be the first day of production — the actor questioned her decision to join The Crown

“On the first day of filming, I found myself halfway up a Scottish mountain with engorged boobs and no way of getting down to feed my baby,” she told British Vogue in 2017. 

At that moment Foy questioned if agreeing to the show was the right decision for her.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on 'The Crown'
Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on The Crown | Robert Viglasky/Netflix

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“I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula … as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get my broken breast pump to work, I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life,” she said. 

In the end it all worked out. Foy gave an award-winning performance as the queen in two seasons of The Crown. She won a Golden Globe Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award for The Crown

Claire Foy will reprise her role in ‘The Crown’ Season 4

Oscar-winner Olivia Colman continues to wear the crown in the show’s fourth season. Although Foy’s expected to return as queen in flashbacks to what appears to be the queen’s iconic 21st birthday speech in Cape Town, South Africa. After Colman, Imelda Staunton will play the queen

The Crown Season 4 premieres Nov. 15, 2020, on Netflix. Expect to see Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher

RELATED: ‘The Crown’: Emma Corrin Says It Took 10 People To Help Dress Her in a Replica of Princess Diana’s Wedding Dress