Before Kristen Stewart, How Many Actors Have Played Princess Diana Onscreen?
Royal family fans can look forward to a new movie coming out about Princess Diana. The upcoming film titled Spencer takes place over a three-day period in the ’90s when the Princess of Wales comes to the realization that her marriage to Prince Charles isn’t going to work.
The drama is directed by Pablo Larraín and stars Kristen Stewart. Many felt that the Twilight actor was an interesting choice to play the princess. Here’s why Larraín said Stewart is absolutely perfect for the role and which other ladies have portrayed Diana onscreen in the past.
Why Larraín believes Stewart is the perfect person to play Diana
After the first photos from the set of Spencer were released, many fans were impressed with how much Stewart resembled the princess.
Larraín, who also directed the films Jackie and Neruda, explained that Stewart not only looks the part but is exactly who he wanted to play Diana for another reason.
“To do this well, you need something very important in film which is mystery,” Larraín told Deadline. “Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it’s very beautiful to see.”
Other actors who played Princess Diana
Before Stewart, 11 other actors played the People’s Princess on the big and small screen.
Back in 1982, two women were tapped to play the Princess of Wales in made-for-TV movies. Caroline Bliss took on the role of the princess in Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story. That same year, Catherine Oxenberg portrayed Di in The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana.
A decade later, two more ladies stepped into the role of the princess. IMDb noted that Nicole Formby starred as Prince Charles’ first wife in The Women of Windsor which focused on Diana’s marriage to the heir apparent as well as her sister-in-law Sarah Ferguson‘s marriage to Prince Andrew. Serena Scott Thomas then played the princess in Diana: Her True Story, an adaptation of Andrew Morton’s book.
In 1996, Julie Cox played Diana in the TV movie Princess in Love. In 1998, following the princess’s death, Amy Seccombe was cast in Diana: A Tribute to The People’s Princess. Nine years passed before another woman played Diana and that was Genevieve O’Reilly for the TLC docu-style movie Diana: Last Days of a Princess. Following that, Lesley Harcourt made a brief appearance as Di in the Hallmark Channel’s William & Catherine: A Royal Romance.
In 2013, Naomi Watts had the role of the princess in the flick titled Diana. She signed on to do the film after Jessica Chastain opted not to participate. After Watts, Bonnie Soper starred as Diana in two lifetime movies Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance and Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal.
Most recently Emma Corrin starred as Diana in Season 4 of Netflix’s The Crown.
“Princess Diana was an icon and her effect on the world remains profound and inspiring. To explore her through Peter Morgan’s writing is the most exceptional opportunity and I will strive to do her justice,” Digital Spy quoted her as saying when it was announced that she was cast in the role.
Corrin was praised for her portrayal in the historical drama which earned her a Golden Globe.