Why ‘The Crown’ Season 5 Star Jonathan Pryce Looks So Familiar

The Crown Season 5 entered the 1990s and introduced fans to a new actor in the role of Prince Philip. After Matt Smith played the late Duke of Edinburgh in his younger years during seasons 1 and 2 — and Tobias Menzies took on the role of a middle-aged Philip in seasons 3 and 4 — Jonathan Pryce is playing the royal in the later season of his life. But, why does Pryce look so familiar?

Imelda Staunton (Queen Elizabeth) and Jonathan Pryce (Prince Philip) in a scene from season 5 of ‘The Crown’
Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce | Keith Bernstein/Netflix

‘The Crown’ star has a lengthy acting resume that dates back to the 1970s

Pryce is a Welsh actor who began his career in the 1970s primarily on stage, but he also made a few appearances on TV. 

In the 1980s, he had his breakout film role when he starred as Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil. After that, he went on to star in films like Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Glengarry Glen Ross, Evita, and Tomorrow Never Dies.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, Pryce’s resume is filled with TV shows, films, and stage plays in both the United Kingdom and the United States. At the turn of the century, he was cast in the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise as Governor Weatherby Swann. He appeared in The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, and At World’s End.

Jonathan Pryce played the High Sparrow on ‘Game of Thrones’

One of the biggest TV projects that Pryce has been a part of is Game of Thrones, which he joined in season 5 as The High Sparrow. The 75-year-old said, per The News, that joining The Crown in its fifth season was similar to joining the HBO juggernaut later in its run.

“The closest that I can [compare The Crown to] was joining Game of Thrones in season 5. I came late to this huge worldwide megahit. And I expected the cast, the crew, and everyone to be rather cynical, because they had this hit on their hands. But far from it,” Pryce said.

“They were determined to make it the best they could, still. And it was the same experience coming onto The Crown in season 5. I think that’s what I’ll do in the future. I’ll just wait for a season 5. I’ll see how Coronation Street works out, and if it becomes a hit, I’ll join it.”

Pryce added that it was important to have a niche, and joked that his was to join a show “five seasons in” and kill it.

‘The Crown’ star Jonathan Pryce is a two-time Tony Award winner

Despite all of his success on-screen, Pryce has never forgotten about the theater. He’s actually a two-time Tony Award winner, winning Best Featured Actor in a Play in 1977 for his work in Comedians and Best Actor in a Musical in 1991’s Miss Saigon. He also won two Laurence Olivier Awards for his work in Hamlet and Miss Saigon.

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His prolific career earned him knighthood in 2021 from the late Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama. And even though he’s in his mid-70s, it doesn’t look like Pryce is slowing down. 

Pryce will reprise the role of Prince Philip in the final season of The Crown. He’s currently filming a new movie titled One Life. And, he’s set to star in the upcoming sci-fi series The Three-Body Problem.

The Crown Season 5 is now playing on Netflix.