‘The Crown’s’ Emma Corrin never thought she’d be a meme. Or a Golden Globe nominee

Emma Corrin's portrayal of Princess Diana in the fourth season of "The Crown" earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in season 4 of “The Crown.”
(Des Willie/Netflix)

Emma Corrin mastered the art of Princess Diana’s bashful head tilt for “The Crown.” But on Wednesday, there was nothing shy about her reaction to her Golden Globe nomination. She was fully screaming.

The 25-year-old actress posted a video on her Instagram page that captured the moment she, and her roommate, watched as her name was called for the best actress in a TV drama category. It’s her first ever Golden Globe nomination.

“I’m just at home with my flat mate,” Corrin told The Times. “We ordered some food for lunch and then we just sat and waited for the announcements. It was very surreal.”


Corrin’s breakout role as Diana in the fourth season of “The Crown” has catapulted her into the sort of overwhelming spotlight that her onscreen alter ego grappled with (if at a somewhat higher intensity). The season, which covered the late ‘70s through the early ‘90s, chronicled the whirlwind courtship and fraught marriage of Prince Charles and Diana, and the fervent public curiosity surrounding it.

It will be a bit of a royal showdown. Corrin is nominated alongside her costar Olivia Colman, who stars as Queen Elizabeth in the Netflix drama. Rounding out the list of nominees in the category are Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Sarah Paulson (“Ratched”).

Here’s our conversation with Corrin:

With Wednesday’s announcement of the nominees for the 78th Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. marked the start of an awards season like no other.

Feb. 3, 2021

It was fun seeing the video that captured the moment you heard the news about your nomination. What was going through your mind?

It’s very strange for me. It’s one of those weird things where I didn’t really know how to feel about it because I never really thought I would get nominated and be in this position. It’s very strange and then suddenly you’re like, “Oh, this is the thing that might happen.” I didn’t realize that I would be as like excited or nervous as I was when it actually came down to that moment. But, yeah, I was screaming. I’m really happy and I’m also proud of everyone else — Olivia, Josh and Gillian. It’s fantastic.

Have you texted any of them? Josh?

Yeah, we’ve all been talking, which is so lovely. Everyone is very happy. We’re just sad we can’t be together because of the pandemic.


How did learning about Diana’s story give you perspective on the culture of fame and celebrity? How do you think it prepared you for what you’re experiencing now?

I think in some ways it definitely did. I remember when I got the part, one of the directors, Ben Caron, said, “Anything that happens to you in terms of being in the press or being [photographed by paparazzi] or having strange encounters or feeling overwhelmed or excited — use it, because it’s exactly what she would have been feeling. I really tried to bear that in mind as I was filming because it was very useful for the character. But, yes, I was very conscious of it, but also I’ve had a very different experience of notoriety because of the pandemic. I’ve experienced it mostly from my flat. Stuff like this feels very strange because I’ve literally gone from — our filming was cut short a week because of the pandemic and now we’re still in the same place. So hearing this news is very strange.

Princess Diana was thrust into the global spotlight when she married Prince Charles. Emma Corrin, the new star of ‘The Crown,’ can relate.

Nov. 15, 2020

Actress Emma Corrin stars as Princess Diana in Season 4 of "The Crown."
Actress Emma Corrin stars as Princess Diana in Season 4 of “The Crown.”
(Matt Holyoak

I imagine it must be an unusual experience to be receiving so much praise for this performance while mostly being stuck at home. Have you had that moment when you’re recognized out in public while wearing a mask?

I’ve gotten a little bit of that but, like, nowhere near the extent to which it would have been if we hadn’t been at home. But I actually think it’s been really nice because it meant I could process everything in a very slow way and it means that the focus has mainly been on the work. It’s not like I’ve been like on a huge press tour and parties and stuff. And it means that everyone has been watching the show from their house, which is lovely. So I’m very grateful.

Were you prepared for all the memes?


There’s a lot of memes of me! I love them! I never thought I’d be a meme, that people would be sharing me as a meme.

One of the interesting things to see unfold this season was the intense reaction to the Charles and Diana story, and how that prompted this call by the Britain’s culture secretary to call for a warning label. As someone who spent a great deal of time charting the key moments of their courtship, what did you think of the level of interest the series revived?

I do understand why they responded intensely because they think this is a very well-known show, a very loved show, and so it has a lot of eyes on it. A lot of people care about it. But it’s increasingly getting more and more modern and dealing with people who are around today and whose lives are obviously very in the public eye. But I do just think that there also needs to be an appreciation that it is obviously dramatized, as most of these theories are out there about anything. For us, you know, when we’re filming and when we’re rehearsing, reading the scripts and working on them, it’s so detached from real life in a way that it kind of seems absurd that it should be having to have that warning. It’s storytelling.

Costume designer Amy Roberts explains how Netflix’s drama re-created Diana’s most memorable looks — and how her evolving fashions tell the story of Season 4.

Nov. 15, 2020

There are more Diana portrayals on the horizon. On “The Crown,” Elizabeth Debicki will assume the role for the final two seasons. And photos were recently released of Kristen Stewart’s turn as Diana for the film “Spencer.” Are you curious to see their stamp on her? Think you’ll watch now that you’ve completed your run?

Yeah, totally. I think it’ll be much easier to watch now. It would have been difficult if [Kristen] was doing it at the same time as me. I think it’s great that you get to see different actors’ portrayals of this person because it brings out very nuanced aspects of them that we might not know, might not have seen before.

Depending on how the Globes ceremony shapes up, are you ready to give an acceptance speech from your apartment? Is your Wi-Fi decent?


Oh God, you’re right, I hadn’t even thought about that. Honestly, it’s so difficult to realize this is all happening. I definitely need to check my Wi-Fi.

How are you going to celebrate tonight?

I’m going to probably drink Champagne in my flat. Just stay home.