News from The Crown is that Dominic West — Detective McNulty from The Wire, or Noah Solloway if you enjoyed The Affair, or… plenty of other things, like The Hour; he’s prolific — will be playing Prince Charles. And I… have questions. And a strenuously raised eyebrow.
It’s not that Dominic West isn’t talented. He’s a great actor, especially if you want people to hate his character (however, it would be a surprise if Peter Morgan ever chose to hate a male character when he could belittle his female scene partner instead). But this is the same season in which not only will Diana doppellganger Elizabeth Debicki be present, but Imelda Staunton will fill the sensible pumps of Queen Elizabeth II. The visuals of all that are so right, and so I am concerned it’ll feel jarring to have Dominic West charge in there being all… well, Dominic West. He has a bluster and assertiveness, and a growl to his voice and a natural aggressive stance, that elude Chaz. Can he really tamp that down? Can he disappear at all into the role of Prince Charles?
In fairness, I had the same concerns about Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret, and she did pleasantly surprise me. I am reallllly curious whether this casting is going to pan out similarly, especially after the current Prince Charles has been so spot-on and excellent. Presumably Dominic had to read for the role, so maybe he’s got it all on lock and I will eat these words in a thick sandwich. Or maybe Peter Morgan has decided to make Chaz super swarthy. Or, Morgan read the Daily Mail last week and was like, “This man knows adultery in his career AND in his life? DIVINE.”