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“I was sort of working, jobbing, trying to earn money in London,” she explained. “I got asked by Nina Gold and Rob Sterne, who cast The Crown, to come in and help for some of the chemistry reads they were doing between [potential] Camillas, who they were auditioning.
“Peter [Morgan] had written some preliminary scenes with Camilla and Diana, and so they needed someone to read for Diana.”
She continued: “It wasn’t an audition. I was being paid to be there, and I wasn’t going to be on camera.
“My agent was like, ‘It’s the perfect situation because it’s going to be a no-pressure audition’.”
Despite it not being a real audition for the role of Diana, Emma decided to prepare as if it were, leaning on her speech therapist mum for help.
Emma said: “We decided that I would just prepare as if it was an audition. And so I did, and I worked on the voice with my mum, who is a speech therapist. And then I learned the lines.
“And I just had fun, because I wasn’t really doing anything at the time.”
The preparation obviously paid off, as she ended being offered an audition for Diana, a role which earned her a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award, although she was curiously snubbed when it came to this year’s TV Baftas, where she wasn’t even nominated in the Best Actress category.
Elizabeth Debicki will be taking over the role of Diana when The Crown returns for its fifth series, with Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce and Dominic West also joining the cast.
Meanwhile, Emma is currently filming with Harry Styles and David Dawson for the upcoming film My Policeman.
She’s also set to take the lead in the new play Anna X, which debuts in London’s West End next month.