Kristen Stewart has signed on to portray Diana, Princess of Wales in Pablo Larrain’s upcoming movie Spencer.
The Twilight star will play the beloved British royal in a drama that will focus on Diana deciding to end her marriage to Prince Charles.
Spencer, referring to Diana’s maiden name, will be helmed by Larrain, who previously directed Natalie Portman as former U.S. First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 2016’s Jackie, from a script by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.
Explaining his decision to cast the American actress in the role, Larrain 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. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.
“We’re very happy to have her, she’s very committed. As a filmmaker, when you have someone who can hold such a weight, dramatic and narrative weight just with her eyes, then you have the strong lead who can deliver what we are looking for.”
Spencer will be set across three days – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day – during one of Diana’s final Christmas holidays at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England in the early ’90s. It will examine her troubled relationship with Charles and her love for her sons William and Harry.
“Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale,” Larrain explained. “When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, ‘I’d rather go and be myself,’ it’s a big, big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie.”
Diana married Charles in 1981 and they eventually divorced in 1996. She tragically died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
The royal has been portrayed onscreen on numerous occasions, including by Naomi Watts in 2013’s Diana. She will be played by Emma Corrin in the upcoming season of Netflix’s The Crown.
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