Dominic west and Elizabeth Debicki had no illusions about the expectations and challenges they would face as the latest incarnations of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in ''The Crown.''

After all, each of their predecessors in the roles, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin, had won a Golden Globe and an Emmy for their portrayals in Season 4 .

And West 53, and Debicki, 32, were charged with depicting the most precarious chapter of the Charles and Diana story : the painfully public implosion of their royal marriage.

Season 5 of ''The Crown,'' arriving Wednesday on Netflix, is set during apex of their marital Imbroglio in the early to mid-1990s, when Charles's affair with Camilla Parker Bowles and Diana's tell-all with Martin Bashir - which included the complaint that ''there were three of us in the marriage'' - made for tantalizing tabloid fodder.

The show arguably has not recreated events, as imagined by the creator, Peter Morgan, that so many viewers already have strong feelings about.

And then, in early September, the death of Queen Elizabeth II turned up the heat even more, as some of her majesty's high-profile subjects took aim at the series.

A former prime minister, John Major, told The Daily Mail that people should boycott the show and said that a scene in the new season, in which his character meets with Charles, who is pushing for the queen's abdication, was ''damaging and malicious fiction.''

The actress Judi Dench, writing in the Times of London, called for adding a disclaimer to the start of each episode, adding that Netflix ''seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism.''

It seems to be upsetting a lot of people,'' West said with a nervous laugh in a recent video interview with Debicki.

''If anybody thinks that we don't feel a tremendous amount of responsibility, then they would be wrong,'' Debicki added.

In an interview, West, in England and Debicki, in Spain, spoke about navigating public opinion, approaching their characters with compassion and why it matters what Diana wore.

.- How difficult has it been acting a story that the world feels it already knows?

Dominic West : You're very aware everyone has a strong opinion about what happened, and whose side they're on. It's a bit of a minefield.

Elizabeth Debicki : From an acting perspective, it's a really interesting exercise because people bring their living memory to this story. I've never been a part of anything like that.

The World Students Society thanks author Kathryn Shattuck.


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