So very few (if any) people wanted The Crown—Netflix’s hit show about the British royal family—to come to an end. That is, save for one very notable person: Dominic West, who played then Prince Charles on the show in its later seasons. (The second part of season six, the series’ final season, dropped last month.)
In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, West said that he is relieved the show is over, and also opened up that he spent “two days in bed” after he “read all the reviews”: “I’m a sensitive soul,” he said. “I worry about what people think.”
When asked if he was worried about the royal family’s reaction to his portrayal of the now King, West said “All reactions worry me. You know, I read all the reviews, and I spent two days in bed.”
West is currently starring in the theater production of A View from the Bridge and joked as he added “It’s such a relief to now go back to theater and not have to talk about the monarchy anymore.”
Per People, West—who played Charles in seasons five and six—said that though he was initially “reluctant to take” on the role, he ultimately “loved” the part and working on the show. “You don’t turn down a Peter Morgan script very easily,” he said. “He’s such a great writer and it’s such a great show and I love being on it. I loved wearing the clothes. I loved driving the cars, and I loved having people bow to me. It’s an absolutely wonderful feeling. I miss it.”
West said that portraying a royal changed his own opinion of the royal family: “I suppose one’s perception is so dictated by what you read in the media, and what you see in their public persona, that working on trying to find out what’s going on privately and what’s going on in their minds and what’s going on in their private conversations,” he said of his task as an actor. “Peter [Morgan] imagines them so brilliantly and base grounds them very firmly in whatever facts we have, that I suppose I came to empathize much more, certainly, with Charles and feel a sympathy for him.”
West said that he thought the “big emotional scenes”—which he described as “wonderful for an actor”—were the scenes he was most worried about filming in season six, in particular the scene in the hospital in Paris where Charles “bawls” over the death of his ex-wife, Princess Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki.
“I read that and thought, ‘How does a famously buttoned-up family, famously unemotional family, what are they like in times of high emotion when something deeply traumatic happens?’” he said. “I was very worried about it. Then, of course, comes the day when you’re doing it and you’re acting, looking at the body of Diana and what you’ve got is a cross on a map box, that’s what you’ve got to look at. They’re difficult, those scenes. And I suppose those are the ones I was most worried about.”