(Warning: This post contains spoilers for “The Crown” Season 4 through its finale.)
Among the real-life stories featured in the fourth season of Netflix’s “The Crown” is the depiction of Lady Diana Spencer’s struggle with the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. But unlike some moments of the Peter Morgan-created series, this particular plot point was not dramatized, but rather played as straight to Princess Diana’s experience as Emma Corrin and the creative team could possibly get it.
“From the beginning, when I read the scripts and I realized they were going to allude to her bulimia — I was working with my movement coach at the time, Polly Bennett — and I remember us discussing it and I said, ‘Look, if we’re going to show this, I really want to make sure I do it justice,'” Corrin, who joined “The Crown” for the recently launched Season 4, told TheWrap. “Because I don’t think this is something you can just allude to on screen, especially if it’s meant to have been such a big part of her experience and her mentality and the things she was going through.”
“The Crown’s” storyline surrounding Prince Charles’ late ex-wife’s eating disorder is based on Diana’s own comments on the topic, including her 1995 interview with BBC Panorama. Corrin, Bennett and the show’s producers worked closely with the charity BEAT to create the portrayal of bulimia on screen, which includes scenes where Diana binge eats and then forces herself to vomit.
“I really wanted to do it justice, and I did lots of research. Polly and I did a lot of research, which was quite difficult at times,” the British actress said. “It was quite harrowing to do the scenes, but I’m glad we did it.”
Each episode that features scenes of Corrin depicting Diana’s bulimia is accompanied by a warning card with the following language: “The following episode includes scenes of an eating disorder, which some viewers may find troubling. Viewer discretion is advised. Information and resources for those struggling with eating disorders are available at www.wannatalkaboutit.com.”
That global resource site includes links to organizations that specialize in support for those with eating disorders.
“I think it’s important with the conversations around mental health that we’re having in society at the moment, that these things are shown. I don’t think we should shy away from them just because it’s uncomfortable,” Corrin said. “I thought of people watching who would have gone through that experience and why it was so important.”
“The Crown” Season 4 is streaming now on Netflix.