Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame is all set to star as Princess Diana in Spencer, an upcoming biopic directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín. The drama is slated to centre around the Princess’ high-profile marriage to Prince Charles of the British royal family, and narrate the story of the days leading up to their breakup, Deadline reported. The film will be shopped to buyers at the virtual Cannes market, and production is expected to begin early next year.
EXCLUSIVE: Kristen Stewart is set to play Princess Diana In ‘Spencer’ https://t.co/tAPC959675
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) June 17, 2020
Set in 1992, Spencer, a reference to Diana’s maiden name, will cover the span of a crucial Christmas weekend she spent at the House of Windsor at the royal family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, while being faced with the realisation that her marriage wasn’t working. Larraín made it clear that the film would focus only on those three days in the royal couple’s life, without straying anywhere near Diana’s tragic death in a car crash, which was a much-publicised event. “We all know her fate, what happened to her, and we don’t need to go there,” he said.
Also Read: Princess Diana, the Queen that lived in people’s hearts
Spencer is about a Woman’s Identity
Larraín, who has also directed Jackie for which Natalie Portman received an Oscar nomination, said that the royal family has always been a subject of fascination for him. But growing up in Chile, he was not given to the frenzied public obsession surrounding Diana and Charles’ marriage. Instead, having read fairy tales all his life, Larraín identified Diana’s story to be far from a fairy tale – an antithesis to it, in fact.
Her life did not follow the conventional prince-meets-princess and a happily ever after plot. Diana defied all odds and gave up the path to becoming a queen, choosing instead to just be herself. A woman with an independent identity. That, for Larraín, was a fairy tale in the true sense.
He told Deadline, “We decided to get into a story about identity, and around how a woman decides somehow, not to be the queen… It’s about finding herself, about understanding that possibly the most important thing for her is to be well, and to be with herself and by herself.” Diana’s most authentic identity, the only one she wanted to retain, was the one from before she met Charles. “That’s why the movie is called Spencer,” Larraín explained.
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On Casting Kristen Stewart
Larraín believes that Stewart is a great choice for the role. Her aura combines mystery and strength, which is what the role requires. “Kristen is one of the great actors around today. 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,” Larraín said, calling her a “force of nature.”
However, when the news broke about the decision to cast Stewart in the film, it received mixed reactions from fans. Some seemed to think that casting an American actress to play the British royal was a misplaced decision. Moreover, they felt that Stewart wouldn’t be able to do justice to the Princess who was everyone’s favourite.
Princess Diana in heaven scrolling through Twitter and seeing Kristen Stewart is set to play her in a movie like pic.twitter.com/YoYqldNbQG
— ✨ (@heyjaeee) June 17, 2020
Others were appreciative of Stewart’s acting ability, citing the wide range of offbeat roles and movies the actor had attempted in the past. Some even noted her similarity to Diana as regards the two women’s dislike of media attention.
The more I think about it, the more Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana makes perfect sense. She's got that essential walled-off quality for the role.
— Tom and Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) June 17, 2020
Also Read: 5 Simple Yet Powerful Quotes of Princess Diana that promise to inspire you
About Princess Diana
Born into the British royalty, Princess Diana of Wales rose to prominence following her courtship and engagement to Prince Charles, son of Queen Elizabeth II. The couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry (who is famously married to former actor Meghan Markle). However, incompatibility and extramarital affairs resulted in an unsuccessful marriage, and soon the couple separated. Diana, who would have otherwise been the successor to the throne, continued to remain a popular figure in media. All through her life, she was known for her excessive inclination towards philanthropic work. She was hailed everywhere for her sensitivity and public connect that was unusual for a member of the British royalty. Also deemed to be a global fashion icon, she actively defied the norms of royal attire, and partook in fashion trends. She died in 1997 in a car crash in Paris.
“Diana is such a powerful icon, where millions and millions of people, not just women, but many people around the world felt empathy toward her in her life,” Larraín said. Princess Diana still remains among the world’s most popular and well-loved women.
We can’t wait to watch her come alive on the big screen!
Tanvi Akhauri is an intern with SheThePeople.TV.