The Crown's Lesley Manville explains why casting her in Sherwood was a massive risk

by 24britishtvJune 14, 2022, 4 p.m. 15
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The Crown star Lesley Manville has revealed why casting her in the new BBC drama Sherwood was a massive risk.

Manville, who is set to play Princess Margaret in season 5 of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, revealed that because of the nature of the pandemic and filming schedules, it was possible she would have to drop out of Sherwood at a moment's notice as she was still on call for The Crown.

"Full marks to them, they hung out for me because I was on first call to The Crown," she told Radio Times.

Related: The Crown season 5 cast, release date, plot and everything you need to know

"Having me do it came with a massive risk for the team because they knew that any day, especially in the COVID climate, I could ring and say, 'Oh I can't get there tomorrow, The Crown need me.' It was a great act of faith."

Manville is the third actor to play Princess Margaret on the show as she takes over the role from Helena Bonham Carter and Vanessa Kirby, who played the character in the previous seasons. The Crown season 5 is expected to come to Netflix in November 2022.

Manville currently stars in Sherwood, a six-part drama inspired by an incredible true crime story from the heart of Britain. She plays Julie Jackson in the series and Julie is drawn into the action when her husband Gary (Alun Armstrong), a former miner who was on the side of the strikes in the 1980s, is unexpectedly murdered in the first episode.

Related: Sherwood – The devastating true crime story behind the BBC drama

Speaking of what drew her to the Sherwood role, Manville explained that creator James Graham's script and the chance to play a different kind of character were both a big incentive for her.

"It's always script, script, script. However great the team might be, if the scripts are turkey you're never going to be able to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Also, I know and love James's [Graham] work," she explained.

"Plus, I was doing The Crown, playing Princess Margaret. I'd done Magpie Murders, playing a nice, middle-class woman and I thought that this was the time to play somebody who's not just a socially different class, but somebody who's got a kind of unashamed rawness about her. Somebody who is just very open and honest."

Created by James Graham, Sherwood is described as "a contemporary drama at the heart of which lie two shocking and unexpected killings that shatter an already fractured community and spark a massive manhunt".

"As suspicion and antipathy build, between lifelong neighbours and towards the police forces who descend on the town, the tragic killings threaten to inflame historic divisions sparked during the Miners' Strike three decades before," the synopsis continues.

The show also stars The Walking Dead's David Morrissey, Downton Abbey's Joanne Froggatt and Killing Eve's Adele Akhtar.

Sherwood is currently airing every Monday and Tuesday on BBC One and iPlayer.



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