Another jewel has been added to Netflix’s The Crown in the form of Johnny Lee Miller, and people have thoughts.
When we first learned that Gillian Anderson was going to star in The Crown as Margaret Thatcher, we admit that we had our doubts. How, we wondered at the time, would they be able to transform the thoroughly Hollywood star into the UK’s first female prime minister?
Of course, as fans of the Netflix series will know already, Anderson rose magnificently to the occasion; not only did she look unrecognisable in Thatcher’s iconic bouffant hair and suits, but she well and truly nailed every single nuance of the IRL character (right down to that oh-so-distinctive voice) and earned herself a Golden Globe in the process.
Still, though, we couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow when we learned that none other than Johnny Lee Miller – oh he of Trainspotting, Hackers, and Mansfield Park fame – will be stepping into the shoes of John Major in The Crown’s fifth season.
Netflix tweeted the casting news earlier today, sending the Twittersphere into overdrive in the process. Because, you guessed it, people can’t handle the fact that their teenage celebrity crush (and former Mr Angelina Jolie) is going to be portraying the same politician dubbed ‘The Grey Man’ in Spitting Image all those years ago.
“WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS?!” asked one fan.
“Whaaaaat?” asked another in disbelief.
“Don’t do this,” begged another.
And still one more quipped: “Is this… parody?”
However, to quote one savvy viewer: “The Crown never disappoints with its casting, and always picks the right actor for the job.
“Jonny Lee Miller is a tremendous talent. I can’t wait to see him join one of the best television series ever made.”
As first revealed by Deadline, The Crown season five will begin shooting next month with a complete cast refresh; think Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana.
Storylines we can expect to see covered, meanwhile, include Diana’s bombshell BBC Panorama interview, which has made headlines in recent weeks after an inquiry revealed the full scale of reporter Martin Bashir’s deceit in securing the scoop.
Many have predicted that we will also see storylines devoted to the separation of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, a fire at Windsor Castle and the finalisation of Princess Anne’s divorce from Mark Phillips.
Considering Miller’s starry status, we imagine the series will also be delving deep into Major’s term as prime minister – including his involvement in the UK’s Black Wednesday, his devastating loss to Labour MP Tony Blair, and most likely his affair with fellow Conservative MP Edwina Currie, which was seized upon by the tabloids in the 90s.
We will bring you more details as and when they become available.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
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