Warning: This article contains spoilers about season 4 of The Crown.
As those who have now watched season 4 of The Crown will know, the show graphically shows the symptoms of Princess Diana's battle with bulimia as she binges on food and then forces herself to vomit. The scenes are, of course, light years away from the public image of Diana which was projected during the '80s, the decade covered by the latest episodes of Netflix's British royal family drama. Emma Corrin, the actress who plays Diana on the show, tells EW that she felt it was important not to shy away from depicting the royal's struggle with the eating disorder in such a stark manner.
"I read the scripts, which weren't drafts at all, I don’t think, but they weren't the fully-formed thing," says Corrin. "I remember reading them and they had alluded to her bulimia in it. I was at the time doing a lot of research and working with this amazing woman called Polly Bennett. She’s an incredible movement and character coach who helped Rami Malek on Bohemian Rhapsody. A lot of our research ended up being centered around Diana’ bulimia, because it was incredibly central to everything she was going through. It’s both symptomatic of something and causes a lot of it as well."
Corrin says she and Bennett compiled "a lot of research" on the eating disorder and sent their notes to the script team. "[We] said, 'Look, we love that this is included, that we’ve touched on it, but also we want it to be a fully fleshed-out thing that is portrayed, and we want to embellish all the scenes that had been referred to, and add some scenes where we really see the ritualistic power that this thing has over her and her relationship with it.' So, actually, it was kind of me reading the script and being like, I’m really glad they’re including this, let’s go for it. I think if you’re going to show something like that, you can’t just allude to it, you need to fully show it."
Season 4 of The Crown is now available to watch on Netflix.
If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to NationalEatingDisorders.org.