All eyes have been on Elizabeth Debicki ever since it was announced she would be taking over for Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in the next two seasons of Netflix's The Crown. And now with the season 5 premiere just days away, there has been a growing interest in who exactly the Australian actress is. For those who aren't familiar with star and her on-screen work, here's everything you need to know about Debicki ahead of her debut as the late Princess of Wales.
She was born in Paris and raised in Australia.
Born in 1990, Debicki is the eldest child of two ballet dancers, who met while performing together in Paris. She has a younger brother and sister. Debicki once described herself as an "emotional melting pot," which she attributed to her Polish and Irish background. "My family are very intense and passionate," she said. "They feel things very deeply."
When she was 5, she and her family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where she was raised. With two theatrical parents, Debicki described her home life as chaotic and creative. "The house was very alive, there was always a lot going on," she recalled. "I used to go over to other people's houses where that wasn't the case and it just looked so … calm. Then all my friends would come over to my house and go, 'Oh my god, your house is the best!' Now I'm extremely grateful for that sort of nest that was so colourful. It certainly gave me stamina and endurance for the business – the sense that anything goes and people speak their mind."
Debicki was trained in ballet before her focus shifted to acting.
The 29-year-old actress started practicing ballet at a very young age, but she knew she wanted to be in entertainment early on. "I always loved being on stage when I was young and doing my ballet concerts," she said. "It just became clear to me that was my happiest place. The kick you get out of that connection with a faceless crowd, nothing beats that kick, and I felt that when I was really young."
Her first major role was in 2013's The Great Gatsby.
Debicki got her first major break when she was 21; director Baz Luhrmann saw her audition reel and cast her as Jordan Baker and the star-studded adaptation of The Great Gatsby. "It was the highest of high blessings," she said. "I will never not be grateful for him as a human being, what he taught me, the experience, the exposure of it." Her portrayal in the film received critical appraisal, winning an AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Debicki's success in The Great Gatsby kickstarted her Hollywood career.
Following the success of The Great Gatsby, Debicki went on to land several more supporting and leading roles. Some of her biggest projects include Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Christopher Nolan's Tenet, and the Guardian of the Galaxy movie series. Debicki has also appeared in two critically-acclaimed TV series, The Night Manager and The Kettering Incident.
She is very tall.
Debicki is said to be 6-foot 3-inches. "It’s funny being tall in this industry because how you are physically affects the roles that you’re offered. It’s an image-based industry and how we look on screen determines a lot of things, but I accept that about myself," she previously said. "People ask what it’s like to be tall, but I don’t know any different. There are certain roles that I can use my stature to my advantage... but being tall gets in the way in a casting sense but there’s nothing you can do about that and so many things about this industry is not in your control. You just have to surrender and let it be."
Debicki doesn't use social media.
"I've always been a private person," she told Vogue Australia in 2018. "I feel like the thing I want out in the world is my work and I've always believed—and it's the way I approach my work—that me and the work are separate. I think that people with social media can blur it so beautifully, and I respect that, but it's not really how I am and I just want the work to speak and people to receive it the way they will without anything influencing it. I just want people to know me for my work."
She is honored to portray Princess Diana in The Crown.
According to Debicki, getting to play the Princess of Wales has been a privilege. "When [screenwriter] Peter Morgan asked me to do it I was quite overwhelmed," the actress said on Good Morning America in 2020. "I think that I'm actually just incredibly excited to do it, and she's such an incredibly important figure. She was such a remarkable human being and so the idea of stepping into it is daunting but very exciting."
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