Did you ever doubt that this was the right career path for you?
Erin: I made the decision to just act when I was 18, even though I was acting pretty much from age four. My mum put me and my sister into this drama school thing [on the weekends], so it was always a part of my life. But I also grew up playing football. There came a point when I just knew I was going to act, and I didn’t really give that decision a second thought. Not in like a cocky way, just in a way that I was like, “Nothing fulfills me in the same way.” So I was like, “Well, I’m just going to have to make it happen, because I want to live my life doing it. So let’s just try as hard as I can.” And it’s been going OK.
If Princess Anne watches The Crown, what do you want her to say about your portrayal?
Erin: I don’t expect [her to watch it], but I feel like all I would want is that she feels like we represented her in as true a form to her spirit as possible. I feel like people will come to her side and I hope that they’ll like what they see and connect with that. To me, her spirit is someone who is trying to connect with people as honestly as she can whilst also struggling with fulfilling her duty and being this figure that she is told to be.
And how did you relate to her the most?
Erin: For me, seeing her being thrown in at the deep end like, “OK, now you’re going to be launched and you’re going to become a royal.” I basically felt that way being thrown into The Crown. So I was like, “Oh my God!” As an actor who has pretty much just done theater and a couple of odd TV jobs, I just had to figure it out as I went and also act like everything was fine on the surface. Underneath, though, I was literally having a heart attack, being like, “Oh my God, I don’t know what I’m doing,” or “Oh my God, that’s Olivia Colman.” But that was the correlation that I was like, “OK, cool, you just need to use this, Erin.” Because there is a part of you that’s going to be losing your mind, but surely there was a bit of Anne that was like, “I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m going to make sure everyone thinks that I’ve got this.” It’s just a kind of fake it ’til you make it thing.
Last few things: Have you been to the real Buckingham Palace or Kensington Palace?
Erin Doherty: No, I’ve never been. I need to go.
I’d die to see people’s reactions to you being there. You should at least get a discount at the gift shop.
Erin: I’d love it. And they should. Come on.
Most importantly, as awards season gets underway, are you prepared to meet the cast of Stranger Things?
Erin: I’m going to scream. I’m going to lose my head. I love Stranger Things so much, I can’t tell you. And that song (from The NeverEnding Story) with Dustin and Suzie…without a doubt, that was my favorite part of season three. Dustin is my favorite character.
Dustin and Princess Anne: the crossover we didn’t know we needed.
Erin: Yeah, come on, where’s that series?
Season three of The Crown is currently streaming on Netflix. Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram here.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.