Elizabeth Debicki says she and her fellow cast and crewmembers felt an “immense responsibility” when it came to portraying Princess Diana in her final days for the final season of Netflix’s The Crown.
Talking with ET’s Denny Directo from the red carpet of the season 6 premiere, the Australian actress, 33, said the show’s creators knew that the Princess Diana storyline — specifically her tragic death — could not be one they messed up.
“An immense, immense responsibility,” Debicki said when asked how seriously they approached the topic. “It’s difficult to describe, it was something that we thought about, that we carried with us, that woke us up in the night.”
The sixth and final season of the show will span the 1990s and early 2000s and will tackle Lady Di’s fatal car crash in August 1997. The Princess of Wales and her partner Dodi Fayed were fleeing from paparazzi in Paris, France when their vehicle crashed in a tunnel.
In a trailer released by Netflix in October, Debicki’s Diana is seen wrestling with life after her divorce from then-Prince Charles and struggling with the relentless barrage of photographers trying to snap pictures of her even after she became a private citizen.
Responding seemingly to fans who have voiced concerns online about how the show will handle Diana’s death, Debicki assured viewers that the matter was handled sensitively.
“We tried our very best to do [the story] properly,” Debicki, who also played Princess Diana in season 5, said.
As for what she would tell fans who are heavily invested in the series and her portrayal of the iconic “people’s princess,” Debicki said she just hopes they feel fulfilled by the ending.
“My message is just — thank you for sticking with the show, thank you for watching it. I hope that we give you what you need from it,” she said.
She herself said she did end up feeling content but that the process of getting there was far from easy for her as an actress.
“It was a very difficult and also very beautiful thing to be asked to do as an actor. So as much as it was very harrowing, it was also — there was a sort of grace to it at the same time,” Debicki told ET.
One difficult part of the role Debicki is most likely not going to miss anytime soon is just how long it took for her to transform into Princess Diana.
ET recently spoke with The Crown‘s hair and makeup designer Cate Hall who said it took more time than one might think to get Debicki ready for season 6.
“In terms of fittings, I would say she’s probably spent upwards of 30 hours in the hair and makeup chair while we do stuff,” Hall told ET.
She added that Debicki also dyed her eyebrows for the look and stuck to a strict schedule of spray tans, nail routines and daily hair and makeup changes to portray a post-divorce Princess Di.
The Crown season 6 part 1 will debut on Netflix on Nov. 16. Part 2 will premiere on Dec. 14.