Tom Byrne had to ‘switch part of his brain off’ to play Prince Andrew – Daily Mail

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The actor set to play Prince Andrew in the new series of the Crown has revealed he has to ‘switch part of his brain off’ to get into the role of playing the controversial royal.

Newcomer Tom Byrne, 26, a recent graduate of Bristol’s Old Vic theatre school, stars in series four of the hit Netflix show about the Windsor dynasty which airs next week.

The series will tell the tale of the tough times the UK faced under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, as well as their royal family‘s life from 1977 to 1990, which will see the Duke of York navigate his twenties while his older brother Prince Charles (Josh O’Connor) pursues a young Lady Diana, played by Emma Corrin. 

Newcomer Tom Byrne, 26, a recent graduate of Bristol's Old Vic theatre school, stars in series four of the hit Netflix show as Prince Andrew which airs next week

Newcomer Tom Byrne, 26, a recent graduate of Bristol’s Old Vic theatre school, stars in series four of the hit Netflix show as Prince Andrew which airs next week

The series will tell the tale of the tough times the UK faced under Margaret Thatcher's premiership, as well as their royal family's life from 1977 to 1990, which will see the Duke of York navigate his twenties. Prince Andrew is pictured in 1984

The series will tell the tale of the tough times the UK faced under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, as well as their royal family’s life from 1977 to 1990, which will see the Duke of York navigate his twenties. Prince Andrew is pictured in 1984

Speaking to the Evening Standard about his role, Tom, who lives in Brixton, south London said: ‘People are going to bring their perceptions of Prince Andrew to watch [him in] The Crown anyway, I didn’t need to bring my own judgement to it.

‘I thought the best thing I can do is to switch that part of my brain off. It just wasn’t useful to me to engage with that stuff – particularly as I was only playing [him as] a 20-year-old.

Tom, who has also starred in Black Mirror and A Discovery of Witches, began filming the Golden Globe-wining series in autumn last year, just as Prince Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis aired, where he was questioned on his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. 

In the BBC interview, the Duke of York infamously said he was at Pizza Express Woking on a night he had been accused of going to a night club with Virginia Giuffre, adding that he couldn’t sweat due to a rare medical condition.

Describing it as ‘an odd time’, Tom said that he made a ‘concerted effort’ to avoid reading stories or watching the interview as he ‘didn’t need to bring his own judgement into the role’.

However the new series, which will be released in full next Sunday, makes a nod to the Prince’s scandal in a roundabout way.     

In one episode, Andrew discusses an American actress with his mother, played by Olivia Colman. 

Prince Andrew starts a new job as a Royal Navy Helicopter Pilot on board HMS Brazen, Plymouth. Pictured in 1979

Prince Andrew returns from the Falklands War on September 17, 1982,

Prince Andrew worked in the Navy in the 1970s and 1980s. He is pictured left as a Helicopter Pilot in 1979 and right returning from the Falklands War in 1982

The fictionalised version of Andrew says his new girlfriend has recently played a role of a 17-year-old targeted by ‘older, twisted predators’ in a controversial film. 

 Discussing the role, Tom said: ‘Obviously that has a kind of a pallor attached to it.

 ‘I was definitely aware of what Peter was doing [in that scene] – but I can also imagine a young 22-year-old guy just doing that to wind his mum up, [when] there was none of that stuff surrounding it.’ 

The Crown star Emma Corrin has revealed it took costume designers five fittings to recreate Princess Diana's bridal look for her upcoming role, despite the hit Netflix series not showing the wedding. She is pictured in costume

The Crown star Emma Corrin has revealed it took costume designers five fittings to recreate Princess Diana’s bridal look for her upcoming role, despite the hit Netflix series not showing the wedding. She is pictured in costume

Princess Diana's dress became world famous when she wore it to marry Prince Charles in 1981. The dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who lent their patterns to The Crown's Emmy-winning costume designer Amy Roberts to recreate the look. Princess Diana is pictured on her wedding day

Princess Diana’s dress became world famous when she wore it to marry Prince Charles in 1981. The dress was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, who lent their patterns to The Crown’s Emmy-winning costume designer Amy Roberts to recreate the look. Princess Diana is pictured on her wedding day

Tom initially auditioned for the role of Prince Charles, which went to Josh O’Connor.

The new series also stars Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher, while  Emerald Fennell will reprise her role as Camilla Shand (later Parker-Bowles, the Duchess of Cornwall) as Tobias Menzies returns as Prince Philip and Helena Bonham Carter come back as Princess Margaret.

It comes as Emma Corrin, who is set to play Andrew’s sister-in-law Princess Diana,  revealed it took costume designers five fittings to recreate the royal’s bridal look for her upcoming role, despite the hit Netflix series not showing the wedding. 

The Kent-born actress,  24, who is making her debut as Lady Diana in the upcoming series of The Crown spoke to the Radio Times about her ‘crazy’ wedding dress.

Speaking to the publication she explained the process was ‘incredible’ and the dress was ‘so chunky’ it had to be broken up into sections.

‘I loved the process of the fittings actually, weirdly, almost more than the wearing it on the day. Because we don’t really… we don’t actually show the wedding – I’m in the wedding dress for, like, a fraction of a moment.

‘But actually I had so many fittings for it, I think about probably four or five, and each of one of those was several hours long,’ she explained.

John O'Connor has told how he felt sympathy for both the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles when he read the script of the 4th season of the Crown. The actor, 30, who plays the Prince of Wales in the Netflix hit series on the royal family said he felt his character was trying to explain himself but was not allowed to (pictured: O'Connor as the Prince of Wales and Emma Corrin as Lady Diana in the Crown season 4)

John O’Connor has told how he felt sympathy for both the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles when he read the script of the 4th season of the Crown. The actor, 30, who plays the Prince of Wales in the Netflix hit series on the royal family said he felt his character was trying to explain himself but was not allowed to (pictured: O’Connor as the Prince of Wales and Emma Corrin as Lady Diana in the Crown season 4)

The series will focus on the engagement and early marriage of Charles and Diana, along with Charles’ feelings for Camilla Parker Bowles.

Emma, a recent graduate from Cambridge University, added that the costume designers even joked she should call her mum while trying on the dress.  

‘When we were in the wedding dressing fittings, Amy the costumes person said: “You should really get your mum in here,’ – she said, “I think your mum should come. Because it’s one of those moments.”

‘I was like, “I’m not actually getting married” but also completely knew what she meant and was like, ‘”Yeah actually I really do want my mum here!”‘.   

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