Most of the cast and crew of “The Crown” gathered in London Sunday evening as the show racked up wins for best drama series, writing, directing and all four acting awards.
But Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles and won an Emmy for lead actor in a drama, was on hand in Los Angeles. He told reporters in a virtual backstage press room he had made the mistake of carrying a U.S. mobile phone without his castmates’ telephone numbers.
“Not only am I not with them, but I can’t get in touch with them,” O’Connor said, talking about how the cast seemed like family. “I love them all to bits … I’m just excited to get back to London sometime and have a toast with them all because they’re beautiful people.”
Gillian Anderson, who won for her supporting role as Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister of Britain from 1979-90, said the win was more meaningful than when she took home an Emmy in 1997 for her iconic role as Dana Scully on “The X Files.”
“It’s been a very long time since I’ve won an Emmy or been nominated for an Emmy. And so it feels extra special, even more so than I think it even did the first time around because when you’re … 27, you feel like you’re invincible and it’s always going to be like that and of course, it isn’t necessarily.”
She called the role “one of the hardest things that I’ve done to date” and shared that, “It’s a really lovely feeling to be recognized for the work.”
It was the first win for the writing team, after four seasons of hard work, and writer Peter Morgan credited his team as “more seasoned in every sense” and “more experienced.”
He was among many to note the outsized role television played during a virus-driven lockdown.
“I’m conscious of how important a role television has played in the pandemic for all of us, not just the making of it, but the watching of it,” Morgan said. “There seems to be a fascinating shift, really … it was something that was already happening, that more people were staying at home and watching long-form television.
“There’s some extraordinary work, and it feels very special to have won tonight,” he said.
Both Morgan and director Jessica Hobbs talked about the added pressure and responsibility of representing real life, high-profile characters.
“We’ve now moved into an era with the show … where memories are relatively fresh and when you’re writing difficult and painful scenes between people at an unhappy time in their life, when it’s based on real characters, obviously that’s something that you have to think long and hard about,” Morgan told reporters. “I’m satisfied that we behave responsibly.
“All marriage breakups are difficult. I don’t think it’s something you can do without spilling blood. And those scenes were hard to write and hard to watch.”
Hobbs said the writing was grounded in deep research, but the writers still have some freedom to imagine what happens outside of the public’s view.
“Often in situations on `The Crown,’ we don’t know what happened behind closed doors, so that gives us a lot of license to draw those threads.”