The Crown season 4: Helena Bonham Carter speaks out on being replaced ‘Bit overwhelmed!’

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Helena was instated as the successor to Vanessa Kirby, 32, who was the first actress to portray Princess Margaret on The Crown. Since 2019, she has played the sister of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Olivia Colman) in seasons three and four. Although the latest instalment is yet to stream on Netflix, it has already been announced the 54-year-old is being replaced by Lesley Manville, 64, who will step into the shoes of the Countess of Snowdon to play out her latter years.

The news Helena was being replaced hit the headlines back in July, with Lesley offering her take on being the final incarnation of the royal figure.

“The baton is being passed on from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to let the side down,” the Talking Heads star said.

Since then, her predecessor has since revealed what she really thinks of the casting in a conversation with and other publications ahead of the Virgin Media BAFTA Television Awards 2020 earlier this year.

On being replaced, Helena explained: “It’s like handing a baton, it’s like this race that we’re all running.

“Vanessa Kirby was incredibly enthusiastic and kind and generous and gave me lots of tips,” the actress continued.

“I said ‘Help! How do I do this?’ Because you can get a bit overwhelmed by all the research,” Helena added, before revealing the advice she would give to her successor.

“And you know it’s conspicuous, you know people are going to watch it, which is a great gift. Lesley, I feel like I should hand her the cigarette holder that I used, as a baton.

“Over to you, woman. She’s going to have a great time with [Margaret], and I’m so chuffed it’s her, and she’s a great actress, and she’ll have great fun.”

Lesley will be acting alongside the award-winning star of stage and screen, Imelda Staunton, 64, who will play the final incarnation of the monarch.

Lesley’s going to have a great time

Helena Bonham Carter

According to source reports, Lesley was the writers “first choice” of any actress they had in mind to replace Helena.

The TV insider said the critically-acclaimed actress was “hugely respected” by The Crown creators and they wanted “someone who could tackle the difficult role of a royal entering one of the darkest periods of her life.

“That’s why Lesley was one of the first actors they approached to join the new cast and remains one of the few who has fully committed to The Crown,” a source told The Sun.

Since the news broke Helena was going to be replaced by Lesley, fans have offered their take on the recasting.

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Taking to Twitter, one fan wrote: “I already just got used to Helena Bonham Carter (who was honestly so damn good) after Vanessa Kirby. At least we have S4 with HBC.” (sic)

Another added on the social media platform: “Lesley Manville is an utter goddess. She will be fabulous, as always.”

“An incredible actress. Her performance in Another Year made me quit acting because I knew I’d never been as good as her,” a third commented.

Whilst a fourth remarked: “So excited for this. Lesley Manville is amazing,” a fifth shared: “Great actress. Very good casting.”

Following last weekend’s first-ever socially distanced Emmy Awards Ceremony, the Netflix show walked away with two accolades.

The historic drama won the awards for Outstanding Period Costumes and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More).

The writers and creators of the series will be hoping to gain even more awards as they round off the dramatisation of the royals’ life over the next two years.

Helena, unfortunately, didn’t manage to get her hands on the accolade she was nominated for, which was the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

The Crown season four will be available to stream on Netflix from November 15, 2020.

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