'The Crown' season 3: Can Helena Bonham Carter better Vanessa Kirby's portrayal of Princess Margaret?
Going back in time to the era of royalty, 'The Crown' chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Among an array of characters on the show, Princess Margaret stands out as the rebellious butterfly. Through seasons one and two in her shoes, Vanessa Kirby lit up the screen with her own flavor of vile and innocence. She truly did invoke a sassy spark with her performance.
Margaret's eccentric streak is on a whole new dimension and she comes across as a misfit among the bunch of well-mannered royals in the palace. Not one to bite her lip before taking advantage of her privileged status, she loves being in the limelight. From choosing to be in the lap of luxury to being wooed by charming men and even the notoriety of it all, she is fond of everything chic and classy. Can't say it's all her fault though, can we?
A string of setbacks in her love life have led to her doom. Her life takes a 360 degree turn when she falls in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend. Faced with opposition from the royal family for accepting a divorced man, Margaret ditches her plans to get married to him and finally walks down the aisle with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
By the end of the second season, David and Sarah, both of the couple's children appear in the family photograph captured at the end of spring in 1964. Kirby, who isn't even 30 yet in real life, is already "shown to be" 34. So, as the next season paces forward to show the character in its 40s and 50s, it only seems justified to get an older star cast. Taking on the role ahead from Kirby is Helena Bonham Carter. Yes, the beloved Bellatrix Lestrange from 'Harry Potter' series.
Will she maintain the tone of the character? Well, that seems like an understatement considering the varied roles she has aced over the years—right from Mrs. Bucket in 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' to the swindling innkeeper Madame Thénardier in 'Les Misérables' and the Red Queen in 'Alice in Wonderland'. Transferring the responsibility from her shoulder, Kirby posted an Instagram picture of the two and captioned it: "Honoured @thecrownnetflix!"
Seems like it is good casting, doesn't it? Well, the shift is much needed as this season too, the spotlight will be on her. Spoiler alert: Princess Margaret goes through an ugly divorce in 1978. Looking back at the multiple secret affairs of Lord of Snowdon, it hardly comes as a surprise. As the story moves forward, her health only deteriorates further after she earns a bad reputation due to the divorce. A heavy smoker for most of her life, it is known that she had a lung operation in 1985, a bout of pneumonia in 1993, and at least three strokes between 1998 and 2001.
From getting the snobbish stance right to mastering the crazy-mad temper, Carter is already a connoisseur in that area. Well, we can already picture Carter swinging a glass of martini and blowing cigarette smoke in the air. "I’m not sure which I’m more terrified about — doing justice to the real Princess Margaret or following in the shoes of Vanessa Kirby’s Princess Margaret,” Carter said in a statement. “The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter (than Vanessa)."
Analyzing her previous parts, the 53-year-old actress seems apt to chronicle Princess Margaret's tussle with both, defiance and addiction to her privileged life. If anything at all, she needs to add the right amount of elegance, rage, pomposity and misery. For now, it can be well predicted that Helena Bonham Carter will breathe a new life into the character and even take it up a notch.