Josh O’Connor had ‘no interest’ in the Windsors & ‘I have very little interest now’

Prince Harry greets the crowds outside Windsor Castle on the evening before his wedding to Meghan Markle

I do love Josh O’Connor. The only thing I’ve ever seen him in is The Crown, where he played Prince Charles in Seasons 3 & 4. I thought at the time that Josh is actually much too attractive to play Charles and I still feel that way. But as I’ve watched interviews with Josh, I realize how much work he put into “creating” his version of Charles, how much he studied Charles’ speech patterns and physicality and facial expressions. He really did a good job with it, and he really deserved the Golden Globe he won this year for the role. Josh covers the latest issue of GQ Hype. He chatted about winning his Globe via Zoom, his new role in an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, and how he feels about the Windsors. Some highlights:

Zooming into the Golden Globes from home in London: “To be honest, it suited me quite nicely. I quite like doing things from the comfort of my home.”

Working on Romeo & Juliet during the pandemic: The cast had “intimacy windows” determined by Covid testing. “The funniest day was when we were going to do a fight scene. And all the lads were being very laddy, like, ‘Yeah, fighting today! We love fighting! Fighting fighting!’ And as soon as the negative tests arrived everyone started hugging and giving each other kisses. It was great! It was a gift.”

Leaving Prince Charles to be played by Dominic West: “I’ve been asked about it in the past and I’ve said it’s brilliant I don’t have to play him any more, which sometimes implies I didn’t enjoy it. And I absolutely loved it. But the reason I wanted to be an actor is to play different people. Playing that character has brought me a lot of joy. But it’s lovely to come away and go, ‘Great. Now hand it over to Dominic West.’”

Whether he plans to meet with Dominic West: “I don’t know! It’s so funny, isn’t it? But if Dominic West came to me asking me for advice” – and at this point he starts to laugh – “I’d laugh him off. I’d be like, ‘Dom! You’re Dominic West!’”

Whether he watched the Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan? “I definitely didn’t!” he says. But everyone else did! “I feel so…” he starts, before correcting himself. “Actually I don’t feel that bad about it, to be honest. My feeling on it is as it was before I did The Crown,” he says. Which is? “I think I find it really hard pinning the real royal family to The Crown. They feel so far removed. And basically,” he says, almost conspiratorially, “I had no interest in the royal family before I did The Crown. And I have very little interest now!”

But he is fond of Charles: “[I do have] a great fondness for Prince Charles as a person, because of all the research I’ve done”. But beyond that, he says, “I’m afraid I’m the last person who can comment!”

On pandemic loneliness: “I’ve struggled for sure. We’re social beings. And I’m not even that social! I love staying in. But I’ve had my struggles with it….But I do feel strongly, that pre-pandemic we were isolating. We were contacting each other over the internet and social media, which has its place, but we were being pulled further and further apart. And this pandemic has only accentuated that. And so I have been concerned for my own mental health. But more generally for everyone. And we just have to keep talking about it and finding ways to combat it.”

[From British GQ Hype]

“I had no interest in the royal family before I did The Crown. And I have very little interest now.” I think that’s… healthy? If it’s true and he sticks with his royal apathy, I think that’s his right and so be it. There’s no reason to assume that all of the actors from The Crown are going to be royalists, especially not after Prince Charles waged a completely deranged campaign against the show last year. Emma and Josh got the brunt of that too, alongside Peter Morgan.

I would like to point out a few things though – most actors do play the game of “oh, I love the Queen/Charles/William” because so many of them want the knighthood or the CBE. I would hope that Josh isn’t like that, and he seems to have realized that ship has sailed. I also think it’s fine to not care about Harry and Meghan’s story if you’re also actively ignoring the Windsors in general too. That being said, the H&M story is pretty big and I don’t get why people are like “why are you still talking about this?!?!” Because it involves race and racism, the media, anti-Americanism, sexism and everything else. People *should* have opinions about it.

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Josh O'Connor attending the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 5, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. | usage worldwide

Cover courtesy of British GQ, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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24 Responses to “Josh O’Connor had ‘no interest’ in the Windsors & ‘I have very little interest now’”

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  1. idk says:

    Eh, I don’t know that I agree that people SHOULD have opinions on Harry and Meghan. I like them fine, and no shade to anyone who loves them, but at the end of the day I don’t really know why anyone ought to care about them more than any other rich, famous, and attractive people. They’re extremely famous celebrities who do charity work. My opinion of them has literally no impact on their lives.

    I read somewhere years ago that being obsessed with royalty is a “serf mentality.” I don’t know if I totally agree, especially since the British royals have so much influence on UK politics, but it stuck with me. Respect to Josh O’Connor for not caring about the Windsors and saying so, honestly.

    • Ellie says:

      Right. If he says he’s watched the interview then he’s going to be asked his opinion about specific parts of it. If he makes a comment, then that’s out there forever and would BE the headline, whether it was “I think they’re racist AF” or just “Josh O’Connor refuses to comment on whether The Firm is racist.” It’s really unfortunate but it’s probably just easier for him to be like “I haven’t watched it, it’s not my thing.”

    • NCWoman says:

      I don’t know that you have to care for them personally, but they are the targets of a right-wing disinformation campaign both in Britain and here in the US. Right-wing media in the US continues to have an anti-democratic agenda post-Trump, and they’re extolling the virtues of both royalty and dictators. As part of this campaign, they’ve weaponized racism, misogyny, mental health, and a lot more. I think there is a lot here that is extremely concerning for our future in terms of the techniques being used to instill hate among people.

      • Nivz says:

        NCWoman, I feel like I should paste your comment into a note because it eloquently captures why H and M matter. I sometimes find myself not being to explain why I am invested. Thanks.

  2. Amelia says:

    When I see interviews with the actors of the show, I think to myself it makes so little sense to go to them and ask their opinion. Yes they’ve studied these people and embodied them as characters, but that’s all they did. That doesn’t mean they are mind readers. For example when Meghan and Harry were forced to announce that they were stepping BACK from senior royalty, all these magazines and news outlets were going to The Crown actors and getting THEIR opinion. That doesn’t make sense! Most of them don’t even care. It just goes to show the incompetency of these “journalists”

  3. Lola says:

    Oh! You must watch ‘The Durrells’! It’s so lovely and heart warming and everyone in it, including Josh, is wonderful.

  4. Lola says:

    Oh! You must watch ‘The Durrells’! It’s so lovely and heart warming and everyone in it, including Josh, is wonderful.

  5. Sofia says:

    Oh god, Dominic West has really been cast as Charles?!?!? Really not looking forward to that. Was hoping that would be a silly piece of gossip but apparently not.

    Back to Josh, he’s never been into the Windsors because he’s a Republican (in the UK, that means someone who is for the abolishment of the monarchy) so that makes sense. And I don’t think everyone needs an opinion on H&M. I know plenty in real life who don’t but for most of them, it extends to the rest of the royals too. But I do think there’s a difference between not caring about the Sussexes in general and trying to dismiss all the abuse they face.

    • Anners says:

      I think this is where I am. I was excited for the wedding between Harry and Meghan because I love me a royal wedding (I’m blaming princess Di for that one), but after that…meh. I mean, I was (and am) appalled by what Meghan was put through by family, friends, and the royal rota – no one deserves that, but especially not someone who seems as compassionate, hardworking, and empathetic as she does. But other than being glad that they escaped, I really don’t think much about them now, and I’m okay with that.

    • GA says:

      This. I think what happened to H&M was appalling, but I am exhausted by the media coverage of them and could not care less anymore (I felt the same way about Brexit and covid to an extent).

      I’ve been reading Celebitchy for 10 years and I don’t plan on stopping, but it is difficult when half the daily articles now are about H&M/Windsors and I just… don’t care.

  6. Plums says:

    very diplomatic statements from him on Charles, lol.

    I absolutely second the recommendation of watching The Durrells if you want to see more Josh O’Connor. Especially the first couple seasons. The show is so feel good and Josh is absolutely amazing and hilarious in it.

  7. Maria says:

    Well Charles is going to be salty about Josh forever now lol.
    Josh is a hunk and I love him!

  8. Seraphina says:

    I am sure he lost even more interest once he studied Charles and learned more about him as a person. Notice I did not use the word human, there is nothing human about him.

  9. Jem says:

    Josh is so good in the Durrells, it’s a fab show!

  10. Jannie says:

    H&M story is nothing but a real-life soap opera practicality affects no one other than just a handful of people.

    • Bellaluna McKenzie says:

      Good one (sarcastic)…but I respectfully disagree with you. It resonates deeply with the world, PoC and people who have/are/will suffer from mental health issues of their own or caused by others.

      It may seem overly dramatic to you…a ‘soap opera…but it just goes to show how very little empathy some people are capable of. It sickens me and I feel sorry for whomever is so emotionally stunted.

      With that in mind, you may want to move over to the Daily Fail and other anti Sussex sites. Celebitchy isn’t one of them and we sure don’t need trolls like you.

    • Nivz says:

      Sure Jan(nie).

  11. Brubs says:

    I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that he is actually republican (is that the right term?) so doesn’t think that there should be a royal family and he hasn’t changed his mind after the crown

    but playing a real person for a couple of years probably makes you empathize with them so that’s why he said that about charles

    anyway I like Josh quite a lot

    • Nivz says:

      Despite all of his awfulness to Diana and then Harry and Meg, Charles is more multi dimensional and interesting than his unfortunate looking heir. We know the man is sort of an intellectual and an early environmentalist. I also think I may have a soft spot for him, from watching Harry Enfield play him as a complete buffoon on The Windsors (C4, Netflix in the USA.) And then it’s a rude wake up call when more news of his real life behaviour emerges.

  12. Ashley says:

    I’m actually really sad that there won’t be another season with him. I loved him and Emma. He actually made me like Charles because he’s so good at it. By the way Dominic West?!?! The world’s sleaziest cad playing such an unsexy boring person? Josh isnt conventionally attractive but he’s somehow cute? Dominic West drips ooze with every sleazy smile. He really is Noah Solomon. He’s been that way since he played the wife beater in Chicago. Just something so slimey about him and then that stuff with Cinderella. That is going to be a weird watch. Dominic West is not a good enough actor to disappear into roles. Everytime I see him (and this is going back to the Wire) he’s just not it. Such weird casting.