Jason Watkins has been tapped to play former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson on Netflix’s original drama series The Crown. Additionally, Helena Bonham Carter has been officially confirmed to play Princess Margaret on the upcoming third season, slated to premiere in 2019. She will take over the role played in the first two seasons by Vanessa Kirby.
“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,” Bonham Carter said. “The only thing I can guarantee is that I’ll be shorter (than Vanessa).”
The second season of The Crown premiered December 8 on Netflix. In it, Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon (Matthew Goode) and the season ended with her pregnant with one of their children.
On the upcoming third season, Bonham Carter joins two other actors who are taking over lead roles as British royals — Olivia Colman will be replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth and Tobias Menzies who is succeeding Matt Smith as Prince Philip.
The Crown, created by Peter Morgan, tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s early reign as the fragile social order established after WWII breaks apart. Morgan previously had said he intended to replace key cast members in later seasons, to better portray the characters as they aged.
Wilson, who served two tenures as head of the UK government, is the latest Prime Minister to be featured on The Crown, following Winston Churchill (John Lithgow), Clement Attlee (Simon Chandler), Anthony Eden (Jeremy Northam) and Harold Macmillan (Anton Lesser).
“I am delighted to become part of this exceptional show. And so thrilled to be working once again with Peter Morgan,” Watkins said. “Harold Wilson is a significant and fascinating character in our history. So looking forward to bringing him to life, through a decade that transformed us culturally and politically. And excited to be working so closely with Olivia; and the whole team.”
Watkins previously toplined Morgan’s miniseries The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies. He will next be seen in Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote and in the British miniseries A Very English Scandal.
Carter, star of Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland among others, will next be seen in Warner Bros’ Ocean’s 8, the female-driven caper spinoff directed by Gary Ross. She’s also the voice of Margaret Conroy in Fun Academy Motion Pictures’ first animated family film Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.