EXCLUSIVE: Lady Diana biopic Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as the former Princess, has cast the supporting roles of Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, and Earl Spencer, Diana’s father.
Ferguson, the Duchess of York, will be portrayed by newcomer Olga Hellsing, a Berlin-based German model and actress who is fluent in English.
Earl John Spencer will be played by British-German actor Thomas Douglas, whose career has largely comprised supporting roles in German TV and features, most recently in Beta Film’s German-language historical mini-series Labyrinth Of Peace.
The film focuses on one weekend in the life of Princess Diana, as she spends the Christmas holiday with the royal family at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, and decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles.
Royal sisters-in-law Ferguson and Diana had a turbulent and complicated relationship, which was often very close but which soured in Diana’s final years. In her autobiography, Ferguson wrote that 1991—the year before their respective marital separations—“was the year we first put words to the unspeakable idea that had been nudging us in the ribs for some time: that one or both of us might leave the royal family. We burned the phone wires into the night, trading secrets and jokes that no-one else would understand.”
British peer and nobleman John Spencer, the maternal grandfather of Prince William and Prince Harry, was a World War II veteran with close ties to the Royal family. He sat in the House Of Lords from 1975 until he passed away in 1992, the year Diana initially separated from her husband.
The production team behind Spencer yesterday revealed that Poldark star Jack Farthing will portray Charles. Previously announced cast includes Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins and Sean Harris, though their characters are not yet known. A number of roles are being kept under wraps and Ferguson and John Spencer are likely to be minor characters in the piece.
Filming has been taking place in Germany, but has recently moved to the UK. The production has tapped into funding from Germany so has needed to cast a handful of local actors.
Pic is directed by Pablo Larraín (Jackie) and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). The film is produced by Juan de Dios Larraín (Jackie) for Fabula Films, Jonas Dornbach and Janine Jackowski (Toni Erdmann) for Komplizen Film and Paul Webster (Atonement) for Shoebox Films.