The 30-year-old actress recently chatted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! about playing the late royal in the upcoming biopic Spencer.
“I didn’t grow up with her maybe in the same way, I was really young when she passed away,” Kristen shared, before admitting she feels “protective” of Diana. “I feel sort of the same way about her. It happened really quickly.”
Spencer will be centered around Diana realizing her marriage to Prince Charles is coming to an end during her final Christmas holiday weekend with the Royal Family at their Sandringham estate.
Kristen was only 7-years-old when Diana was killed in a tragic car accident in Paris, and said that all she could recall from the tragedy were “the flowers” laid in front of Buckingham Palace in her honor.
“I was really young, [I] didn’t know what was going on,” Kristen said. “It’s hard not to feel protective of her. She was so young.”
Kristen continued, “I mean, everyone’s perspective is different and there’s no way to get anything right because what is fact in relation to personal experience.”
“My movie takes place over three days, and it’s this really poetic internal imagining of what that might have felt like rather than giving new information,” Kristen continued. “We kind of don’t have a mark to hit, we just also love her.”
During another interview with The Wrap, Kristen said that she watched the new season of The Crown, which followed Princess Diana‘s first few years as a member of the Royal Family. She was played by Emma Corrin in the Netflix series.
“I feel really lucky to have ‘The Crown’ because I’ve emotionally invested in people that to me feel — like, I know that they’re real people, and there’s ample material to reinforce that and sort of remind yourself of that,” Kristen shared. “But now I feel this emotional attachment to these characters and I have this accompaniment that I can go to sleep with and feel like, ‘Oh, God, I already I already have feelings about these people,’ That speaks to the show’s credit.”
Season four of The Crown ended in 1990, while Spencer will be taking place in the early ’90s.
“Luckily, there’s no overlap time-wise, and also historically, and tonally, they’re very different, so I’m really cool with it,” she said. “There’s this idea that it could be horrible that we had like two of the same things at the same time. But they do feel so different.”
Production for Spencer is set to begin in late January in London.