John Lithgow and Claire Foy backstage at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards

January 30, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place on January 29, 2017, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

JOHN LITHGOW AND CLAIRE FOY

SAG Award wins:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

(“The Crown”)

Here is what these SAG Award winners said backstage in the SAG Awards press room.

John Lithgow and Claire Foy at the 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on January 29, 2017.
John Lithgow and Claire Foy at the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

How enjoyable has it been to bring this story to life? And do you think that any of the British royal family has watched it?

Claire Foy: We don’t know anything. You know it’s very difficult to get a straight answer from anyone or truthful answer, unless they actually come up to us and say, “We watched it. We loved it.” And we just don’t know, which is the nature of them and the beauty of them. We don’t know, but we do know that they have a Netflix subscription, and the chances are they might have know about its existence, but yeah we don’t know for definite anything, unfortunately.

John Lithgow: What was it like bringing these people to life? Completely wonderful. It was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. Claire was in the first sentence that was spoken to me by my agent about this project. It was Peter Morgan, Stephen Daldry, Claire Foy, Winston Churchill and Netflix. And I had said “yes” at the word “Claire Foy.” I had seen her in “Little Dorrit” and “Wolf Hall.” I have many actor friends in London who have worked with Claire and know her, and the word “lovely” kept coming up.

It’s very true. She’s a completely wonderful person. She’s just as great an actor as she is a person. Everybody so delighted to hear that because they love her acting so much. And you know, it’s a beautifully written historical drama that doesn’t even look like historical drama because you get to know the characters so deeply, and they’re so beautifully played with such dimension by this incredible cast. So it was easy.

John, you are such a tall man, and Winston Churchill was so short. What’s the trick to playing that character?

Lithgow: You know, we rehearsed for about 10 days before we shot. And on about the ninth day, I asked Stephen Daldry, our director, I said, “You know, there’s an elephant in the room. Nobody has even mentioned the fact that I’m about 18 inches taller than Churchill.”

And Stephen said, “It’s not an issue.” I said, “What are we going to do?” He said, “Nothing. It’s not an issue.” And it never was. The only accommodation they made for my height was to build the Downing Street door about six inches taller than it actually is.

But beyond that, I go through life, and everybody I meet says, “You’re so much taller than I thought.” You don’t think that much about height when you look at film and television, thank God. This is the one enormous difference between me and Winston.