Erin Doherty is opening up about the pressures of being an LGBTQ+ star in the spotlight.
Since landing the role of Princess Anne on “The Crown”, the actress admitted to the Telegraph that she worried about revealing her sexuality.
‘I’m not gonna lie, I won’t name names, but when I got ‘The Crown’, I felt a lot of pressure to withhold my sexuality. There was a period of time when I was like, ‘Do I get to be open about this in order to have a successful career?’ And the fact that that question still went through my mind, and may still go through other people’s minds, is so gutting.”
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The actress played the real-life royal in seasons 3 and 4 on the famous show.
“I’m really aware of all the people who have lived years and years and years, either in shame or denial, or just hiding — actors, actresses definitely stopping it getting out there in order to have a career — and I just want to be a part of trying to do something about that.”
Doherty is currently in a committed relationship with fellow actress Sophie Melville, whom she met on the set of “The Divide” in 2017.
She didn’t come out with their relationship publicly until 2019.
The actress worried that people would assume she couldn’t play roles with heterosexual romances, saying it was “shocking” that someone could say, “Oh, but you’re gay, so you can’t play straight.”
Rather than let the concerns eat her up inside, Doherty turned it into a strength, as she channelled the sense of extreme public scrutiny in her portrayal of Princess Anne.
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She said the royal was “constantly aware of comments on her physicality” and used it as a “catalyst” for her strong-willed and cavalier nature.
“I’ve never played anyone like her, and I don’t think I ever will,” she said. “The royals are such a specific concoction of circumstance versus emotion. It’s just like, when will you ever get to explore the friction of that?”
As for meeting her real-life counterpart, the actress has a pretty good idea of what she would say.
“I feel like I know her, and I feel like she’d rip me apart – but in a nice way!” said Doherty. “She’d say, ‘Well, you didn’t do this and you didn’t do this, but you did that right.’”