Dominic West: 'Filming The Crown with my son was so moving!'

Dominic West
Dominic West's son Senan West plays a young Prince William in The Crown season 5 (Image credit: Keith Bernstein/Netflix)

Dominic West was honoured to take on the role of Prince Charles in The Crown season 5 and he was even more delighted by Netflix's decision to cast his son Senan as a young Prince William! 

The 14 year-old newcomer plays the young royal in the 10-part series, which runs between 1991 and spring 1997 and covers the disintegration of Prince Charles' marriage to Princess Diana. 

Senan West was cast in the role after the audition tape his agent submitted proved a hit with producers, who were looking for a young actor who could play the Prince throughout the series, during which he goes from the age of nine to 15. 

Starring alongside his son was a wonderful moment for Dominic, who admits that filming emotional scenes with the teenager was more emotional than he expected. 

"It was very moving actually," he told journalists at a press event. "Senan had never acted before, because COVID stopped any school plays or anything like that, so it was the first time I'd ever seen him acting. He had this amazing innocence to him that was extraordinary to watch, as well as the fact obviously he's my boy!" 

Charles is renowned for having a good relationship with his sons, an aspect of the then Prince's character that West has been keen to highlight, yet the actor says filming scenes with his son came with its own challenges.  

The Crown Season 5

The Crown season five shows the disintegration of Charles and Diana's marriage (Image credit: Netflix)

"It's very difficult to have a physical intimacy when you act with children," he explains. "With Senan that was obviously not a question, which made it much easier. But then I found when it was a more emotional, difficult scene, it made it much more difficult. You're slightly split in your head between 'Okay, we're acting this part, but that's a bit weird, isn't it? I'm talking about your mum, but not your real mum.'"

"I found quite difficult but generally, it was really moving and I think he enjoyed it. It didn't look like it, but actually he was loving it."

Meanwhile Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Princess Diana in the latest series, has also shared a touching story about Senan from on the set.

"I remember the first time that we were all on set together and I was doing a phone call scene with Senny," she says. "He was doing lines and I was doing them off camera and I went around to the monitor and I saw Dominic sitting there in front of the monitor and it was the first time you've seen him on camera. I remember that he was so [moved]."

The Crown season 5 comes to Netflix on Wednesday 9 November

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and whattowatch.com

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.