Claire Foy - 7 things you never knew about the star of The Crown

As Claire Foy returns to our screens as Queen Elizabeth II, get to know the star of the Netflix period drama a little better.

We know her as the Queen in hit Netflix series The Crown, but there’s plenty more to actress Claire Foy than her most famous role.

As series two of the historical drama arrives on the streaming service just ahead of Christmas, we take a look at some of the lesser-known facts about its star.

[Read more: Claire Foy and Matt Smith tell Crown 2 secrets]

She suffered from a serious illness as a teen

Claire was just 13 when she was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, which meant she had to use crutches to help her walk due to her swollen knees.

But things took an even worse turn when she developed a benign tumour behind her eye.

However, she has credited the illness with giving her the bravery she needed to decide what she wanted out of life and make acting a career.

[Read more: Everything you need to know about The Crown series 2]

Acting wasn’t the first screen career she considered

In an interview with the Independent, Claire revealed that she had originally thought that her drama and screen studies course would lead to her becoming a cinematographer, "not realising that you have to have an interest in lighting people".

"You should see the video of this children's TV programme we made at university. It was shockingly lit," she admitted.

She juggled playing the Queen with being a new mum

Claire’s daughter was just four months old when she took on the first series of The Crown, so her new baby came to set with her for the full run of filming.

She told Vogue that filming on a mountain on her first day and unable to get to her baby had made her realise how tough it would be.

Claire said: “I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula. It was like someone had stamped on my heart and, as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get a broken breast pump to work, I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life.”

[Read more: Why Claire Foy won't be trying film directing]

However, the actress has said she is very lucky to be in a job that allows her to bring her child to work, and her daughter also joined her for filming series two.

She sticks up for her co-stars

When The Crown’s punishing schedule got too much for its stars at times, Claire used her position as leading lady to lay down some ground rules about time off.

She told Vogue: “Because I was number one on the call sheet, I was in a position to stand up for my department and say, ‘I don’t think you can work people on a Sunday. And no, I’m not being antsy and I’m not being tricky. I just think it’s out of order and we all need a day at home with our families'." 

She hates the idea of the Queen seeing her in The Crown

It must be strange to star as a real, living person in a hit drama, and Claire definitely feels the weirdness, especially when she considers the prospect of the Queen watching her younger self played out on screen.

She told Town & Country magazine: “I would hate the idea of her watching it. When you’re playing a real person, you never want to be ghoulish. I don’t want to pick apart a person. I want to invent someone. So I would hate for her to watch it and think I overdramatised anything.”

She starred in a swashbuckling TV series

We might think of Claire as someone who’s known for her serious period drama roles such as Little Dorrit and Upstairs Downstairs, but she has something a little more frivolous under her belt.

[Read more: What to watch on Netflix in December]

Claire had to audition via video for the part of Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall as she was in Puerto Rico on location for her then-job – the pirate-themed TV series Crossbones, in which she starred with John Malkovich.

She’s going to be Ryan Gosling’s wife

Ok, she’s only going to be playing Ryan’s character’s wife as they’re both already spoken for.

Nevertheless, it’s a pretty amazing role – Claire has been cast as Janet Armstrong opposite Ryan as Neil Armstrong in First Man, a film about how the test pilot and astronaut became the first person to walk on the Moon.

It’s directed by Damien Chazelle, who won an Oscar for La La Land and was nominated for Whiplash, so we’re expecting big things when it’s released in November 2018.

The Crown series two is available on Netflix from Friday, December 8.

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