A Very British Scandal: Claire Foy claims Lady Margaret was ‘pathological liar
A Very British Scandal: Claire Foy stars in BBC trailer
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Claire Foy has taken on the role of Lady Margaret Campbell in BBC drama A Very British Scandal, which is due to begin on Boxing Day. The series will depict the real-life events surrounding the scandalous marriage and divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll during the 1960s. Claire appears in the programme alongside her on-screen husband Paul Bettany, who plays Ian Campbell.
Speaking with Express.co.uk and other press, The Crown actress opened up about what it was like to portray Lady Margaret.
Claire plays the Duchess, who was a British socialite and was well known for being scandalous in the press.
She was always a regular fixture on the front of newspapers, who branded her the Dirty Duchess.
The actress, who famously played Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, explained her role as Lady Margaret was “very different”.
She began: “You would look at her and think, she doesn’t look like she’s massively impressive as a person, she just looks like a woman in a dress at a certain period of time.
“There’s a difference in the period, in the sense that at that period of time, she was the height of class, fashion, beauty and interest, everyone was fascinated by her.”
The actress went on to admit she never wanted her character to come across as “sympathetic”.
“I mean, I think she’s amazing,” Claire explained. “I never intentionally tried to set her out to be that [sympathetic].”
“I think my intention was to be really honest about who she was as a person,” she added.
“I think there’s sometimes can be a slight inclination towards people with lots of money in class and things like that of holding them on a pedestal.
“For all the things they have in their life, whatever that may be. They aren’t things to be worshipped and adored and lauded.
“I think you see them basically as the people that they are, incredibly privileged and incredibly spoiled.”
The actress explained Lady Margaret was the “apple of her dad’s eye” and she thought she could manipulate men.
However, when she met the Duke, he was one person she couldn’t manipulate and she didn’t understand why.
“That keeps her interested for a while,” Claire explained. “And I’ve always firmly believed that regardless of who she was, which was a deeply flawed woman who put her trust in the wrong people.
“She was incredibly gullible, incredibly vulnerable and really not streetwise in any way, shape or form.”
The 37-year-old went on to claim Lady Margaret had a “real pathological problem with lying”.
“Like, there are tapes that you can listen to where you can hear the clocks in her brain,” Claire said.
“But like a four-year-old child, she was bad at it. But she doesn’t see the connection.”
BBC writer Sarah Phelps went on to explain there were many scenes they couldn’t include in the finished cut.
She claimed: “There was a point where she tied to blackmail somebody, basically saying he’d had an affair with her.
“But she’s not cut out for espionage. She’s so bad and they managed to tape her.”
A Very British Scandal airs on Boxing Day on BBC One.
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