The Windsors' Hugh Skinner on the Royal family: "I feel sorry for them"

Interview with Hugh Skinner who plays The Windsors' Wills

What can you tell us about what’s in store for Wills this series? 

Well, in this series it’s the same in the sense that he’s trying to be a normal guy despite having immense power like Spiderman or actually more like Bruce Wayne or Batman as he’s obviously very rich. He’s dealing with that and he’s experimenting with being a very hands on dad. He’s also has to retrain in the air ambulance so it’s a very busy time for him. 

Wills and Kate in many ways are the heroes of the show do you get a kick out of playing him like that?

I feel like a lot of the humour comes from me trying to act that heroic when I’m quite clearly not but it’s really fun.

A lot of your scenes are with Louise Ford. Do you enjoy working together?

It’s awful! Not really, yes I do, she’s brilliant, and it’s really fun.

One of your characters tropes is his absurd pronunciations, where did the idea for that come from?

I think it was when I first auditioned, I did it and tried being even posher and then I just started throwing in any vowel sounds.

Are they written in the script or do you come up with them yourself?

That’s where it gets contentious, Adam [Miller] the director will sometimes say at the end of a scene just go for it and do as many as you want.

Do you know what they are going to be before they come out of your mouth or is it quite spontaneous?

I try and catch myself by surprise.

Can it be problematic for the other people doing the scene with you? I imagine it makes them laugh a lot?

To be honest they are all much funnier and I think on my part it’s almost desperation when I don’t know what else to do in the scene so I just say a line and try and get away with it.

Is there anyone in the cast that makes you corpse?

Wills sees lots of ghosts of past kings and there was an actor who came in, Jolyon Coy who played Henry V and those scenes were hard not to laugh in. Also when Harry [Enfield] plays Charles long lost twin brother Chuck in this series, those scenes were very hard not to laugh in.

Obviously you’re not doing an impression of him but did you do any research into the real Prince William?

I did to begin with because I think there’s a specific type of Received Pronunciation that I think he and Kate have so I watched some footage of him for that, mainly because he is one of the most readily available people to find videos of online. Other than that not really and we look quite different.

What do you think of the real Prince William?

I don’t think you can have any actual idea of what the royal family are really like from how they are portrayed in the papers. If anything I feel sorry for them because it must be an odd position to be in. I know they have been in that position their whole life but it’s an odd one.

Which of Wills’ scenes or storylines have you enjoyed doing the most?

When he is trying to be a hands on dad in this series I had to look after a group of 3 and 4 year olds and that was quite fun to film as the kids just flat out refused to do anything.

July 6, 2017 6:30am ET by Channel 4  

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