August 19, 2022

Leslie Manville admits it’s ‘easier’ to portray Cleaner than to play Princess Margaret

3 min read


‘That was the life I knew’: Leslie Manville admits it’s ‘easier’ to portray a working-class cleaner in her new role than to play Princess Margaret in The Crown

Leslie Manville has revealed that it was easier to land the title role in the new film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris than portraying Princess Margaret in The Crown.

The 66-year-old actress played cleaning lady Ada in the heartwarming film, an adaptation of the beloved 1958 novel by Paul Gallico.

While she also took over the role of Princess Margaret from actress Helena Bonham Carter in the next season of The Crown, to be released in November.

Varied roles: Leslie Manville has admitted that it is 'easier' to portray a working-class cleaner in her new role than Princess Margaret (featured in the new film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) in The Crown.

Varied roles: Leslie Manville has admitted that it is ‘easier’ to portray a working-class cleaner in her new role than Princess Margaret (featured in the new film Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris) in The Crown.

Explaining that the cleaner’s role was more relatable, she told the Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff: ‘It’s in my bones. That was the life I knew, because I had working-class parents.’

Continuing: ‘When I’m playing someone like Princess Margaret, it’s been more of a stretch, because I had no knowledge of that life.’

The film, set in the UK next month, tells the story of widow Ada, a hardworking housewife who, after being worn by a wealthy client, decides to spend her life savings on a Dior dress.

'In my bones': Explaining that Kleiner's role was more relatable, she told Daily Mail's Alison Boshoff: 'It's in my bones.  That was the life I knew, 'cause I had working-class parents'

‘In my bones’: Explaining that Kleiner’s role was more relatable, she told Daily Mail’s Alison Boshoff: ‘It’s in my bones. That was the life I knew, ’cause I had working-class parents’

Adaptation: The actress played cleaning lady Ada in the heartwarming film, an adaptation of the beloved 1958 novel by Paul Gallico.

Adaptation: The actress played cleaning lady Ada in the heartwarming film, an adaptation of the beloved 1958 novel by Paul Gallico.

She survives (and gambles on the dog track) to raise enough money and eventually reaches Dyer’s Avenue Montaigne headquarters, where she charms everyone.

The fairy tale comes to an end when she moves to Paris and begins to make some changes – for the better – at the fashion house.

Leslie reflects: ‘I didn’t know the book at all. It came to me as an offer, so it was nice to read it, knowing it was mine if I wanted to.’

Royalty: While she also portrays Princess Margaret (right) on the next season of The Crown

Difficult: 'When I'm playing someone like Princess Margaret, it's been more of a stretch, because I had no knowledge of that life,' Leslie explained

Royalty: While she also portrays Princess Margaret (right) on the next season of The Crown

Third and final: She will continue on the role of Helena Bonham Carter, the second actress to play the princess - after Vanessa Kirby

Third and final: She will continue on the role of Helena Bonham Carter, the second actress to play the princess – after Vanessa Kirby

And the actress got on so well with her co-star Isabelle Huppert that the pair are now thinking of doing a play together, explaining: ‘She has a style that fascinates me, because we Both like clothes.

She admitted that she advertised various lines in the film, including ‘Gordon Bennett!’ The slogan was also included. And given that things have turned ‘t**s up’ – both may prove to be a bit of a surprise to international audiences.

It’s been a busy year of release for Leslie, with her portrayal of Princess Margaret in The Crown finally set to hit Netflix – after being announced in 2020.

Helena—who took the role from Vanessa Kirby—will be the last actress to play Leslie Shahi, as the show approaches its final two seasons.

At the time the role was announced, the actress said out loud: ‘I couldn’t be happier to play Princess Margaret. The baton is being passed from two formidable actresses and I really don’t want to lose the favor.’

On-screen: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, due in the UK next month, tells the story of widowed Ada, a hardworking housewife, who decides she wants to spend her life savings on a Dior dress , by a wealthy customer seeing one wearing it (featured in the film)

On-screen: Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, due in the UK next month, tells the story of widowed Ada, a hardworking housewife, who decides she wants to spend her life savings on a Dior dress , by a wealthy customer seeing one wearing it (featured in the film)

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