John Lithgow played the legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Netflix’s Emmy nominated drama series The Crown,” and the actors said he felt like an outsider doing the role. This seems to have never affected Lithgow performance, however, as he went on to earn recognition for his character in the Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and in next month’s Emmy Awards.

In his interview with Indiewire, John Lithgow said being American was not a factor in playing a British character, which has been played hundreds of times. He explained, “I think anybody playing Churchill feels like an outsider.” “The Crown” actor thought this was so because Churchill was a “one of a kind” and iconic personality that everybody is “equally intimidated.”

Playing Winston Churchill, whom Lithgow called as “arguably the best-known man of the 20th century,” prompted mixed feelings from the actor.

He told the LA Times he felt a combination of excitement, confidence, and terror.

An outsider who can bring fresh take of Churchill

Lithgow was excited working with creator Peter Morgan, director Stephen Daldry, and “The Crown’s” lead star, Claire Foy. He felt confidence having been considered for the role and terror for playing Churchill. The terror came from the thought playing Churchill with an entire cast of Englishmen and Englishwomen, in England.

In the interview, Lithgow also said that he would never have chosen himself to play the iconic British leader because he was so different from him. However, that was exactly the real appeal that made Lithgow play the part. He was an outsider who can bring a fresh perspective to the character played many times in England.

He guessed “The Crown’s” creator Peter Morgan needed “something that slightly broke the mold.”

A role that actors just adores

Being an outsider proved helpful to the American actor in playing Churchill because “it like wrenches him out of our preconceptions of him.” He also praised Morgan for writing a kind of character who was full of contradictions, different colors, and different kinds of surprising passions.

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One that actors “just adores.”

Even though John Lithgow will no longer be a part of “The Crown’s” season 2 cast, his experience of doing the part have earned him more great friends for life. He described working with the English actors as heaven. “They’re so smart, funny, and talented, but business-like about the business of acting. They’re just great craftspeople,” Lithgow said.

John Lithgow is considered the favorite to win the Best Supporting Actor (Drama) trophy in next month’s Emmy Award for his role in “The Crown.” Claire Foy, Peter Morgan, and Stephen Daldry are also nominees in their respective categories. The Netflix royal drama is also up for the biggest prize of the night, Best Drama TV Series.