As the Royal Wedding draws closer, the US television network Lifetime is ramping up publicity for its Prince Harry and Meghan Markle movie, A Royal Romance.
In a series of Twitter videos posted to the channel’s account, the casting director and the two stars – Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser – talk about the filming experience.
“As a casting director, you strive to find someone who gives you goosebumps,” says casting director Kerrie Mailey, who said that she only had three weeks to cast the Lifetime movie. A normal job might allow a month, and sometimes up to six, to cast actors for a film.
“The pressure was on to find the perfect people.”
Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser were cast to play the royal couple, having each appeared in a handful of movies and TV shows.
“Trying to find someone that could embody being royal, being fun, vibrant, and also really hot was tough. It was tough to find Harry,” says Mailey.
“I think with Meghan, it was mostly just seeing her vulnerability. A lot of people see her as this strong, independent woman and sometimes it was nice to see the vulnerability come out, which was vital to the movie.”
The actors said their chemistry test – an audition where actors are tested to see if their chemistry translates on-screen – was the first time they’d met, and even then, they’d only met just seconds before the camera started rolling.
“It just gave everyone goosebumps,” says Mailey about the chemistry test. “It felt real, it felt what we’d been looking for.”
In terms of the movie, the actors opened up about what we see, noting that the script was finished within weeks of their real-life counterparts’ engagement on 27 November of last year.
“We see that Meghan got things behind her and she’s looking forward to what’s in front of her,” says the actress who plays her, Parisa Fitz-Henley.
Meanwhile, Prince Harry, says Fraser, is at the stage of his life where his partying was scrutinised in the press.
“I think the journey through Harry goes through in the movie is kind of a coming-of-age for him.”
Throughout the featurette, scenes from the film are shown, including their blind date, Harry showing up on the set of Suits with flowers, Meghan meeting the Queen at the pre-Christmas dinner at Buckingham Palace, and a family meeting with Prince Charles, Harry, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge about tradition (“To Hell with tradition,” Prince Harry yells.).
Filming also took place on location in Botswana, a country that holds special meaning to Prince Harry and Meghan. “It was magical,” recalls Fitz-Henley.
“People watching this can expect a story that touches on the love between these two and also the complications that come along with that.”
A Royal Romance premieres on Lifetime on 13 May.