I ran into True Blood‘s Camilla Luddington at GBK’s MTV Movie Awards gift lounge, held at the L’Ermintage Hotel in Beverly Hills Saturday (June 2nd). Despite being on the HBO hit and Californication, I cared most about her playing Kate Middleton in Lifetime’s 2011 movie, William & Kate.
I damn near passed out from excitement because this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to the Duchess of Cambridge. And while I admit that I wasn’t eager to see the network attempt to tell TRH’s story, I ended up watching it on replay. You’ve got your guilty pleasures, and I’ve got mine.
We talked about how Luddington prepared to play Middleton, something I reminded her was a tall order. While filming, Luddington was chased here and there by the paparazzi. ”I felt extremely exposed,” she explained to me. ”‘At first I thought, ‘This is horrible.’ I realized it helped me so much because I had to do all of these scenes where she [Kate] experienced fame for the first time. She feels very ordinary and suddenly, she’s thrown into this circus. It’s a very bizarre feeling, with my family calling me to say ‘You’re on the front cover of this newspaper in England.’”
Of course I had nail it, but at the same time so little was known about Kate at that point; she’d only done one interview. So I sort of felt like I had put myself in that situation. How would I feel? I had to take some artistic license on it, in a way, because there wasn’t enough I knew about her.”
And how does Luddington feel about the royal fans who approach her? “It was an amazing experience. So many people are such fans of the film. I love it! It’s such a guilty pleasure film” (mmmh hmm). ”I’m on Californication and True Blood and still, everyone is like ‘Will and Kate!’”
I told Luddington that my favorite line from the film was when Kate responded to a snotty blue blood’s remark about how lucky she was to be going out with the heir to the throne. ”He’s so lucky to be going out with me,” Kate reportedly snapped back. Good on you, ma’am!
“I love that moment!” Luddington said with a laugh. ”She’s so bitchy in that scene. The actress who played that character is so lovely in real life and we had so much fun. She was just so condescending (in the movie). I’m sure Kate met people who were already in that royal circle and were thinking ‘Who are you?’”
I wondered how true-to-life the script could have been without having know every detail from the early days of Will and Kate’s courtship. ”Here’s the thing,” Luddington explaied. ”I feel like people tried to call us out in the press saying, ‘This isn’t true, that isn’t true.’ For the most part, the facts of certain things like Jecca Craig [at Will's 21st birthday party] and all those people who were part of the film-those are true things. We will never know what goes on behind closed doors. For the sake of the film you have to fill in the blanks, or else it’s not interesting.
“Of course, I’m sure that Kate didn’t jump off the dragon boat and swim across to William. I even had an argument with the director about it. I said to him, ‘Why can’t he swim to me? He has screwed up this relationship!’ Of course those things are made more entertaining for the sake of the film. I don’t think there was anything that was a standout “Wow, that’s so horrifying. That would be so insulting if they ever saw that.’
I don’t think there was anything offensive in the film. I think we had to fill in the blanks, because we’ll never know how they got back together. Maybe it was over a phone call, but it would be so boring to watch me say ‘Oh hi. Okay, so we’re back together. That’s great.’ That would have been more realistic, but for the sake of the film, that’s how they wrote it. For the most part, everything was on point.
With Jubilee celebrations underway, I asked Luddington (who is from Berkshire, like Kate) about her fondest memory of the monarchy. “I once saw Princess Diana coming out of a hair salon in London down a back alley with my aunt,” Luddington recalled. ”It was this very strange moment because nobody knew she was there and there was no paparazzi around. I feel like I’ve shared this rare moment that not many people would have ever experienced. I’v been a royalist since then and so proud of being British.”
Luddington will appear as Claudette in six episodes of True Blood‘s upcoming season (premiering June 10th).