Elizabeth Debicki, Yasmin Finney, Sienna Miller and Simone Ashley for British Vogue’s December Issue

Posted on November 02, 2022

THE CROWN’s Elizabeth Debicki

She was cast formally for The Crown’s series five and six two years ago, though it had been coming down the pipeline for a while. Initially, she tried out for a minor part in the show’s first season but says the producers immediately cried out “Di!” when she walked through the door. She says she “can’t see” a huge physical likeness – she runs a finger over her nose in profile, showing me the difference. But once the wig and kohl eyeliner went on, the effect was eerie and everyone agreed she simply had to play her.




HEARTSTOPPER’s Yasmin Finney

It is only a couple of years since she stopped being a regular, though. Aged 19, in April Finney appeared in her first ever acting role – as charming and sharp-witted trans teenager Elle Argent in Netflix’s life-affirming hit Heartstopper, a story of queer high-school love adapted from Alice Oseman’s comic of the same name.

An immediate phenomena, it ignited the kind of stan obsession only boyband dreamboats typically arouse. Almost overnight, the four main cast members became stars with an online army of fans that proudly wear trademark autumn leaf emojis on their profiles like crests. Finney’s social media following is in the multimillions. And her next gig – that of Rose, the companion to The Doctor (to be played by Ncuti Gatwa, best known for his gloriously charismatic performance as gay student Eric in Netflix’s Sex Education) – is only going to heighten the hype around her.





Turning 40 last December was revelatory for Miller. “My thirties were hard,” she admits. “Really hard.” How so? “There was a lot of anxiety. Relationships hadn’t worked out – I imagined that I would be married with three kids, being a great mum. I love being a mother. It’s what I do best… minus the crap crepe-ing.” But she was “sad”.





BRIDGERTON’s Simone Ashley

When she was a teenager, Simone Ashley would often spend New Year’s Eve alone, writing letters to herself. “I was a bit of a rebel,” the actor explains, half amused at her own self-seriousness. “I went to a predominantly white all-girls school. I didn’t fit in, there was bullying and I was wishing my life away.” She would remind herself to have perspective, that it’d all be over in a few years. “I would tell myself, ‘You’ll move away from this place, you’ll find your people and you’ll do whatever you want.’”





[Photo Credit: Scott Trindle/British Vogue Magazine]

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