During the first four months of lockdown, which she spent with her family in London, Charlotte Hope let herself decompress, having just finished filming the second season of The Spanish Princess, in which she plays Catherine of Aragon. “I was so exhausted by the end [of filming], and if I’d had any choice, I would have just wanted to go straight on to another job,” she says. “So it was quite good to be forced to just sit still and work through some of the trauma, because this was a very heavy show.”
Now she is living in her own place, and the episodes she filmed in March are primed to debut when the second season appears on Starz on October 11. The 28-year-old is adjusting to the strange nature of promoting a show during a global pandemic—there are no glamorous premieres or flights to press junkets. Instead, the studio sent a giant backdrop to Hope’s apartment, for her to sit and pose in front of for Zoom interviews and photographs for social media.
Hope—who also starred in this year’s Netflix mini-series about football, The English Game, co-created by Julian Fellowes—first gained attention for her role on the TV juggernaut Game of Thrones. Over four seasons of the HBO series, she portrayed Myranda, the “sadistic lover” of Ramsay Bolton, one of the series’s central villains. Hope—who initially auditioned to play dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen—says that while the public has generally derided the final season, she “really loved” the last set of episodes: “It was just an incredible piece of filmmaking.”
“It was quite good to be forced to just sit still and work through some of the trauma, because this was a very heavy show.”
Following Game of Thrones, Hope fought hard for her role on The Spanish Princess, a continuation of the previous two Starz mini-series The White Queen (starring Rebecca Ferguson) and The White Princess (Jodie Comer). “I’ve watched both and I love them both,” she says, before adding, with a laugh, “And also, I’m just like, ‘Oh, [Ferguson and Comer] are so great. Please let me have half the career that either of them has had.’”
This new season of The Spanish Princess, as Hope discussed, begins on an extremely dark note, as Catherine’s baby loses his life in tragic fashion. The remainder of the season sees Catherine attempt to maintain power as her marriage to King Henry VIII (played by Ruairi O’Connor) faces turmoil. Though the events portrayed on the show took place centuries ago, Hope sees some similarities between Catherine’s predicament and her life now. “The stuff that we deal with in this show is very modern, really. I’m also a woman. I want to have a career. I want to get married. I want to be able to have kids. Even this year, it’s my anxiety about ‘What was my life going to be? And is it going to be that?’ Those are the exact same anxieties that Catherine has all the way through the season—it’s just that hers are way more extreme than mine.”
Josh Duboff is a New York City–based writer and screenwriter