Charlotte Hope has never believed in serendipity. Her road to landing the lead role as Catherine of Aragon in Starz's The Spanish Princess—a thematic follow-up to 2013's The White Queen with Rebecca Ferguson and 2017's The White Princess with Jodie Comer that debuts this Sunday—is dusted in some undeniable kismet, and still, nothing. Allow her to explain.
"I auditioned for The White Queen, and when I didn’t get it, I was hysterically crying," Hope, 27, recalled. "I was so upset. Your agent’s are always like, ‘Oh don’t worry, something better is coming.’ And I’m like, ‘I don’t believe in destiny, that’s rubbish. I’m going to be unemployed.’ Then I watched The White Princess because I’m obsessed with Jodie. She’s also a friend of mine, but I’m obsessed. She and I also did an episode of Law & Order together a few years ago." How's that for dramatic irony ultimately working out in, well, everyone's favor? And yet, Hope is still a non-believer. "I believe in working hard and that hopefully will work out," she said.
That much is certainly true, as well. To land the role of Catherine, Hope sent in six different audition tapes—unprompted. Upon landing the role, she dove deep into the research of the character, going so far as to have her then-boyfriend's history buff father test her on the specifics of the era. It's as if Tracy Flick came to life, with more charm and a British accent. "I was very determined," she confirmed when asked how she did in school.
Photograph of Charlotte Hope by Maridelis Morales Rosado for W Magazine.
The Spanish Princess marks Hope's first leading role, and she is certainly not taking that for granted. "For four or five years, I was working at a nightclub in the evening and going to auditions in the day," she said. "It was really frustrating, but it also meant that by the time I got to do it, I was super appreciative." In 2013, she scored her first major role as Ramsay Bolton's sadistic lover Myranda on Game of Thrones—not a bad start—which she starred on until her character's death in season 6. From there, she appeared in several Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, most recently in 2018's Good for Otto. It was during that run that she learned she got the part in The White Princess.
The show focuses on Spain's Catherine of Aragon as she marries into the English throne, and finds her new husband, Prince Arthur, meeting his untimely death. "I love the power play between the couples," Hope said. "That’s really central to the story. It’s a real love story, but it’s complicated and also about power and manipulation. There’s a lot of sisterhood in our show, with all these girls working together. I’m kind of obsessed with the world in general." It was a long shoot, with Hope in nearly every scene. "I’m really so nostalgic for rehearsals. Rurai [O'Connor, who plays Prince Harry] was like, ‘We were in this school in the outskirts of Bristol. How are you nostalgic for that?’ I’m like, ‘It was magical.’" she said. "I love being tired from hard work. I love the feeling of finishing a long week and being worn out. Then I really fucking appreciate the weekends. I spent a lot of time as an actor not working and trying to fill those hours. Now, any time I get a chance to work, I’m amped. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. I’m a doer. I hate the feeling of waiting. I get to act every day. It’s my dream."
Though the show has yet to debut, Hope is already in the midst of filming her next project, Julian Fellowes's upcoming Netflix drama The English Game, which sees her teaming up again with The White Princess's director Birgitte Stærmose and hair and makeup director Linda Boije af Gennäs. "It just feels like home," she said. "I feel like i get to go back and you know when you get another shot at something? I’m really proud of The Spanish Princess, but when you finish any job, you want to start over. Always. By the end of episode 8, I was like, ‘Oh, I think I could do quite a good job on episode 1 now.’ So this is kind of like getting to start over, just with a different character."
Still, the new role doesn't diminish her true excitement for The Spanish Princess's premiere—a giddiniess that might be only matched by that of her own parents. "The other day my mum was like, ‘Oh yeah, your dad has been googling your name.’" Hope said. "It’s really sweet, but they read everything. They google ‘Charlotte Hope’ Instagram and then they will reference something I put on Instagram. I’m like, ‘You guys don’t even have Instagram!’ But it does also mean that if anyone says mean things about me, they’ll see those and reference it. It's like, 'I don’t need to hear that!'"
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