Claire Foy's most recent onscreen alter egos could not be more different: "They have the same name. It begins and ends there," she told ET about transitioning from playing Queen Elizabeth II on Netflix's The Crown to vigilante hacker Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider's Web.
"I loved her and her fearlessness-ness," Foy grinned of what drew her to Lisbeth in an exclusive Q&A on ET's Instagram Stories. "She's incredibly nonjudgmental and brave and vengeful and I just wanted some of that."
The role also required that Foy leave behind Elizabeth's regal curls and satin gowns and adopt Lisbeth's signature look: cropped, jet-black hair, a nose ring, smeared white eye paint and, of course, the dragon tattoo. The transformation was a slow process, so that by the time Foy arrived on set, she remembered, "It didn't feel strange. It felt exactly right and just as it should be." Not everyone was as enthusiastic.
"Well, my daughter hated my haircut," Foy said. "Because apparently mommies are supposed to have long hair, not undercuts. I think all my friends really enjoyed it, but you end up having to kind of dress differently and people definitely cross to the other side of the road to avoid you in society."
Foy's daughter, 3-year-old Ivy, proved helpful in escaping some of the more nihilistic aspects of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo universe. "I took the leather off," Foy said of how she would shed Lisbeth at the end of each day. "I sort of stayed in that frame of mind, really...but having a child really helps you to not stay in character because you have to be yourself."
The Girl in the Spider's Web is in theaters on Nov. 9 and, given three words to describe the drama, Foy opted for, "Surprising. Thrilling." She cocked an eyebrow. "Unexpected." As it were, the same words describe Foy's reaction to winning her first Emmy on Monday, for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series for her work on The Crown.
"[It was] shocking! Really, really surprising. I should imagine that probably came across because I was massively unprepared," Foy laughed. "I'm so proud of being part of that show and I loved it and I have only fond memories of it, so having an Emmy now to remember it by, it's lovely!"
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