25 Majestic Facts About The Crown

Sophie Mutevelian / Netflix
Sophie Mutevelian / Netflix

After nearly two years of waiting, fans of The Crown have finally gotten their latest fill of royal family drama—and a full season of Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, and Helena Bonham Carter in their new roles as Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and Princess Margaret, respectively. Now, as you anxiously await the fourth season—or just because you’re desperate to learn more—here are 25 things you might not know about The Crown.

1. The Crown creator Peter Morgan didn’t have much of an interest in the royal family.

Matt Smith and Claire Foy in The Crown
Robert Viglasky, Netflix

Considering that The Crown creator Peter Morgan also wrote 2006’s The Queen (which earned Morgan an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Helen Mirren an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II), it would be easy to think that he has had a deep and lifelong interest in the royal family—but you’d be wrong. “It was a horrible mistake,” Morgan told Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t know how we’ve ended up here.”

The road to The Crown started with The Deal, a 2003 TV movie starring Michael Sheen about former prime minister Tony Blair’s rise to power. The Queen was a continuation of that story, with its focus on a newly elected Blair working to push the Queen to take action in the wake of Princess Diana’s death. “I so enjoyed writing those scenes between the Queen and Blair that I thought, ‘Well, I’ll do a play about those audiences, because she’s had 13 prime ministers,” Morgan said. That turned into The Audience, a play that opened in London in 2013 and eventually made its way to Broadway. And it was The Audience that got Morgan interested in a project that would let the Queen’s relationship with Winston Churchill play out a bit further.

2. Peter Morgan was “sick” of the Queen when the idea for The Crown came about.

Had you told Morgan in 2013 that he’d be dedicating the next several years of his life to creating a series about Queen Elizabeth, he probably would have laughed—or screamed. In 2016, when asked by Variety why he was interested in telling the story of the Queen’s rise to power, his response was honest: “I didn’t really. I’m sick of writing the world of Elizabeth. But when we did the play The Audience, the scene between Churchill and the young queen struck me as having lots of potential—this young 25-year-old girl and this 73-year-old, this daughter and this grandfather. And yet he was so in awe of her. I thought, I’d like to try writing this as a movie, Churchill and Elizabeth. Like Educating Rita. And then as I got writing, I thought actually her marriage is quite interesting, too. So let me just go back a bit. And then before I knew it, I thought this needs more time. That’s when I first rang the producer and thought, this could be a TV show. And Netflix just jumped at it.”

3. The Crown was originally pitched as a three-season project.

While the current plan is to create a total of at least six seasons, Morgan initially envisioned half that. “Originally, when I went to Netflix, I was pitching it as three seasons. It just kept growing,” Morgan, who was glad the idea kept expanding, told EW. “By the time we got to the end with Claire and Matt, I think they were ready to go somewhere else.”

4. Claire Foy flew under the radar during auditions.

Claire Foy in 'The Crown'
Robert Viglasky, Netflix

Though it’s hard to imagine the first two seasons of The Crown with anyone but Claire Foy in the role of Elizabeth, Morgan admits that she did not stand out to him at first. “I tried to cast almost everyone in Britain before Claire Foy,” Morgan told Variety. “It was weird. Every time I went to a read-through where we were doing auditions for The Queen, I was interested in actress A or B. I would skip the bit where Claire was in there. And then after about the fourth time, I went, ‘This one is sensational, who’s this?’ And they said, ‘Pete, she’s been in four times. And you’ve gone for a better-known actress.’”

Fading into the background a bit is one of the very things that made Foy such a brilliant fit for the part. “She very queen-like … and has proven to be very queen-like,” Morgan said. “Brilliantly effective. Completely undivaish. I don’t know whether the part made her that or whether she really is that … It’s such a hard role—she has to be both stunningly beautiful but only fleetingly and then be quite plain and forgettable. And yet at the same time genuinely startling. She has to be in the background sort of anonymous and then, every now and then, have devastating impact. It’s really not easy.”

5. Peter Morgan didn’t think there would be a show without Matt Smith as Prince Philip.

As much a challenge as it was casting the role of Elizabeth, the role of Prince Philip was equally difficult—albeit for different seasons. “[Matt Smith] really had a challenge,” Morgan told Variety. “When those two read together, there was complete electricity. They worked so perfectly. A number of other actors had read for the part and absolutely nobody interested me. Matt was the hardest one for us to pin down, to do a deal with. I just said to the casting director, ‘He’s the only one.’ I don’t care if this plays to his agent’s advantage. It’s him or nobody. Don’t posture. We won’t have a show. I’m afraid I gave them no negotiating position. I’m sure Matt’s being hideously overpaid as a result. He was the only one.”

6. There was a pay discrepancy.

Though Claire Foy was the undoubted star of The Crown’s first two seasons, Morgan wasn’t kidding when he said that Matt Smith may have been overpaid for the role. In March 2018, during a Q&A, one of the producers revealed that Smith was paid more than Foy for The Crown. This ignited a global debate regarding the gender pay gap, with lots of people involved in the production making their voices heard. Jared Harris, who played King George VI (Elizabeth’s father), called the situation an “embarrassment” for the production team and made it clear that Foy should be compensated. “I understand they made an apology but, you know, an apology and a check would be more welcome,” Harris told Digital Spy. “She worked longer hours. Her performance is a huge reason why this thing is going to have a season three, four, five, and six ... send her a paycheck and, in retrospect, bring her pay up to parity.”

For their parts, Foy and Smith remained rather tight-lipped about the controversy. When asked by EW whether she was surprised to learn that Smith was paid more than her for a smaller role, Foy replied:

“I’m surprised because I’m at the center of it, and anything that I’m at the center of like that is very, very odd, and feels very, very out of the ordinary. But I’m not [surprised about the interest in the story] in the sense that it was a female-led drama. I’m not surprised that people saw [the story] and went, ‘Oh, that’s a bit odd.’ But I know that Matt feels the same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the center [of a story] that you didn’t particularly ask for.”

7. Felicity Jones was reportedly in contention for the role of the Queen.

Felicity Jones attends "The Aeronauts" New York Premiere at SVA Theater on December 04, 2019 in New York City
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Before The Crown officially began filming, several well-known actors gathered in London to read the scripts for an assembly of producers and Netflix executives. Among the actors on hand was Felicity Jones, who was considered a front runner after she read the role of Elizabeth. Her performance was apparently described as “breathtaking” by several people in attendance.

8. A corset helped Claire Foy get into character.

While actors have a variety of ways of finding their characters, Foy said that tapping into Queen Elizabeth came with wearing a corset. “I’d just had a baby when I started filming, so I had to wear a proper corset because I was about five dress sizes bigger than I normally am,” she told Vanity Fair. “The corset helps you not slouch. Now we’re doing the second series. I’m not wearing it anymore, but it stays with you, that posture, and being a lady."

9. John Lithgow was not an obvious choice to play Winston Churchill.

Though Winston Churchill has been portrayed by dozens of actors over the years, John Lithgow’s interpretation of the former prime minister was one of the series’s acting highlights. But there was some skepticism when casting director Nina Gold suggested him for the role, partly because he’s American (even though Churchill’s mother was American). But it all worked out: “It’s an astonishingly versatile piece of acting by one of the world’s great character actors,” Morgan told Variety. “We’re privileged to have him. Even though he’s tall enough to be Churchill the basketball player. That’s why Nina Gold is who Nina Gold is. Every now and then, every head of department needs to prove why they are at the top of their field. Nina’s choice of John Lithgow is exactly that kind of moment. No one else would have thought of that and the moment she did everyone went ‘Oh my god, what a great idea.’”

10. John Lithgow channeled his inner Winston Churchill by stuffing cotton up his nose.

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill in season 1 of 'The Crown'
Alex Bailey/Netflix

In 2017, John Lithgow won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Winston Churchill on The Crown. In an interview with USA Today he explained that getting Churchill's somewhat nasally sound just right wasn’t easy, or pretty—and included shoving bits of cotton up his nose. “It was rather repulsive watching me pluck cotton out of my nose after every scene, but they just had to put up with it," Lithgow said.

11. Claire Foy watched a lot of the royals’ home videos for research.

Elizabeth’s father once gifted her with a video camera, and she regularly used it to shoot home videos, some of which Buckingham Palace has released to the public. For Foy, watching these videos provided an invaluable insight into who Elizabeth was as a person.

“The palace did this thing [for the Queen’s 90th birthday] where the royal family sat down and watched the home videos together [for a BBC documentary],” Foy told Vanity Fair. “William and Harry sat down and watched some. The Queen and Prince Charles watched some. It was the most amazing thing, watching them watch these home videos. A lot of these home videos are of her and Margaret and Philip and, at that point, Charles and Anne—them messing about and rolling down hills. That was very, very early on in her reign … Those were really amazing, because even then she had such a reserved quality. She wasn’t, obviously, as frivolous as Margaret.”

12. At one point, Claire Foy worried that agreeing to make The Crown was the worst mistake she had ever made.

While playing Queen Elizabeth II might seem like a dream role, it felt more like a nightmare to Foy very early on. "On the first day of filming, I found myself halfway up a Scottish mountain with engorged boobs and no way of getting down to feed my baby," Foy, a new mom at the time, told British Vogue. "I had to ring my husband and tell him to give her formula … as I sat in a Land Rover trying to get my broken breast pump to work, I felt I’d made the worst mistake of my life.”

13. Prince William offered Matt Smith one word of advice about Prince Philip.

While appearing on The Graham Norton Show, Matt Smith shared that he met Prince William prior to The Crown's debut and someone told him that Smith would be playing his grandfather. Smith asked if he had any advice for how to nail the character. William’s response? “Legend. He's an absolute legend."

14. Olivia Colman was the only choice to play the Queen in seasons 3 and 4.

In 2019, Oscar winner Olivia Colman took over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy, and according to Morgan, it was Colman or no one. “Olivia Colman was a list of one,” Morgan told Entertainment Weekly. “I think I wanted to know [she would play the part] even before negotiations were done for seasons 3 and 4.” That the world saw Colman play Queen Anne in The Favourite before The Crown’s third season debuted wasn’t ideal, but it all worked out in the end. “Obviously I’d have preferred her not to be playing another queen before,” Morgan said. “But it’s so different—such a different tone.”

15. Olivia Colman said yes to The Crown because of a large tax bill.

When asked about her decision to take on the imposing role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown, Olivia Colman gave a very honest answer to her reason for saying yes: “I had a tax bill and they called me and I went: ‘Ok’—it’s true,” the Oscar winner said.

“I just went: ‘Yes please.’ That was before I’d really thought it through as to whether it was the right decision. But I was a big fan anyway.”

16. Tobias Menzies wasn’t very interested in royal life, or Prince Philip.

Olivia Colman and Tobias Menzies in 'The Crown'
Sophie Mutevelian, Netflix

Like so many of the show’s other players, Tobias Menzies—who took over the role of Prince Philip from Matt Smith in season 3—didn’t have much interest in royal life or Prince Philip. But working on The Crown and getting to understand the man behind the public persona has changed his opinion. “I wasn’t someone who read about [the royal family] or involved myself with them, but I’ve been very intrigued by his life,” Menzies said. “He’s a pretty interesting bloke. He’s a complex person, with complex stories. I have a lot of regard for him.”

17. Helena Bonham Carter met Princess Margaret once—who commented on her acting abilities.

In season 3, Helena Bonham Carter took over the role of the wild—and wildly intimidating—Princess Margaret, and had a little personal history from which she could pull. “My uncle was actually very close to her,” Bonham Carter told EW. “She was pretty scary. At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, ‘You are getting better, aren’t you?’” Bonham Carter presumed the princess was referring to her acting.

18. The show is a global hit, particularly in the UK.

According to the Royal Television Society, nine percent of Netflix subscribers in the UK watched The Crown—which is more people than have watched major hits like Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, or Narcos.

19. The Crown’s audience skews older—and wealthier.

Nielsen broke down the demographics of The Crown’s audience in 2017, shortly after the premiere of its second season, and found that nearly two-thirds of the show’s viewers were 35 or older, with half of those viewers being over 49. Women made up 65 percent of the audience, and 40 percent of those watching the show were in households with incomes of at least $100,000 per year.

20. It’s one of the most expensive TV shows ever made.

Matt Smith and Claire Foy film a scene for 'The Crown'
Robert Viglasky / Netflix

Everything about The Crown is lavish, and it shows in the series’s production budget, which is one of the highest of any television series ever produced. According to the BBC, each episode of the first two seasons cost between $6.5 and $13 million to make—leading to a grand production total of $130 million for just seasons 1 and 2. (For the record: Morgan says those numbers are “absolute nonsense.”)

21. Recreating the Queen's wedding dress was a difficult task.

While the costume department takes a lot of creative liberties with their clothing choices, they do create replica outfits for major events that are easy for people to still watch today, like Elizabeth’s wedding to Philip and her coronation. In fact, season 1 costume designer Michele Clapton (who also worked on Game of Thrones) told Harper’s Bazaar that the Queen’s wedding dress was the “most elaborate [and] time-consuming" costume she and her team worked on. "I thought it was so important that it was as close as we could possibly make it,” Clapton said. “That whole procession with the bridesmaids and the train and everything was something which I thought, ‘If we don't get that right, then we don't actually have the right to make anything else up.’”

22. The Crown’s corgis eat a lot of cheese.

Olivia Colman stars as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's 'The Crown'
Olivia Colman stars as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's The Crown.
Sophie Mutevelian, Netflix

In The Crown, the Queen is never too far away from her beloved corgis. And Foy revealed that one of the ways the trainers on the set get them to behave is with cheese. “They love cheese, like cheddar cheese,” Foy told Vanity Fair. “Most dogs, when you’ve got them on set, they love a treat like biscuits or a little bit of meat or something like that. The smell doesn’t necessarily linger. Also, you sort of worry that they’re going to have a heart attack when you’re giving it to them. These corgis are cheesed up to the max—they’re eating like a whole block of cheddar every day. It’s scary.”

23. The show has some royal fans.

Before Meghan Markle became the Duchess of Sussex, the New York Post reported that she had already moved into Kensington Palace with her now-husband Prince Harry, and that their nights often consisted of home-cooked meals and watching Netflix shows…including The Crown.

24. The Queen herself is rumored to have watched The Crown—and liked it.

Queen Elizabeth II marks the centenary of GCHQ (Government Communications Head Quarters) at Watergate House on February 14, 2019 in London, England
Jane Barlow, Pool/Getty Images

In 2017, the Daily Express reported that the Queen had watched season 1 of The Crown—and quite liked it. "It has been a longstanding arrangement that [Prince Edward and his wife] drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film,” an unnamed source told the paper. “They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them. Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatized."

The Queen was apparently less impressed with season 2. In 2018, the Daily Express reported that Elizabeth was upset by the way the show portrayed Philip and Charles’s relationship. A yet-again-unnamed source said she "was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen."

Philip, on the other hand, must have been in another room. When a friend of Matt Smith’s met the Prince at an event, he asked him if he had watched any of the series. Prince Philip’s response, according to Smith? "Don’t. Be. Ridiculous.”

25. Peter Morgan doesn't think people binge-watch The Crown.

While plenty of viewers have watched each season of The Crown in a single sitting, Peter Morgan isn’t so sure that’s the best way to watch the series. “I don’t think this is a show where people will be watching more than two [episodes] at a time,” he told Variety. “You just want to process it. I just watched a show recently, The Fall, where I watched seven episodes in one night. Insane. I don’t think [The Crown is] that kind of a show. There’s too much going on in one episode to process it like that. Which is a shame, because I’d love people to watch it all, going up in one night. I once had the flu, had a raging temperature, and watched an entire season of 24—24 episodes in 28 hours. It stayed with me forever as a result. It was a deep experience. I hope people stay with this. You never know."

11 Fascinating Facts About Mad Max

Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Mel Gibson stars in George Miller's Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

What began as director George Miller's ambitious action film about a solitary cop (Mel Gibson) on a mission to take down a violent biker gang has evolved into a post-apocalyptic sensory overload of a franchise that now has four films to its credit—Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985), and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)—and additional sequels in the works. So let's obsess over Miller’s masterpieces even more with these 11 things you might not know about the franchise.

1. Director George Miller worked as a doctor to raise money for Mad Max.

Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)
Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979).
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

Since the film only had a budget of $350,000, Miller scraped together extra money as an emergency room doctor to keep the movie going. “It was very low budget and we ran out of money for editing and post-production, so I spent a year editing the film by myself in our kitchen, while Byron Kennedy did the sound,” Miller told CraveOnline. “And then working as an emergency doctor on the weekends to earn money to keep going. I’d got my best friend, and friends of friends of friends of his, and Byron ditto, and I thought, ‘Oh my God, we made a film and it won’t cut together and we’re going to lose all their money.’”

Miller’s medical training is all over the film: Max Rockatansky is named after physician Carl von Rokitansky, a pathologist who created the Rokitansky procedure, a method for removing organs in an autopsy.

2. Mel Gibson went to the Mad Max audition to accompany his friend, not for the part.

Gibson was black and blue after a recent brawl with “half a rugby team” when his friend asked him to drop him off at his Mad Max audition. Because the agency was also casting “freaks,” they took pictures of Gibson, who was simply waiting around, and asked him to come back when he healed. When he did, Miller gave him the role on the spot. In a clip for Scream Factory, Gibson recalled the moment: “It was real weird. [Miller] said, ‘Can you memorize this?’ and it was like two pages of dialogue with a big speech and stuff. I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I went into the other room and just got a gist of what it was and I came out and just ad-libbed what I could remember. I guess they bought it.”

3. George Miller paid Mad Max crew members in beer.

With barely enough money to finish the original film, Miller offered to pay ambulance drivers, a tractor driver, and some of the bikers on set with “slabs” (Australian for a case of 24 cans) of beer, according to The Guardian.

4. Real-life motorcycle club the Vigilanties played Toecutter’s gang for Mad Max.

Forget the money required to train stuntmen; Miller and crew hired real bikers to professionally ride into production. In an interview with Motorcyclist Online, actor Tim Burns said about working with them: “[The Vigilanties] all wanted to ride the bikes as fast as possible, as often as possible, by their nature. Their riding was individually and collectively superb.” Additionally, stuntman Dale Bensch, a member of The Vigilanties, recalled seeing the ad for the shoot at a local bike shop, and took a moment to clarify a mishap that had happened during production. Bensch said, “There’s an urban myth that a stuntman was killed, and that was me. The scariest thing was dropping the bike on that bridge. They took the speedo and tach off because they didn’t want to damage more than they had to. They wet the surface to make it easier, but I hung onto the bike too long and it flipped me over with it; that’s why it looked bad. But it’s a famous scene, so it worked out all right!”

5. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was inspired by the oil crises of the 1970s.

During an interview with The Daily Beast, Miller discussed the making of The Road Warrior. Of its inspiration, he said, “I’d lived in a very lovely and sedate city in Melbourne, and during OPEC and the extreme oil crisis—where the only people who could get any gas were emergency workers, firemen, hospital staff, and police—it took 10 days in this really peaceful city for the first shot to be fired, so I thought, ‘What if this happened over 10 years?’”

6. Mel Gibson only had 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

Upon Fury Road’s release in 2015, social media lit up with complaints that Tom Hardy was underutilized, only there to grunt and utter a couple of one-liners. But just to remind you, in Mad Max 2, Mel Gibson only has 16 lines of dialogue in The Road Warrior.

On his use of sparse dialogue, Miller told The New York Times, “Hitchcock had this wonderful saying: ‘I try to make films where they don’t have to read the subtitles in Japan.’ And that was what I tried to do in Mad Max 1, and I’m still trying to do that three decades later with Fury Road.”

7. Mel Gibson says The Road Warrior is his favorite movie in the original trilogy.

Once upon a time Mel Gibson enthusiastically spoke about Beyond Thunderdome, telling Rolling Stone, "[The films are] a sort of cinematic equivalent to rock music. It's something to do with the nihilistic sentiments of the music of the ’80s—which can't continue. I say, let's get back to romanticism. And this film [Thunderdome] is actually doing that. It's using that nihilism as a vehicle, I think, to get back to romance.”

Years later, he told Playboy what he really thought of the films, namely that The Road Warrior was his favorite. “It still holds up because it’s so basic,” Gibson said. “It’s about energy—it didn’t spare anyone: people flying under wheels, a girl gets it, a dog gets it, everybody gets it. It was the first Mad Max, but done better. The third one didn’t work at all.”

8. Beyond Thunderdome was inspired by Lord Of The Flies.

Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Mel Gibson and Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985).
Warner Home Video

Even though Miller and his producers were on the fence about a third Mad Max, they couldn’t help but give in. "George was sitting and talking to me about … quantum mechanics, I think," Miller’s co-writer Terry Hayes recalled to Rolling Stone. "The theory of the oscillating universe. You could say he's got a broad range of interests. And I said something about ‘Well, if there was ever a Mad Max III ...' And he said, 'Well, if there was ...'"

In a 1985 interview with Time Out, Miller recalled the story himself. “We were talking one day and Terry Hayes started talking about mythology and how where people are short on knowledge, they tend to be very big on belief. In other words, they take a few fragments of knowledge and, if you take like the Aboriginal tribes of Australia, they just take simple empirical information and using those little bits of the jigsaw construct very elaborate mythological beliefs, which explain the whole universe,” Miller said. “Terry was saying if you had a tribe of kids after the apocalypse who had only a few fragments of knowledge, [they would construct] a mythological belief as to what was before. And what would happen if Max or someone like that [came in] ... and it kicked off the idea of kids who were Lord of the Flies-type kids, and that led to this story.”

9. Tina Turner was cast in Beyond Thunderdome because of her positive persona.

According to Rolling Stone, Tina Turner beat out Jane Fonda and Lindsay Wagner for the role of Aunty Entity. On her casting, Miller told Time Out, “One of the main reasons we cast Tina Turner is that she’s perceived as being a fairly positive persona. You don’t think of Tina Turner as someone dark. You think of the core of Tina Turner being basically a positive thing. And that’s what we wanted. We felt that she might be more tragic in that sense. But more importantly [when] we actually wrote the character, as a shorthand way of describing the character we said someone ‘like Tina Turner’—without even thinking of casting her. We wanted a woman ... we wanted someone who had a lot of power, charisma, someone who would hold a place like that together—or build it in the first place. And we wanted someone who was a survivor.”

10. Mad Max characters’ names hint at their backstories.

One of the most peculiar quirks of Miller’s franchise has to be his bizarre character names. In an interview with Fandango, Miller explained exactly how he comes up with them: “One of the things is that everything in the story has to have some sort of underlying backstory. Not just every character, but every vehicle, every weapon, every costume—and the same with the language. So [the concept] was always found objects, repurposed. Immortan Joe is a slight adjustment to the word 'immortal.' The character Nux says 'mcfeasting' instead of using the word 'feasting,’” Miller explained, adding that his favorite name of all is Fury Road’s The Dag (played by Abbey Lee). “In Australia, the dag is sort of a goofball-type.”

11. George Miller is a proud feminist.

Director George Miller, recipient of the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for “Mad Max: Fury Road," poses in the press room during the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 6, 2016 in Los Angeles
George Miller poses with the Feature Film Nomination Plaque for Mad Max: Fury Road during the 68th annual Directors Guild Of America Awards in 2016.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Perhaps evidenced by Charlize Theron’s scene-stealing role as Imperator Furiosa, Miller is a proud, outspoken feminist. He told Vanity Fair, “I’ve gone from being very male dominant to being surrounded by magnificent women. I can’t help but be a feminist.” That female influence even stretched behind the scenes, with Miller asking his wife Margaret Sixel to edit Fury Road. “I said, ‘You have to edit this movie, because it won’t look like every other action movie,” Miller recalled. Moreover, feminist activist Eve Ensler also consulted on the film to offer, according to Ensler herself, “perspective on violence against women around the world, particularly in war zones.”

What Happens During a Jeopardy! Commercial Break?

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek chats with the show's contestants.
Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek chats with the show's contestants.
Getty Images Entertainment

Jennifer Quail:

Typical Break One: First, if there are "pickups" (re-recordings where Alex misspoke or coughed or stuttered, or Johnny mispronounced someone’s name or hometown) to record, they do those. A stagehand brings water bottles for the contestants. The production team who wrangles contestants comes over and gives their pep talk, makes any corrections, like if someone is consistently buzzing early; and keeps you quiet if there are pickups. Alex gets the cards with the "fun facts" (there are about three, one highlighted, but which one he goes for is ultimately up to Alex alone) and when the crew is ready, they come back from commercial to Alex’s chat with the contestants.

Typical Break Two: If there are any pickups from the second half of the Jeopardy! round they do those, the water gets distributed, the production team reminds the contestants how Double Jeopardy! works and that there’s still lots of money out there to win, and Alex comes over to take a picture with the two challengers (the champion will have had their picture taken during their first match.) Then we come back to Double Jeopardy!.

Typical Third Break: This is the big one. There are pickups, water, etc. and they activate the section of the screen where you write your wager. One of the team members brings you a half-sheet of paper ... and you work out what you want to bet. One of your "wranglers" checks it, as does another production team member, to make sure it’s legible and when you’re sure that’s what you want, you lock it in. At that point you can’t change it. They take away the scratch paper and the part of the board where you write your answer is unlocked. Someone will tell you to write either WHO or WHAT in the upper left corner, so you do know at least whether it’s a person or thing. They make sure the "backup card" (a piece of card stock sitting on your podium) is turned to the correct who or what side, just in case your touchscreen fails. If everything’s ready, then as soon as the crew says, they come back and Final Jeopardy! starts.

There are breaks you don’t [even know about, too]. If there is a question about someone’s final answer, they will actually stop tape while the research team checks. Sometimes if something goes really off, like Alex completely misreads a category during the start of a round, they’ll stop and pick it up immediately. Those [are breaks] you’ll never notice because they’ll be completely edited out.

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