The Duchess of Cambridge is officially making the move across the pond. No, Kate Middleton and her charming family haven’t decided to uproot their royal life, but instead, actress Lydia Wilson will portray the beloved brunette in King Charles III, an Olivier Award-winning satirical play about the English monarchy, set to make a grand Broadway debut November 1 after a successful U.K. run.
The fictional tale revolves around Prince Charles’s ascent to the throne after the Queen’s passing, but it’s Wilson’s spot-on take on Middleton that we’re particularly excited for. “She’s actually been like some kind of awesome big sister I never had. She’s taller than me. She stands up straight. She’s posher than me. She dresses better than me,” Wilson told us inside a downtown New York cocktail party in celebration of the show. “Trying to emulate her and walk in her shoes quite literally has been a bit of a growing up experience. I’ve become a lady.”
Wilson may possess English grace, but don’t be fooled into thinking the 31-year-old talent, who’s been seen in About Time and Never Let Me Go, isn't sartorially adventurous enough to throw on a hardware-covered Versus Versace blouse with a pair of Nike trainers off duty. “That’s all we ever wear,” she says of her cool, relaxed U.K. style, which is vastly different from the carefully curated costumes she wears while playing Middleton. “She’s revealed to be extremely smart, and her big guiding philosophy is it’s all about surface—it’s all about fashion because this is the modern world and surface is what sells, and there’s power in that.”
The royal family might be a topic of conversation around the water-cooler in the U.S, but attitudes are a bit different in the U.K., where she was raised. “We have this sort of dark fidelity to it, whereas in America, you guys celebrate what there is to celebrate, like the fashion and the glamour,” she says. “I was on the tube in London and there was an American woman next to me who said to her three other friends, ‘So, what do you think about Kate’s bangs?’ And they all had an opinion.”
For Wilson, who says she’s “completely obsessed” with Middleton, nailing the role required plenty of hours spent studying the royal darling’s every interview. But though she’s eager to see how her portrayal is received, she’s mostly excited to experience how American audiences react to the British comedy. “Every time I see a play on Broadway, I feel the audience is so much more vocal and present—I can’t wait to see that raucous energy,” she says.
Wilson may be committed to her Broadway gig for the next few months, but expect her to make a flashy, silver screen return in 2016 thanks to her undisclosed role in Star Trek: Beyond. So what can she reveal about the highly anticipated flick? “I wrapped a few days ago,” she tells us. “It was incredibly fun because even Chris Pine would stand in front of the sets that we arrived at and go, ‘F—!’ It’s big, big, big. They’ve really gone for it. Justin Lin, who’s our amazing director, is so good at action. It’s huge.”
And while we’ll have to wait until next July to see her star alongside Pine, King Charles III lands inside New York’s Music Box Theatre November 1.