Lifetime Answers 'Maybe' to the Princess Di Murder Question
"It just seemed too bizarre to be real," the
As the one-decade anniversary of the fatal Paris tunnel car crash nears, Morrison helps offer a fictionalized account in Lifetime's new movie "The Murder of Princess Diana," based on the Noel Botham book and produced by the British company Working Title ("Bridget Jones's Diary," "Love Actually"). Casting Morrison as a reporter who supposedly witnessed the tragedy, the film debuts Saturday, Aug. 25, then encores the following two nights.
"I was on a plane to Luxembourg [where the film was made] within 24 hours of getting the script," Morrison recalls. "When I read it, I thought it was really well-done. Obviously, it's controversial material, but I found my character fantastic. I was like, 'All right, let's do it. Why not?'"
The plot plays off long-standing rumors that instead of being accidental, the deaths of Diana; her then-companion,
"It wasn't until I did this that I started reading every biography and article I could get my hands on. I always try to keep my personal opinions separate from wherever I go with a character, but the fascinating thing about this is that you can take certain facts and look at them one way as just horrible coincidences -- but from another perspective, you can think maybe something weird happened. That's the approach the film takes as well. As a whole, the story makes you think twice."
Morrison had plenty of time to do that, since she was present for an elaborate restaging of the accident scene, complete with body doubles for the victims. "It was very eerie," she says. "All of us saw the pictures of the black Mercedes completely smashed in, and to see that re-created, it almost felt like you were looking at [the real thing]. It was just so similar. I think they've approached it in a very tasteful way; nothing inappropriate or offensive is seen. Still, there was just an eerie vibe."
As Dr. Allison Cameron on
At the same time, Morrison acknowledges suspicions that pursuing paparazzi played a role in Diana's death. "My character ends up jumping on the back of the bike of one of them. It was interesting to do something from that side of it, because as an actor, I'm always hiding from it. It's weird to try to justify it, but there are ways of justifying anything. However far from your own values, you have to find a way to connect with the needs of the person you're playing."
That might give Morrison more tolerance for personal questions now, being the fiancee of her "House" co-star Jesse Spencer, alias Dr.
Change appears inevitable for "House," which currently is up for four
"There are different reasons to love playing a leading role and to love being part of an ensemble," she says. "I really enjoy being in both positions. Coming off three years of 'House,' it was nice to do something so different. I feel like it put me in a position to come back to the series with a fresh approach, and I loved working in Europe, so it was a really timely thing in my life in general. It was a tough schedule, but it was nice to take on that challenge."