In the final season of Netflix’s The Crown, Khalid Abdalla portrays Dodi Fayed, the Egyptian film producer who was romantically linked to Princess Diana in the summer of 1997. In an exclusive interview with People, Abdalla delves into the complex relationship between Dodi and Diana, and whether they were truly falling in love before their tragic end.
Abdalla admits that he initially had reservations about taking on the role of Dodi, who has often been portrayed negatively in the media. “I was very aware of the sensitivity of the subject matter,” he says. “But I was also intrigued by the opportunity to explore Dodi’s story in a more nuanced way.”
To prepare for the role, Abdalla immersed himself in research, reading books, watching documentaries, and even listening to interviews with people who knew Dodi personally. “I wanted to understand who he was as a person, beyond the headlines,” he explains.
Through his research, Abdalla came to believe that Dodi was a kind and compassionate man who was deeply in love with Diana. “He was a very generous, loving person,” Abdalla says. “He was also very supportive of Diana and her work.”
The Crown’s depiction of Dodi and Diana’s relationship has been praised for its sensitivity and authenticity. Abdalla credits this largely to the writing of Peter Morgan, who created the show. “Peter is a master storyteller,” he says. “He has a knack for capturing the essence of his characters and bringing them to life in a way that is both truthful and compelling.”
Abdalla also believes that the show’s portrayal of Diana is particularly insightful. “Elizabeth Debicki does an incredible job of capturing Diana’s warmth, intelligence, and vulnerability,” he says. “She really brings her to life.”
While The Crown takes some creative liberties, Abdalla is confident that the show’s overall portrayal of Dodi and Diana is accurate. “I think we’ve done a good job of capturing the essence of their relationship,” he says. “It was a complex and beautiful love story.”
In the final episode of the season, Dodi and Diana are seen driving through Paris, moments before their fatal car crash. It’s a heartbreaking scene that Abdalla says was difficult to film. “It was a very emotional day,” he recalls. “We all felt the weight of responsibility to honor their memory.”
Despite the tragic end, Abdalla believes that Dodi and Diana’s love story is one that should be remembered. “It’s a story of two people who found love in the most unexpected circumstances,” he says. “It’s a reminder that love can conquer all.”
The Crown’s final season is now streaming on Netflix.