Bella Ramsey sat down with Screen Rant to discuss the current series she’s in, Becoming Elizabeth. The show follows the early years of Queen Elizabeth I’s (Alicia von Rittberg) adolescence. Ramsey plays Jane Grey, who was thought by some people to have a better claim to the throne. According to Ramsey, the scripts for the show were so well-researched and brilliant that there was hardly any need to find out more about the characters.
“But I think we all did, just out of curiosity, find out more about the world that we were about to be immersed in for the next several months. I was learning more about Jane Grey, basically how she’s related to the throne and how all of her time in court came about. I knew quite a lot about her anyway, just from growing up locally, and I actually did my audition at the remains of her residence. She’s very much a local, well-known figure.”
Another thing Ramsey was asked about was Jane and Elizabeth’s relationship. “They just have this interesting dynamic, because they’re of a similar age. They’re both young girls finding their place in the court and finding out who they are at the same time, which is so weird.” The way she sees it, Elizabeth is wary of Jane when she first arrives because the latter makes a terrible first impression and because Elizabeth finds her annoying.
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“To be fair, she’s an annoying person to have around. Jane’s very intelligent and isn’t afraid to show it. I don’t think she’s a showoff; she’s just very aware of her intellectual intelligence, but she lacks emotional intelligence.
And I think Jane is also aware of the plots and the schemes involving her, in terms of the idea that she’s going to marry the King and keep the Protestant faith and all of that. I don’t think Jane particularly sees Elizabeth as a threat to her position. Just like in that first conversation, she is very blunt. This is what she’s been told that; that Elizabeth is illegitimate because of her mother. She takes it as fact, so I don’t think Jane is particularly worried about that.”
Other Relationships and What’s Next
Throughout the show, we also see Jane develop possible machination of future king Edward IV (Oliver Zetterström), but also the Dudley boys, Robert (Jamie Blackley) and Guildford (Jacob Avery). Ramsey thinks that Jane is interested in the Dudleys because she sees them as two young people close to her own age in court. Plus, she knows that marriage is something that she will have to do eventually.
“I don’t think she’s particularly opposed to it or particularly rebellious. I think she very much knows that this is what is expected of her, and she’s very happy to do it. It’s something that she actually wants to do and will willingly participate in. She finds the Dudleys interesting, but obviously the King is a great prospect. Marriage to a king is the dream in that time, but I just don’t think they are particularly compatible.”
According to Ramsey, the king doesn’t want to marry the king and vice versa. Deep in her heart Jane has something that’s love, or what she perceives to be love, brewing in her for the Dudley boys. Unfortunately, when we last see Jane, after Catherine (Jessica Raine) has died and she’s been ousted from Thomas’ (Tom Cullen) “care,” Jane appears to be very resigned to this plan to marry the King.
“But I do think there’s a buried part of her that is upset that she doesn’t have the future that she thought she might have. She really liked staying with Thomas and Catherine, because I don’t think her home life is particularly good. It was like this really exciting holiday for her. Now that’s all gone, and she’s back at her home. But she does come back. She makes another appearance at court, and she begins to voice her opinions.”
Historical records show that Jane will eventually meet a rather tragic end. Before the show potentially gets there, Ramsey said there are things that would be interesting to explore, such as Jane’s marriage. “How much of that is duty, and how much of it does she actually enjoy? How much does she wants to get married and how much does she feel like she has to?” Or Jane’s relationship with Guilford or her growing into a young woman.
“I think it’s gonna be really cool to explore how much she is involved in the plots and the schemes that eventually lead to her demise.”