From Mad Men to monarchy: actor Jared Harris's new royal role

Actor Jared Harris of Mad Men fame talks about his newest show, Netflix's The Crown.

The most well-known depiction of King George VI has got to be Colin Firth in the 2010 Academy Award-winning film, The King's Speech. Actor Jared Harris, who portrays the same character on the new Netflix show The Crown, is extremely aware of this — actually, he had to face this fact every day. 

"Every day when I walked on set there was this giant poster of The King's Speech with a 30-foot life-sized figure of Colin Firth that I would have to walk underneath on my way to set each day," Harris revealed. But that intimidation actually turned into a form of motivation. 

He continued: "When you start digging into the research, I look nothing like King George VI [...] Colin didn't look anything like him either and it didn't hurt his performance." 

Jared Harris stopped by the q studio in Toronto, Ont. to talk to host Tom Power about his role on the new Netflix show, The Crown. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Another place many would believe he felt pressure from is the actor following in the footsteps of his famous dad, Richard who is known for his roles in Gladiator, Camelot and the Harry Potter films as the original Dumbledore. But, thankfully, that also turned into a source of encouragement. 

"I knew a lot about the business from observing him and talking to him," Harris says of his dad. "He was a source of inspiration." 

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for The Crown, which premieres on Netflix on Nov. 4