Vanessa Kirby Almost Lost Her Role on ‘The Crown’ Because of a Bad Fake Tan

To think about a future of The Crown without Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret is a sad one. (Although we have a feeling Helena Bonham Carter will do just fine with the monarchical role when season three debuts.) But as we go through Crown withdrawals over the next few months, let Kirby’s anecdote about auditioning for the show soothe your anglophile heart — especially after she revealed she was this close to not getting the gig due to a silly beauty faux pas.

“It was my birthday. I was having a birthday lunch with my friends and I was going out in these bad dungarees. As I was walking out of the house, I did a double take in the mirror and I thought, Oh, my ankles look so pale. So I whacked on some instant fake tan I found on my sister’s drawer. We’ve all been there,” Kirby explained to Seth Meyers on Late Night. “I wanted to be sun-kissed, for whatever reason. I slapped it on.” Kirby didn’t think too much of it, but the ankles’ revenge soon came out in full force when she had to attend her final Crown audition for Margaret.

“I went to my screen test and I borrowed some of my mom’s ill-fitting skirts and pearls, just to look a little bit more Margaret-y. I changed and I forgot about the ankles,” she continued. “I walked into my screen test, and all four of the directors and Peter Morgan, the creator, went straight to my ankles. I was wearing this skirt and they were looking at them for about 10 minutes when I was trying to get into character. And eventually Peter said, ‘Look, what has happened to your legs?’ It was an industrial fake tan and it was luminous orange.”

Luckily for Kirby, her impeccable acting chops overpowered her “fluorescent football sock” aesthetic, and she officially nabbed the role a few days after. But not before vowing to never revisit self-tanners again. “Honestly, I think he looked at my ankles more than my face, and he said it nearly cost me the job,” she said with a laugh. “I haven’t used fake tan since.”

But fear not. If you find yourself in a similar position as Kirby (you know, auditioning for a critically acclaimed Netflix drama) there are a few fixes that can tame an orange glow brought about by a bad self-tanner. Break out your finest loofah, find an enzyme peel, and, if you have it on your shelf, slathering oil around the affected parts can help. (Oven mitts can also help to prevent it from getting on your hands.) But, still, use at your own risk, people.