‘Harry & Meghan’ get their third drama-movie treatment from Lifetime



'Escaping the Palace' examines the couple's separation from other royals

Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton star in “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” premiering Monday on Lifetime.

For the third of Lifetime’s drama movies about Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, it helped that the two stars had worked together before.

Jordan Dean and Sydney Morton appeared in a stage-musical version of “American Psycho,” but they clearly have much different roles in “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” which the cable network debuts Monday, Sept. 6. The film recounts the massively reported split by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from their family, encompassing their candid, much-watched interview with Oprah Winfrey … in which Meghan revealed that her strong feeling of isolation drove her to suicidal thoughts during her first pregnancy. (The couple welcomed their second child in June.)

Previously seen in the series “Manifest” and “She’s Gotta Have It,” pleasant actress Morton allows that she “never really got those comments, and I never thought it about myself” regarding any resemblance to Meghan. “Then, a friend of mine said to me, ‘You know, you kind of look like Meghan Markle. Has anyone ever told you that?’ And I said, ‘No!’ And a week later, I got this audition, so I have to believe my friends manifested it for me.”

Morton, who spent time in England as a Royal Academy of Dramatic Art student, credits the movie’s “incredible hair and makeup team, and the wardrobe people” with giving her even more of Meghan’s look. She notes she also “had so much material to help me get her body language and mannerisms down.”

Having another friend play Harry to her Meghan proved to be an immense help to Morton, also a singer-dancer who starred in a touring production of “Flashdance.” She laughs, “What are the odds?,” about being cast again opposite Dean. “You hope that you’ll connect with your scene partner, and I already knew that I could, so we were very excited that we got to do this together.”

Sydney Morton and Jordan Dean star in “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace,” premiering Monday on Lifetime.

Lifetime will repeat its first two movies in the franchise, “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” and “Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal,” as well as “William & Kate” immediately before “Escaping the Palace” premieres. Morton realizes that with Meghan having been an actress — notably on the series “Suits” — there’s an extra challenge to being a performer playing someone who also is a performer.

“There is professional Meghan giving a statement, then there are those moments where you can tell she’s more vulnerable or caught off-guard,” Morton reasons. “I definitely think that as her time in the palace went on, we got to see more and more of her vulnerability coming out in interviews. I could identify with her presenting the version of herself that she wanted to, and also the version that is the ‘real’ Meghan.”


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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