The 47-year-old actor portrayed the late royal in Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ and said he had come to appreciate the “high degree of dignity and patience” Philip had as he undertook his role as the Queen’s consort.
Tobias told The Guardian’s ‘Today in Focus’ podcast: “There’s a lot of different forces at play within him. He was someone who was very wary to show his feelings, and yet, atmospherically, he’s not a cool presence, he’s quite hot … He’s abrasive. He’s challenging. He’s funny. But there’s an energy about it: it’s not calm, it’s not gentle. And those things seem to be kind of warring inside him. And so, actually, for someone who doesn’t want to give much away, he often feels like he is giving quite a lot away.
“For someone who clearly was not comfortable with [the role], he managed to do it with quite a high degree of dignity and patience.”
And he praised Philip – who passed away earlier this month at the age of 99 – for always putting Queen Elizabeth first.
He said: “The idea of this alpha male spending his life walking two or three steps behind his wife … to be in an almost entirely ceremonial position, it’s fascinating. It’s the stuff of Greek drama. [It] is to his credit the effect he’s had on that institution, on that family. He took that completely non-role incredibly seriously, applied a huge amount of energy and inventiveness and created a life for himself with great ingenuity and great energy. And I think the institution itself benefited from that.
“He was partly involved in the transition from an aristocratic family to one that was marked by largely middle-class values. He helped to open it up and, to a certain degree, demystify a lot of the stuff that was going on. ”
And Tobias defended ‘The Crown’s portrayal of the royals.
He said: “It is a measured and thoughtful appraisal of that institution and the family that sits inside it. It never seeks to trip them up or to ridicule.
“You could definitely say that we have added to propaganda about the family. It’s essentially quite a benign representation. It gives them depth, it gives them profundities that maybe they don’t have – I don’t know, I’ve never met them – [but] it’s not all positive.
“It was my job as an actor to show as much complexity as I can.”