"Real-life Tiffany trying to become royal would be like 'Princess Diaries,'" she tells TooFab.
Tiffany Smith landed the role of a lifetime when she was cast to play Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle in Lifetime's new movie, "Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal."
The bubbly, upbeat, talks-with-her-hands actress chatted with TooFab ahead of the film's television premiere, where she told us all about the pressures of playing such a beloved figure, how she prepared for the role, what she did to set fear aside and how her own mixed-race affected her portrayal.
"I feel like there are certain moments of your life where you look back and you're like, 'This happened and then this happened and then this happened, so of course I'm here at this point.' And that's kind of what this movie felt like for me," Tiffany told us, adding, "And thanks to my parents because they had me, and fortunately, the two of them together -- I look kind of like Meghan, which kind of checked a box with helping me book the role."
After landing the part and celebrating with a "dance party" by herself," Tiffany got to researching -- and one video in particular helped her humanize both Meghan and her relationship with Prince Harry.
"It started with watching a lot of videos on YouTube and Instagram," she explained. "It's great because they're such a public couple that there's so much footage of them. I think for so many people who watched the wedding, it was things like that one moment where he looks at her and says she's so beautiful. Everyone talks about how affectionate they are with each other, and royals generally aren't supposed to be hand holding and touchy-feely in public... so that was such a big piece of who they are, for I think so many people, that I really wanted to make sure that we could incorporate that in as much as possible."
"One of the clips that I watched a lot was their engagement video," she continued. "At the end of it, they were off camera and their mics were off, but they were just being playful and silly with each other, and that was one of the things for me where I was like, I know what we see publicly, but they're just real people, and they do have this real relationship. And they're funny!"
While Tiffany did experience immense pressure to do the duchess justice, she also felt it was her duty to do right by all other multi-racial actors.
"I have so much respect, and there are so many people that are such huge fans and have such a connection to Harry and Meghan, that I wanted to make sure I did the best job I could possible do with this movie and taking on this role," she explained. "I'm multi-racial, too, so seeing her journey was really, really special to me. And I'm realizing there are so many other girls out there and kids that're gonna watch this, and hopefully, if I can do even a little piece of what she does for people, I'm gonna be happy that I got to do that."
Tiffany said she got through most days of filming by setting her intentions before getting to the set. "I'm so L.A.," she joked.
"There was a lot of pressure I felt at the beginning, and then once I got to set, I was like, 'If I let that in my head all day, I'm not gonna be able to do any of it justice,'" she told us. "So I spent some time before I got to set and wrote things down about how I wanted the shoot to go and what I wanted to have happen."
Unfortunately for the actress, she says she hasn't gotten a response from the Royals about the film, but since it doesn't premiere until Monday, there's still hope.
As for how she would do marrying into such a public-yet-reserved family, the actress laughed and said, "Real-life Tiffany trying to become royal would be like 'Princess Diaries.'"
"Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal" premieres Monday on Lifetime.