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The Crown's Dominic West Weighs In On Prince Charles' Breakdancing Skills

Replacing previous cast member John O'Connor, Dominic West plays an older version of Prince Charles on the fifth season of "The Crown." On the Netflix show, the prince is about to divorce Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) and works to improve his public image despite serious setbacks to the monarchy's reputation.

A veteran actor known for his roles on "The Wire" and in "Downton Abbey: A New Era," West insisted to The Hollywood Reporter that he didn't judge Charles for his behavior in these episodes: "You can't make moral judgments. You have to be on their side." He did heavy research into the real-life monarch's state of mind during the separation and also talked to people who actually knew him at the time.

Yet when a co-star showed him a YouTube video she'd found, West was still shocked at the clip of Charles busting out some moves on the dance floor.

West thought the video was truly surreal

A scene in the new season of "The Crown" depicts Prince Charles breakdancing with some teenagers at an event for his charity, The Prince's Trust. This was based on a real 1985 incident captured on video where Charles really did dance at a discotheque party, first reluctantly, then enthusiastically (via Town & Country).

West explained on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" that he'd missed the video in his research. He knew that Charles was "quite sort of proud of his dancing" at various ceremonies. But when Olivia Williams, who plays Camilla, showed him the clip, he still couldn't believe it. "It's so bizarre," he said because the typically suited, dapper Charles is doing these dance moves stiffly but taking it seriously. West marveled, "You've got to admire it."

The actor learned how to recapture Charles' moves for his performance in the series. However, he admitted that it took "quite some time." West quoted his choreographer to Kimmel, explaining, "'The difficulty is there's no rhythm, it's completely arrhythmic.'" Learning his steps, however, actually made the performer admire Charles more: "It's much harder to dance out of time. He does it brilliantly."