“We’re all dealing with whether or not we feel worthy of things, like me going into the theater,” Doherty said. British class anxiety, which Doherty said she still experiences, is at the heart of “Chloe.”

Alice Seabright, the show’s creator and writer, spent part of her childhood in France, and said that she was interested by how, “In the U.K., people are just so attuned to where people are from and people’s backgrounds.” As Becky hides her real accent and background, her deception exposes the “world she’s entering as being full of fictions — also full of lies,” Seabright, 32, said.

With her tendency toward self-loathing, Becky might be dismissed as unlikable. When she was casting the role, Seabright remembered something the filmmaker Mike Nichols once said: Go with the person your character becomes by the end of the film. “There’s a warm energy to Erin that is the opposite of who Becky is when you meet her,” she said. “But it’s who she is underneath.” After casting Doherty in “The Crown,” Gold also chose Doherty for a role in the upcoming period feature “Firebrand.”

Doherty is drawn to material with a serious side. “I really, really care about why people’s stories need to be told,” she said. “Whenever I go home, my dad is always like, ‘Are you gonna do anything funny?’” She developed this quiet intensity at drama school, she said, where she was “very, very serious” about her studies. “I was the person who didn’t go out at all,” she said. “I didn’t have a relationship. I didn’t really have many friends. The friends that I had were people who I admired.”

“Chloe” also explores the intensity of female friendship. Doherty never had many friends growing up, she said. But in a coffee shop overlooking the River Thames, she was effervescent company with an impish sense of humor; it was difficult to imagine her as a loner.

This story originally Appeared on Nytimes.com