Becoming Elizabeth's Bella Ramsey Talks The Importance The Historical Drama's Female Point-Of-View, Plus Jane Grey's Future

Bella Ramsey is Lady Jane Grey in Becoming Elizabeth.
(Image credit: Starz)

Only two episodes are left before Becoming Elizabeth comes to an end on Starz as the story of Elizabeth Tudor’s life immediately following the death of Henry VIII and rise of her brother as the new king of England. King Edward and his advisors haven’t made life easy for either of his sisters, and Lady Jane Grey was swept up in the mess of complications as well. Despite the women having a rough time in this series, the stories are told largely through the female point-of-view, and actress Bella Ramsey weighed in to CinemaBlend on the importance. 

Bella Ramsey plays Lady Jane Grey in Becoming Elizabeth, and her character has been used as a pawn from almost the very beginning thanks to her father, Thomas Seymour, and Catherine Parr. As of the latest episode, only her father of those three is still alive, with Seymour’s execution after his complicated relationship with Elizabeth and Catherine’s story ending with her death after giving birth. Between Jane, Catherine, Elizabeth Tudor, Mary Tudor, and even Kat Ashley to a certain extent, the women are arguably the most nuanced characters despite not having the most power. 

Speaking with CinemaBlend, Bella Ramsey shared her thoughts on Becoming Elizabeth focusing on the female point-of-view:

With Anya Reiss, the writer, it was apparent that she'd written it kind of from the female characters' points-of-view, and so much of the historical content is written from – especially in big ensemble pieces – are kind of written from the male point of view. So it was really interesting to kind of see it through a female, or more female-orientated lens. I think it brought definitely an interesting dynamic, and it was important that we kind of saw it that way, saw it through them.

Bella Ramsey can certainly vouch for acting in a project that features a “big ensemble,” as her big break came with her role as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series. The Becoming Elizabeth ensemble is much smaller than what Thrones had by the time that Ramsey joined in Season 6 (available streaming with an HBO Max subscription), and the male characters outnumber the female, but the women are very much at the center. Plus, any Tudor history buff (or anybody even passingly familiar with Elizabeth I) knows who among these characters is going to gain some real power. 

Of course, there’s no saying whether or not Elizabeth I will become Queen Elizabeth by the end of the series, as there’s not much time left and King Edward is still very much alive. Still, the plot is only thickening, and Bella Ramsey dropped some interesting comments about what’s ahead for Lady Jane Grey before the final credits roll: 

Well, she might make another appearance. I guess she kind of comes into her own towards the end. I think she kind of grows up a little bit and feels more able to assert herself and her opinions. So yes, definitely we'll see more of that. Definitely.

The show may be called Becoming Elizabeth, but it has also been chronicling the struggles of Mary Tudor and Jane Grey, and that’s not over yet. Jane isn’t quite as well known when compared to Elizabeth and Mary Tudor, but she and her father have been key parts of the series. Bella Ramsey shared how she prepared to play this historical figure who is so important, but not as popularly known as some of the others included in the Starz drama:

Funnily enough, Lady Jane Grey is someone that I was quite familiar with, because she lived like literally 15 minutes down the road from me. The remains of her place of residence are still intact, so I actually wanted to do my audition there. Quite funny! So I knew of her quite well. So I guess I just learned more of the history and all the links between her and the rest of the royals and the people in court, because I've never really learned that before. I'd known a bit in history lessons, but I hadn't really paid attention. It was good to be able to learn for myself.

Even though Becoming Elizabeth is a historical drama rather than a documentary (and surviving sources from the 16th century are never going to tell the whole true story), Bella Ramsey dug deeper into the history of Lady Jane Grey, with the fun coincidence of living near where Jane had lived centuries before. The final two episodes will prove how much more of Jane’s history will be covered in the show, so be sure to tune in. 

New episodes of Becoming Elizabeth air on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz. The network was the home of a fan-favorite period dramas for years before the historical drama premiered thanks to Outlander, which will return for Season 7. For some viewing options following the end of Becoming Elizabeth, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).