Arts & Culture

The Crown's Olivia Colman Talks Queen Elizabeth and the Future of the Monarchy

The actress expressed her sincere admiration for the British monarch on David Tennant's new podcast.
IMAGE SOPHIE MUTEVELIAN
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We're happy to report that Olivia Colman does indeed love the Queen. The monarchy, perhaps not so much.

Colman discussed her upcoming turn as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, among many other things, on the debut episode of fellow British actor David Tennant's new podcast. The pair worked together on the hit TV show Broadchurch, and their affection for one another is obvious. Listening is highly recommended—check it out below.

Towards the end of the episode, Tennant asked Colman what it was like playing such an iconic person as Queen Elizabeth. "You kind of can’t think about that, I think... I don't want anyone to watch and go 'she's totally off the mark,'" she said, adding that a huge team of experts was helping her with the historical accuracy.

The voice department, for instance, is always on hand to catch any slips. With the word "television," Colman explains that "there’s a way of saying it that’s partly historical and partly, she sort of has her own accent... 'telivision,' so it’s an 'i' sound. I enjoy all of those. That’s that quite fun."

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For scenes like Prince Charles's Welsh investiture ceremony, or Winston Churchill's funeral, the historical team will send her videos to watch. "There's obviously things that people can access on video that we try and do respectfully—have the same sort of shaped clothes and things like that."


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Colman as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown

The costumes seem to be a particular delight of Colman's. "They're amazing," she said. "They make every costume. Some of the costumes are onscreen for seconds, it's heartbreaking." Colman's onscreen look is completed with a wig, for which she keeps her hair short " to try and reduce time getting up early in the morning, cause long hair takes ages to wind."

As for her feelings toward the Queen herself, they're quite clear. "Not sure I was ever a monarchist—I wasn’t—but the Queen is an incredibly impressive human being," she said. "And I’m slightly obsessed with her." Since starting to work on The Crown, her appreciation has only increased. "It’s grown, it’s become almost unbearable now."

She went on to explain that while not a fan of the monarchy in the abstract, she can't help but love Queen Elizabeth as a person. "It sort of goes against, I suppose, my general set of beliefs," she said. "But then, [the royals are] humans, and I don’t hate any humans. And they didn’t put themselves in that position. And there’s massive debates we could have about this, but she in particular as an individual made a vow as a very young woman to serve her country, which is an extraordinary thing to do. And she genuinely has stuck to it. I think that’s amazing. She’s an even keel. I think it’s going to be a terrible, terrible shock when she’s not our even keel anymore. Suddenly I don’t think we’ve realized quite how secure it is knowing that there’s that person there."

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We'll get to see Colman's take on the Queen later this year when The Crown's long-awaited third season finally premieres on Netflix.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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