Olivia Colman: Queen Elizabeth II is 'harder' to play than Queen Anne

Annie Martin

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Olivia Colman says it is "harder" to play Queen Elizabeth II than it was to portray 18th century monarch Queen Anne.

The 45-year-old British actress appeared with The Crown co-stars Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham Carter on Monday's episode of Today, where she compared her roles as Elizabeth on The Crown and Anne in The Favourite.


"[Elizabeth has] been a harder job to do than Queen Anne, mainly because I am quite emotional," Colman, who won an Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Anne in The Favourite, said.

Bonham Carter, who portrays Princess Margaret on The Crown, pointed out that "no one knows what Queen Anne was like anyway."

"Exactly," Colman agreed. "[With Elizabeth], obviously, everyone is a critic. Everyone knows what she looks like. Everyone's heard her. Everyone has seen her walking."

The Crown Season 3, Episode 3 explored Elizabeth's perceived lack of emotion, in the context of the Aberfan mining tragedy. Colman mentioned that Elizabeth is said to be more emotive in private.


"Behind closed doors, apparently, she's an absolute hoot," Colman said. "She's a great mimic, she's a great laugh."

Season 3 premiered Friday on Netflix. Colman, Menzies and Bonham Carter replace Claire Foy, Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby, who played younger versions of Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Margaret in Seasons 1 and 2.

"We've been employed because we're older and battered," Bonham Carter jokingly said.

The Crown follows Elizabeth's reign throughout the decades, which each season progressing the timeline by some years. Season 4 will feature Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher and Emma Corrin as the future Princess Diana.

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