'Playing the queen has been my hardest role - but I'm loving the job', says Olivia

Olivia Colman stars in The Crown

Laura Harding

Olivia Colman has said she has found playing Queen Elizabeth in the new series of The Crown much more difficult than other roles.

The Broadchurch star will take over the role of the monarch from Claire Foy for the third series of the Netflix drama.

It follows her turn as Queen Anne in the upcoming film The Favourite, in which she stars opposite Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

"It could not be more different," Colman said.

"I find the harder [role] is Queen Elizabeth because everyone knows what she looks like, everyone knows what she sounds like, everyone has an opinion on whether the casting is right.

"And I am loving the job. I am loving trying to play her, but I find her harder.

"The difference between the two, playing different people is what I went into this job for, that's the whole point of being an actor, so I am having a lovely time.


"I want to do it justice and do it well and be respectful and all of those things - and the writing is incredible so that helps.

"So that feels greater at the moment and because we've finished The Favourite now - it's out there, it's like our baby going out into the world and I hope people like it.

"There's still whispers about, 'Oh what's it going to be like in The Crown?', so that makes it harder.

"I love doing the work so much it's almost a shame that people have to see it, because people who weren't there get to say what they think about it, which is quite hard.

"But the fact that people have loved this [The Favourite] as much as I have loved it just fills my heart with such joy and makes me so happy.

"And it's sort of a litmus [test]. If somebody goes, 'No, I didn't like it', I sort of think I wouldn't like them.

"'Well OK, we're never going to get on', which is a little bit narrow-minded of me, but I love it so much that I love it when people love it."

Colman said the new film, which stars three actresses in the main roles, is evidence that things are improving with regards to roles for women.


However, she added: "There's still plenty of way to go, but things like this or Bridesmaids or Thelma And Louise - that was a while ago - it's all there.

"We just need to do it a bit more often.

"A bit more so it's 50-50 would be great. That's all we're asking."

  • The Favourite is in cinemas tomorrow