What Trick Does Olivia Colman Use to Hide Her Emotions When Playing Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown’?

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman | Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

There will be a new queen on The Crown and she has adopted the perfect trick to keep it all together when shooting some very sad scenes.

Due to the time jump for the third season of Netflix’s royal biopic the entire cast was changed. Fans were pleased with the choice of Olivia Colman who will be taking over for Claire Foy to play Queen Elizabeth II in Seasons 3 and 4. Colman is not taking this opportunity lightly and knows she had some big shoes to fill as Foy’s portrayal of the Her Majesty won her Golden Globe.

“[Foy’s] one of the sweetest people ever and she’s brilliant … and it’s a very hard act to follow,” the Broadchurch actress said. “Watching the first series was blissful because I had no idea. With the second series I now know I’ve got to follow in her footsteps.”

Therefore, Colman is committed to getting every part of Queen Elizabeth’s personality just right and has found a way to keep her own emotions in check when filming some pretty tragic scenes. Here’s more on that and when fans can expect Season 3 and Season 4 to start.

The trick Colman uses to hide her emotions

Colman admitted that she found it a bit difficult to hold it together while filming certain scenes like the 1966 Aberfan disaster which killed 116 children and 28 adults.

“My problem is, I emote,” she told Vanity Fair. “The Queen is not meant to do it. She’s got to be a rock for everyone, and [has] been trained not to. We’ve discovered that I can’t do it.”

So how was she able to separate her feelings to imitate the British monarch?

“I’ve come up with a little trick … Whenever anyone is telling me something sad, which just makes me cry, they give me an earpiece and they play the shipping forecast,” Colman shared. “It’s somebody going, ‘And the winds are fair to midland … blah, blah.’ I’m sort of not listening to what [the other actors are] saying. I’m trying so hard to tune into the shipping forecast and not cry.”

The actress also needed to speak French for a scene depicting the queen’s 1972 state visit to France so she enlisted the help of Helena Bonham-Carter, who is taking on the role of Princess Margaret for the next two seasons.

Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter | Jack Taylor/AFP/Getty Images

“I’m all right with French from school, but her accent is impeccable. So I asked her to record [my dialogue],” Colman explained. “She took the job so seriously. She did it so I could see her face, and then I got some voice recordings as well, where she would start from the beginning. If it was a tricky word, she’d say it again, nice and slowly, like she was the voice department.”

When will the Netflix series return?

Colman’s preparation for this role has everyone excited for the new season but there’s still one question. When will The Crown Season 3 be released?

The first season of the critically-acclaimed series was released in November 2016 and series two in December 2017 but Netflix was anticipating a longer break in between series two and three because of the recasting. The Crown Season 3 will air in 2019 and Season 4 is likely to air soon after as they are shot back-to-back.

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