The Crown star Olivia Colman ‘listened to Shipping Forecast’ to prevent tears in emotional season 3 scenes

The British star will succeed Claire Foy in the role when the show returns in 2019

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 29 November 2018 10:14
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Cast of The Crown spotted at Caernarfon Castle for filming of Prince of Wales' 1969 investiture

Olivia Colman has revealed that her emotional personality has caused issues with playing Queen Elizabeth in the forthcoming season of The Crown.

The British star, currently impressing critics with her performance in Yorgos Lanthimos comedy The Favourite, has taken over from Claire Foy in the acclaimed Netflix drama but swiftly found the habit of wearing her heart on her sleeve provided a huge obstacle when it came to filming certain scenes.

“My problem is, I emote,” Colman 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.“

The third season will chart the moment in which the Queen visits the Welsh village of Aberfan following the tragic death of 114 schoolchildren in 1966.

To help with scenes such as this, Colman devised a “shameful” trick to help her shut down her emotions while cameras are rolling.

“Whenever anyone is telling me something sad, which just makes me cry, they give me an earpiece and they play the shipping forecast,” Colman said, in reference to the BBC Radio show that broadcasts wind reports for coastlines across the British Isles.

“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.”

Colman also hailed her co-star Helena Bonham Carter - who succeeds Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret - as “extraordinary,” revealing she helped her nail the monarch's fluency in French by sending over video tutorials ahead of filming.

“I’m all right with French from school, but her accent is impeccable. So I asked [Helena] to record. 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.“

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The actor continued: “She’s so warm and so sort of embracing of everything, and she’s lovely. I’m really very lucky to spend my days with her.”

Colman, whose credits include sitcom Peep Show and ITV drama Broadchurch, stars alongside Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in The Favourite, the former of whom issued stern advice to the press while collecting an award for the film at the Gotham Awards earlier this week.

The Crown returns to Netflix in 2019

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