November 15, 2019
Press Releases

Olivia Colman And Helena Bonham Carter Talk Accession to the Throne for the Crown Recast in Emmy

With a massive television audience and viewers anxious for Netflix to reopen the palace doors, the executive producers of The Crown have completely recast the series for upcoming seasons three and four. The show's Emmy-winning casting directors were tasked with something no show has ever attempted. Veteran actors Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter talk to emmy about their regal new roles.

The award-winning official publication of the Television Academy hits newsstands Nov. 18.

Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most famous women in the world, and it's the peek behind the curtain that has made The Crown a worldwide hit. Andy Harries, one of the historical drama's seven executive producers, was confident in their selection of the sovereign before even meeting with Colman. "Olivia was not just our first choice, she was our first thought," says Harries. When they met to discuss the role, Colman's eagerness was quickly expressed. "As we sat down, she said, 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' So it wasn't that difficult, really.

"What I find personally so extraordinary is that Olivia's not method—she's entirely instinctive," Harries continues. "You can be on the set with her playing the queen in a very serious scene in front of an audience. Yet she's so natural, so relaxed. She just steps out of character the minute they say 'cut.' She's so at ease with her craft, which is an indication of someone who is on top of their game."

In the cover story "A Change in Reign," Academy Award-winner Colman discusses fine-tuning her regal appearance. "The first time I saw myself in the mirror with the wig I was ... quite giggly," Colman says. "There's only one woman with that hairdo. I looked in the mirror and thought, 'I've got the queen's hair!' But then it's a job, it's a costume, a script to learn and an hour in makeup—as all jobs are." Adjusting her posture was one of the keys to inhabiting Elizabeth, noted Colman, who also credits the voice department for helping her perfect the monarch's unmistakable accent.

Bonham Carter, who plays Elizabeth's younger sister, Princess Margaret, was equally well cast for the series. "I was a mixture of excited, daunted and then mildly insulted with the amount of people who said, 'Oh, she's perfect casting,'" says Bonham Carter. On what drew her to the role, Bonham Carter says, "She comes with a reputation, but the real gift of the part is she has so many colors. She's like a prism—she changes. That's exciting. The thing with Margaret is she's so unpredictable, so changeable, that really you can play the same scene 10 different ways, and it still would be valid. That was the lure."

While Colman was thrilled to step into the role, which has allowed her to work with some of the best actors in the industry, including Bonham Carter, she has some advice for whomever may succeed her as Queen Elizabeth. "Learn to walk in high heels. Neither of us can do it. We're rubbish. All of my favorite scenes were when the queen is in her wellies."

Additional feature highlights from the new issue include:

  • In "It All Adds Up," emmy talks to Disney+ President of Marketing Ricky Strauss about the highly anticipated launch of Disney's new subscription streaming service on Nov. 12 and the studio's plans to use the full reach of its empire, including its century-spanning catalog of films along with 10 new films and more than 25 fresh series to draw customers.
  • The Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas is a holiday staple in millions of households. In "It's in the Cards," emmy takes an inside look at some of the stars who will ring in the holiday season, including Candace Cameron Bure, Cameron Mathison and Alicia Witt.
  • Emmy visits with Today show news anchor Craig Melvin and Fox Sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak to discuss balancing their personal life with challenging television careers. "Keeping it Casual" reveals the power couple's lives as both on-air personalities and parents.

About emmy
Emmy, the official publication of the Television Academy, goes behind the scenes of the industry for a unique insider's view. It showcases the scope of television and profiles the people who make TV happen, from the stars of top shows to the pros behind the cameras, covering programming trends and advances in technology. Honored consistently for excellence, emmy is a six-time Maggie Award winner as Best Trade Publication in Communications or the Arts and has collected 52 Maggies from the Western Publishing Association. Emmy is available on selected newsstands and at for single print and digital copies as well as subscriptions.

Download the press release here.

For issue/coverage contacts:
Carla Schalman

Stephanie Goodell

breakwhitelight for the Television Academy

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