Olivia Colman on learning the Queen’s accent and walk for The Crown

The actress also said she hopes she earns the same as her co-star Tobias Menzies, following the drama’s previous pay gap saga.
The actress also said she hopes she earns the same as her co-star Tobias Menzies, following the drama’s previous pay gap saga.

Olivia Colman has told of her struggles in having to adapt her walk, accent and even the way she sits to play the Queen in The Crown.

The Oscar winner, who is playing the Queen in the forthcoming third season of the lavish Netflix period drama, said that mastering the Queen’s movements was particularly tricky because she has been told she walks “like a farmer”.

Colman, 45, told Harper’s Bazaar UK that she does not “enjoy research” while preparing for a role, adding: “But for this, I have to accept it.

“I can’t just sit like me, I have to sit like her, and look like pictures of her.”

She added: “They have been teaching me how to walk – I’m really terrible at that, I have no physical awareness. I walk a bit like a farmer, one of the directors said.”

On mimicking the Queen’s accent, Colman said: “I thought that general ‘posh’ would do it, but apparently not.

“Really unusual vowel sounds. If you’re saying ‘yes’, you say ‘ears’. It’s fun to do, isn’t it? Very hard to stop. Ears.”

Colman is taking over as the Queen from Claire Foy, who took the role in the first two seasons.

The new series of The Crown will cover the period from 1964 to 1977, and will see Tobias Menzies take over the role of the Duke of Edinburgh from Matt Smith.

Foy and Smith were at the centre of a dispute over a pay gap last year when it was disclosed that Smith had been paid more than lead star Foy.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith
Claire Foy and Matt Smith (Ian West/PA)

The show’s creators said that Smith had earned more than Foy because of his status as a Doctor Who star, compared with her back catalogue of appearances in smaller dramas, such as Wolf Hall.

Asked about being paid as much as her co-star and on-screen husband Menzies, Colman said: “I bloody well hope so.

“It’s not called Philip, it’s called The Crown.”

The new series of The Crown will also see Helena Bonham Carter join the cast, taking over as Princess Margaret from Vanessa Kirby.

Ben Daniels will take over as Tony Armstrong-Jones from Matthew Goode, while Josh O’Connor will play the Prince of Wales, Erin Doherty will appear as the Princess Royal, Marion Bailey as the Queen Mother and Jason Watkins as prime minister Harold Wilson.

Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell will play Camilla Shand, now the Duchess of Cornwall.

The November issue of Harper’s Bazaar is on sale from Thursday October 3.