Olivia Colman reveals the big difference in her portrayal of the Queen on The Crown

But fans won't be able to spot it

Olivia Colman
(Image credit: FilmMagic)

Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman is playing Queen Elizabeth II in the latest series of The Crown, but she found one aspect of playing the monarch particularly difficult.

As rhe Queen has blue eyes and Olivia Colman has brown, the initial plan was for the actor to wear coloured lenses.

However, Olivia found it difficult due to her ‘strong eyelids’ and as a result, she struggled to fully embrace the character.

Ben Caron, director of The Crown, said that Olivia wearing blue contact lenses took her acting ability away. Eventually they decided to give up on the lenses, as well as a post-production plan to alter her eye colour using CGI.

Speaking about the experience wearing the contacts every day, Olivia jokingly told US Vogue: “It was basically like an exorcism. ‘Just hold me down and thrust it in!’”

Defending the decision to scrap the blue eyes, Ben Caron said: “It didn't feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing.”

Tobias Menzies will portray husband Prince Phillip in the third series, replacing Matt Smith to cover the years between 1964 and 1977. Olivia Colman is replacing Claire Foy as The Queen.

MORE: The Crown writer reveals that the Royal Family are told how they’re portrayed so they can “brace themselves”

A photo posted by on

He was also required to undergo a transformation for the role, having the top of his head cropped to mimic Prince Phillip’s hairline.

While there’s plenty to look forward to in the upcoming series, which premieres on November 17th, fans will be happy to know season four is already in production.

Many significant historical events will be covered in the fourth instalment of The Crown, including the first miner strikes between 1972 and 1974, when Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

Gillian Anderson is set to play the first female Prime Minister, but not all fans are happy about this decision.

Another key event that will be covered is the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing, considered to be one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th Century.

We can't wait!

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.