Imelda Staunton Responds To The Crown Critics: 'I'd Rather Be Involved In Something That Takes Risks'

Imelda's The Crown predecessor Olivia Colman recently suggested the show's latter seasons were "maybe too close to home".
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown
Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown
Keith Bernstein/Netflix

Imelda Staunton has responded to criticism levelled at The Crown in recent years.

While the award-winning Netflix drama has long been at the centre of debate due to its fictionalised version of real-life events, this conversation has become even louder as the action depicted in the show has come closer to the present day.

Even Oliva Colman, who won an Emmy for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II, recently made headlines when she suggested: “I can understand, I can feel that maybe it’s too close to home now.”

“It has become more uncomfortable,” Olivia added during a podcast interview. “But Peter Morgan writes beautifully, and I had a lovely time doing the job.”

Olivia Colman in the third series of The Crown
Olivia Colman in the third series of The Crown
Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian /

Speaking to HuffPost UK ahead of The Crown’s final episodes arriving on Netflix, Imelda shared her feelings on the subject, pointing out the events that play out in season six aren’t actually as recent as some critics might claim.

“It’s interesting because, of course, this series finishes in 2005, which is nearly 20 years ago,” the Bafta winner said. “So it isn’t that recent. But, of course, [in another respect] it is.”

“In one respect, no one has a problem with more and more films about Elizabeth I, no one seems to have an opinion about that because they can’t say ‘we were there’, but for a lot of these events, of course, they can say, ‘we were there’.”

“How exciting to make a programme that is about recent history!” she continued. “And how challenging, and how experimental and dangerous it is for a writer to be able to look at events in fairly recent history, and give us his take on that, and present people in that institution – the good, the bad and the ugly – and just give them to you, and you can decide what you think.”

“He didn’t make any events up,” Imelda noted. “All of the events have happened. And listen. You know, with all [major news events], mainly tragedies, that happen in the world, there’s a programme about it within a year. It does happen, this isn’t a first. And I think to examine it as astutely as Peter Morgan does is really admirable.

“I would rather be involved in something that takes a few risks than not be.”

Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton
Samir Hussein via Getty Images

Specifically referring to Olivia’s remarks, Imelda admitted she was not familiar with them, adding: “I think, the point of drama is to examine things that happen. And it might be there’s a slightly different view of it, it might hold a mirror up to certain things that maybe we weren’t aware of at the time.

“I don’t think you can say, ‘it’s too soon’, because as I said, it’s over 20 years ago. I don’t think that’s that recent… Just because it’s close doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.”

The final series of The Crown was divided into two parts, the first of which began streaming last month.

While the first four episodes of season six centred around Princess Diana’s final days, as well as the aftermath of her death, the last six instalments focus on the second wedding of King Charles, Prince William’s first meeting with Kate Middleton at university and the late Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

All six seasons of The Crown are available to stream now on Netflix.


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