Imelda Staunton Shares 'Extra Challenge' Of Playing Queen Elizabeth In The Crown

She has said her "personal bête noire" wasn't as much of an issue for predecessors Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.

The Crown newcomer Imelda Staunton has explained why she thinks she has an “extra challenge” on her hands when it comes to playing Queen Elizabeth II, compared to predecessors Claire Foy and Olivia Colman.

Imelda is set to portray the Queen in the forthcoming fifth and sixth series of the hit royal drama when it returns to Netflix in 2022.

Speaking about taking over the role in an interview on Monday’s edition of Woman’s Hour, Imelda explained: “I think my sort of extra challenge, as if I needed it, is that I’m now doing the Queen that we’re a little more familiar with.

“With Claire Foy, [her version of Queen Elizabeth II] was almost history and now I’m playing one that people could say ‘she doesn’t do that,’ ‘she’s not like that’. And that’s my personal bête noire for me to deal with.”

Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton
David M. Benett via Getty Images

Imelda also weighed in on the ongoing row about whether The Crown should be made to include a disclaimer telling viewers the show is only loosely based on real events.

“I think that is up to producers and directors,” she said. “[The Crown] isn’t verbatim; it isn’t taken from diaries. You’ve got to use your imagination, and I’d like to allow the audience a bit of intelligence.

“You can’t know that’s what Margaret and Elizabeth were talking about.”

Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II
Sophie Mutevelian

Production on the fifth series of The Crown is still a long way off getting started, but it’s already been confirmed that Jonathan Pryce and Lesley Manville have been cast as Prince Philip and Princess Margaret, succeeding Tobias Menzies and Helena Bonham-Carter, respectively.

Elizabeth Debicki will take over the role of Princess Diana from Emma Corrin, while it’s been heavily reported that Dominic West will play an older Prince Charles, a role originated by Josh O’Connor.

The first four series of The Crown are now available to stream on Netflix.


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