Everything Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter Have Said About The Crown Season 3
"She was pretty scary," the actress recalled. "At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, 'You are getting better, aren't you?' " (She "presumes" Princess Margaret’s comment referred to her acting.)
Olivia Colman is taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth — which means not just filling the shoes of the world’s longest-reigning monarch, but also Claire Foy, who won an Emmy for her portrayal of the Queen in the first two seasons.
"It’s horrendous," Colman told EW. "Everyone loves Claire Foy, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment. You’re saying all the worst things, thanks!"
Bonham Carter said she contacted Princess Margaret through a psychic medium to get her blessing for the role.
"She said, apparently, she was glad it was me," Bonham Carter said at the Cheltenham literature festival, according to The Guardian. "My main thing when you play someone who is real, you kind of want their blessing because you have a responsibility."
"So I asked her: 'Are you okay with me playing you?' and she said: 'You're better than the other actress'…that they were thinking of. They will not admit who it was. It was me and somebody else,” the star continued. "That made me think maybe she is here, because that is a classic Margaret thing to say. She was really good at complimenting you and putting you down at the same time."
Princess Margaret did have some advice for playing her, according to Bonham Carter.
"Then she said: 'But you’re going to have to brush up and be more groomed and neater.' Then she said: 'Get the smoking right. I smoked in a very particular way. Remember that — this is a big note — the cigarette holder was as much a weapon for expression as it was for smoking.' "
Colman says she was "incredibly uncool" about accepting the role of Queen Elizabeth.
"The producers went, 'So…' [I said,] 'Yes! Yes! I'm really excited! Thank you very much!' I loved the first two seasons," she explained.
Colman met Prince William at a recent Buckingham Palace reception and asked if he watched the show — in a chat she jokingly admitted “didn’t go very well."
“He asked what I was doing at the moment before he quickly added, ‘Actually, I know what you’re doing,’ ” Colman revealed on The Graham Norton Show.
“I was so excited and asked, ‘Have you watched it?’ ” she continued. “His answer was a firm, ‘No.’ But he was very charming and very lovely."
Off-screen, 53-year-old Bonham Carter is dating 32-year-old writer Rye Dag Holmboe — mirroring Princess Margaret’s relationship age gap with Roddy Llewellyn, a gardener-turned-unsuccessful pop star 17 years her junior.
"It’s strange, though," Bonham Carter said. "It was odd timing that I seem to have a similar age gap as her, but I think it would have happened whether I was playing her or not."
Colman said she "did nothing" to prep for her royal role.
"Though I did have a movement coach," she said. "But still I walked like me, or rather like a farmer!"
The on-screen sisters shared the secret to perfecting the royal wave in an interview with emmy magazine.
"We call it ‘lightbulb,’ ” Bonham Carter said. "It’s like polishing a very non-round lightbulb."
“Actually, I think a lot of it is done so it looks right in a still photograph,” Colman added while doing the motion. “They have to put on a persona at all times.”
While the 93-year-old monarch is known for staying steadfast, Colman admitted to letting loose on set — including sending her husband a photo of a prop postage stamp featuring her visage as the Queen.
“That was just… cool,” she recalled to emmy magazine. “I got really overexcited. I thought, ‘Quick! Send a picture to my husband.’ All the stuff that I’m probably not allowed to have done, I totally did it.”