Olivia Colman, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II for two seasons of Netflix’s royal sensation “The Crown,” is still processing the loss and legacy of the British monarch. The queen’s death was announced on Thursday, the same day as the start of the Toronto International Film Festival.
“I wouldn’t know where to begin with that,” she told Variety at the Variety Studio presented by King’s Hawaiian at the Toronto International Film Festival. “She made a promise as a young woman and she absolutely kept it with such dignity. We’re all incredibly impressed by what she did.”
Colman, who touched down in Canada to promote “Empire of Light,” a romantic drama from director Sam Mendes, also praised King Charles III’s first address to the nation. In his speech, he paid tribute to his mother and vowed to serve with “loyalty, respect and love.”
“From a British point of view, he did it so beautifully,” Colman said, in reference to the King’s televised address to the nation. “He did it about love, tolerance and gentleness, and that is what she always wanted and she’s done.”
She continued, “From the outside world looking at Great Britain, at the moment, we’ve got some comedy going on at one side — politics — and something so dignified. I felt proud to be British. I think he’s going to do a good job.”
And though “The Crown” paused filming in the wake of the Queen’s death, Colman is eager to pass the scepter to another legendary British thespian, Imelda Staunton. Did she offer any advice to the “Vera Drake” actor?
“No! Who gives Imelda Staunton advice? She will be incredible,” Colman said with a laugh. “I can’t wait to watch her.”