The Favourite, the new Irish-produced film from The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos, which stars Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, is to receive its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
The period drama is the third collaboration between Greek director Lanthimos and Irish company Element Pictures, and follows their success with The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lanthimos, Colman and Weisz previously worked together on The Lobster.
Set in the early 18th Century, The Favourite promises much in the way of political and personal intrigue involving Britain’s Queen Anne (Colman), the Duchess of Marlborough (Weisz) and her servant, Abigail Hill (Stone).
Sensing an opportunity to move back up the social ladder, Abigail becomes the Queen’s new companion and, we are told, “she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way”.
The Favourite will screen in competition at the Venice International Film Festival, which runs from August 29 to September 8.
It will be released worldwide by film studio Fox Searchlight, opening in US cinemas on November 23 – a key month in awards season – and in Ireland on January 1.
One of the film’s Irish producers, Element Pictures’ Ed Guiney, described Venice as “the ideal world premiere for Yorgos’ bold and audacious foray into period filmmaking”.
“We hope audiences will embrace this unique and entertaining film and we are delighted to be working with Fox Searchlight on its international release,” he added.
God save Olivia Colman: Netflix has released a first look image of the new star of The Crown in character as Elizabeth II.
The Broadchurch and Peep Show star may not be doing much in the new photo – she’s simply sipping tea with her toast and marmalade – but this sneak peek means that filming has finally begun on the third season of the royal drama, due later this year.
So, what can we expect from Colman’s reign? The actor – who replaces Claire Foy – will play the monarch from 1964, with her first season likely to explore the queen’s unusually steady relationship with Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Plus, we’re likely to see the decolonisation of Africa and the Caribbean, the birth of Prince Edward (March 1964) and a larger role for Prince Charles following his investiture in 1969.
And if you’re not already excited enough, here’s a reminder that the season three cast also includes Outlander star Tobias Menzies as Prince Phillip, Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Jason Watkins as Harold Macmillan.
The Crown season three is set to arrive on Netflix UK in 2019
The Crown is set to be very different when it returns to Netflix for its third season. That’s because the action has moved on and it’s all change in the cast – with Olivia Colman taking over where Claire Foy left off as Elizabeth II’s reign moves on. But just when do we get to see it all and what can we expect? Here’s what we know so far…
What will happen in The Crown season three?
While the first two seasons of the show covered Queen Elizabeth II’s life from 1947-1963 including the early years of her reign, the third and fourth series will bring the action into more modern times as it covers the time period from 1964-1976.
And series three is set to go up as far as 1970 – meaning it will cover some major events in the Queen’s reign from Prince Charles moving more into the public eye, through to her relationship with then Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Filming is due to begin on the series this month.
Who is new to the cast?
Olivia Colman has joined as the older incarnation of the Queen – and previously confessed nerves at taking over from Claire Foy, who played the role in the first two series.
She told The Sun: ‘I’m really nervous to take over something that’s been so great – it’s scary.
‘They’re giving me a great voice coach who will make sure I speak like the Queen. So I’ll just learn the lines and try to copy exactly what they do.’
Olivia will be joined by actor Tobias Menzies – aka Game Of Thrones’ Edmure Tully – who will take over from Matt Smith as Prince Philip.
News of his casting was revealed by Netflix back in March, with Tobias adding he had ‘never been more happy my entire life’ to be playing the role.
Other cast newcomers will include Helena Bonham Carter, who is playing Princess Margaret, and Jason Watkins, who’ll be appearing as Prime Minister Harold Wilson – while Call The Midwife’s Erin Doherty will play Princess Anne.
Helena reacted to the news via a photo of herself and actress Vanessa Kirby – who played Margaret in previous series – saying she was ‘honoured’ to be stepping into her shoes.
Will Princess Diana feature in this series?
Diana won’t be a feature of the next series, as it’s still set several years before she joined the royals, but she will feature in later seasons as the action moves forward into the 80s and 90s.
‘Diana’s not in this season,’ casting director Nina Gold explained, ‘but when we do get to her it’s going to be pretty interesting.’
Camilla Parker Bowles, however, will feature in the next series – although casting has yet to be revealed on that front.
When is the series released on Netflix?
There’s no confirmed release date for it yet, but as filming is only due to begin this month it could be a while before we get to see it – maybe even 2019.
You’ll just have to hang in there, Crown fans…
It is common knowledge by now that Olivia Colman is set to replace Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown‘s third season, which will once again chronicle a new decade of her reign. However, that apparently isn’t the only royal ruler Colman will be portraying in the near future. And her latest role definitely offers a unique perspective on life in the monarchy. The trailer for Fox Searchlight’s newest projectThe Favourite, finds Colman working alongside the likes of Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in a zany (and comically absurd) look at British history.
Colman stars as Queen Anne, loosely based on the real Queen Anne, who suffered from ill health for a great portion of her 18th century reign. That’s probably why the trailer shows Anne lean so heavily on her good friend, Lady Sarah (Weisz) for council during the stressful political climate (England was at war with France at that time). The video doesn’t offer a ton of details about the overall plot, however, based on the brief snippets from various scenes, it’s clear that life in the palace is utter chaos. Whether the Queen is preparing for yet another duck race or the new servant, Abigail (Stone), is being propositioned to be “stripped and whipped” by a courtier, The Favourite offers a new, never-before-seen take on past royals, while blatantly reveling in its own absurdity.
As you can see, this is a far cry from the character Colman will portray on The Crownas Queen Elizabeth. The Netflix series prides itself on its accuracy and staying fairly consistent to real life events that took place throughout the Queen’s reign (The Great Smog, Princess Margaret’s relationship with Peter Townsend, etc.). Of course, some parts were most likely fictionalized for the sake of dramatic storytelling (like Prince Philip’s resistance to kneel during the Queen’s coronation), but the series definitely strives for accuracy whenever it can. The Favourite, however, is taking a somewhat different approach to things and it’s impossible not to enjoy the madness of it all.
Perhaps with a different cast, the film wouldn’t able to pull of such a wacky approach to royal life. But Colman, Weisz, and Stone all prove to be comedic gold in the trailer. Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, and Mark Gatiss are also part of the impressive ensemble, though they might be difficult to spot in the trailer, since the majority of the time is rightly given to the three leading ladies. The project is also directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, best known for his work behind The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
The costumes and witty dialogue are guaranteed to pique your interest right off the bat, and make you eager to see how this completely bonkers plot will inevitably play out. Unfortunately, there’s still a bit of a wait until this film hits select theaters. As of now, The Favourite is scheduled to come out on Nov. 23 of this year, which means there’s well over four months of waiting left until that joyful day occurs. So, for the time being, you’ll to have to be satisfied with watching the trailer on repeat. (It’s definitely worth a second or even third look.)
Weisz’s Sarah says it best at the end of the clip: “Sometimes a lady likes to have some fun.” That’s definitely what this film aims to do and so much more. Social Studies may have been a total snooze fest for you back in school, but The Favouriteis looking to redefine how you think about history. And based on the trailer alone, it could succeed in doing just that. Is it November yet?
British stars have been recognised by Hollywood’s social elite in a new push to make the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences more diverse.
A record 928 members have been invited to join the Academy – which votes on the nominees and the winners of the Oscars each year – which is a significant increase on the 774 new members asked in 2017.
Among the names is a number of homegrown filmmakers, including JK Rowling, who only wrote her first screenplay, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in 2016. Olivia Colman, who has received BAFTA recognition but never Oscar; Brotherhood actor Noel Clarke; stage and screen actors Celia Imrie, Ben Whishaw, Toby Jones and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke have also been invited. Daniel Kaluuya, who earned a Best Actor nomination for his performance in the Oscar-winning Get Out earlier this year, is on the list, too.
Academy officials hope that the new membership will improve the Academy’s much-criticised lack of diversity, which has repeatedly resulted in #OscarsSoWhite controversies during ceremonies in recent years, due to the lack of recognition of women or people of colour by the awards.
The new membership has meant that 38 per cent of the Academy’s new class is comprised by people of colour – boosting the proportion within the Academy as a whole to 16 per cent (up on 13 per cent in 2017). Women, meanwhile, make up 49 per cent of the new intake, raising the percentage of women in the Academy to 31 per cent.
Notable new US members include writers and actresses Mindy Kaling, Rashida Jones and Tiffany Haddish.
Membership to the Academy is notoriously strict – applicants are not welcome, instead potential members must be “sponsored” by two existing members to be considered. If, like Kaluuya, you have received an Oscar nomination, then you can be considered without sponsorship.
However, even then, members must meet certain requirements: directors, for instance, must have two directing credits within the past decade and actors must have racked up at least three theatrical credits in films that “are of a calibre that reflect the high standards of the Academy”.
She plays Hildegarde Schmidt, handmaiden to Judi Dench’s character Princess Dragomiroff, and it sounds like she couldn’t have had a better experience on set.
“It was heaven,” she said, speaking on The Andrew Marr Show. “I sat next to Judi Dench all day, holding a dog. It was heaven!”
The Broadchurch actress was recently announced to be taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Clare Foy in Netflix drama The Crown.
And Colman revealed all about just how excited she was to hear the news about her casting.
“I was on speaker phone in the car with my husband and we’d recently finished watching The Crown,” she said. “And my agent said, ‘Would you go and meet, as a secret, about a tiara?’
“She was trying to be subtle and I went ‘The Crown?! The Crown?! Oh my god yes!’ And my husband was silently clapping in the background.
“So we were quite excited – I was very excited!”
She and Murder on the Orient Express co-star Michelle Pfeiffer also spoke about the recent allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein, with Colman pointing out that “women in their 20’s are purposefully targeted”.
Pfeiffer added: “I’ve had some experiences. I have to say since this has all come out, there really hasn’t been one woman that I’ve talked to who hasn’t had an experience.
“And it just goes to show you how systemic the problem is.”
Charting the life and times of the Windsor dynasty, The Crown season three will tackle a time jump for the biographical drama, and include a whole new cast.
Speaking to Radio Times, Colman revealed that she was nervous to take over from Foy to play the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
“She was just very supportive,” confirmed Colman. “She said I’ll have a lovely time, everyone on it is amazing; the voice coaching is impeccable… I’m just full of fear because you don’t want to be the one who screws it up.”
But it sounds like Foy is more than happy to leave behind some handy hints, as Colman added: “She’s lovely, and she said I can call her anytime.”
Foy has already passed her judgement on the casting, and thankfully, Colman’s fear seems to be equally outweighed by her excitement to take on the iconic role of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I have remained ridiculously excited since. I’m trying to be cool,” the Broadchurch and Murder on the Orient Express star said.
“My agent was trying to be subtle, not knowing who was in the car with me, and she went, ‘It’s something about a tiara’, and I went ‘Oh, it’s The Crown!'”
Foy will leave after season 2, leaving Colman as an older version of the Queen in season 3 and 4 of the The Crown.
With six seasons expected from Peter Morgan’s historical heart-warmer, it’s expected that Colman will portray Elizabeth II in the middle of her life.
But with season 2 of The Crown still yet to hit the streaming giant, fans of the show will have to wait until 2019 before they can see Colman pick up the sceptre.
The Crown returns for its second season on Netflix on Friday, December 8.
Olivia Colman says Claire Foy will be an “incredibly hard act to follow” on The Crown.
The star of Broadchurch and The Night Manager takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from Foy, who portrays her in the early years of her reign.
She said: “I’m so thrilled to be part of The Crown. I was utterly gripped watching it.”
Colman will be in series three and four of the show and is due to be seen in the role from 2019.
She paid tribute to her predecessor, saying: “I think Claire Foy is an absolute genius – she’s an incredibly hard act to follow.
“I’m basically going to re-watch every episode and copy her.”
Foy was equally complimentary, saying she was “apoplectic with joy” when she found out Colman was being lined up for the show.
“I just love her, I admire her so much and the idea that we sort of will be doing the same job but not actually working together is just enough – I’m honoured by that,” she said.
It is yet to be revealed who will play Prince Philip. Former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith is currently starring as the Duke of Edinburgh.
He and Foy will soon be seen in the second series of the show, due for release in December.
Foy, who has won a Golden Globe for the part, has previously said she was aware she would only be in two series.
“This is the last stint,” she told The Graham Norton Show. “It’s over, I’m done.
“I always knew it was only going to be two series and then the part would be reincarnated and someone else takes over. That’s the nature of the part.”
Colman, who won a Golden Globe for The Night Manager and has also appeared in BBC Three’s Fleabag, will play the Queen in the years from 1963, when the monarch turned 37.
Another actress is expected to take over to play the monarch in later life.
Fans were excited by her casting, with one saying it was “amazing news”.
Colman has form starring as royalty. She played the future Queen Mother in 2012’s Hyde Park on Hudson and will be seen as Queen Anne in next year’s The Favourite.
Netflix’s drama started in 1947 with Elizabeth’s engagement to Prince Philip and is expected to continue up to the present day.
Olivia Colman and I are drinking tea in the sitting room of her double-fronted south London home, talking about school runs. Only problem is, I’m distracted. Because on the floor, just inches from my feet, is a pile of scripts. “Second series of Broadchurch,” she explains, with that open, lovable, gummy smile. “I’m so frightened that someone will get hold of them that I burn a few pages every time we light a fire.”
Brilliant, devastating Broadchurch. More than nine million of us were on the edge of our sofas last winter as we watched the terrible truth about who killed 11-year-old Danny Latimer unfold. In the end, the fact that Broadchurch did not disappoint was largely down to the Bafta-winning brilliance of Colman’s performance as DS Ellie Miller. Who can honestly say that they didn’t feel her heart breaking when her boss, DI Hardy (David Tennant), told her the news that it was her husband Joe whodunnit?
And now Broadchurch is back for a second series. But whether it can be improved upon, or what on earth can happen in a tiny Dorset town where most of the inhabitants are now devastated, dead or under arrest, remains to be seen. For there is a danger here — and it is a real danger, let’s face it — that Broadchurch will turn into a seaside version of Midsomer Murders and that the ultimate victim will be its own integrity.
“Well, yes, I must say my initial instinct was to leave it well alone,” admits Colman. “I thought it was perfect as it was, and that it would be a travesty to touch it. But then Chris [Chibnall, the show’s writer and creator] talked us through his ideas for the second series and we all went, ‘Oh, OK… cool.'” Beyond this, Colman cannot — and will not — be drawn. ‘All I will say is that it doesn’t disappoint,” she says quietly, in her distinctive, treacle tone. Colman — “Collie” to friends — looks much younger than her 40 years, padding around her house in leggings and socks, her hair still wet from the shower. She talks constantly, with a rat-a-tat sweetness, as she makes endless cups of tea. And although she’s the very same soulful eyes and heartfelt smiles you see on television, somehow in person she’s smaller, despite insisting “by the time I finished filming Broadchurch last week, I was mainly eating cake.” But her (absolutely false) lament that she is overweight suits her love of jokes and self-deprecation. “You just can’t tell my size because I’m wearing black,” she says. “But I honestly almost cancelled this shoot because I couldn’t bear the thought of being the fattest person in Vogue.”
Whether she’s playing a battered wife (Tyrannosaur) or a vicar’s wife (Rev), the sister of a reluctant salsa dancer (Cuban Fury) or the mother of a murdered child (Accused), Colman draws us in, time and time again, with the sheer force of her humanity. Her extraordinary empathy — “like a watch with the mechanism visible” according to her Rev co-star Tom Hollander – has seen Colman rise from comic sidekick to tragic heroine in the space of a decade. “Olivia absolutely embodies all of our contradictions,” says Chibnall, who wrote Broadchurch’s Ellie with her in mind. “She’s not afraid to cry but she’s also incredibly tough. She’s funny, but she’s able to go into the deepest, darkest emotional territory. She inhabits a character from the inside out and, most of all, she understands what it is like to be alive – how ridiculous it is, how heartbreaking it is and how wonderful it is.”
There’s nothing saccharine about Colman. Her wide-set, brown eyes might well up with the tears at the slightest thing (“I have no armour, I’m afraid”), but they also flash with an intelligent feistiness which is, arguably, the true secret of her success. If a subject that comes up doesn’t sit well with her, she pounces on it like a cat. “Why the fuck should I care?” she blazes, when I ask if she was upset when Gracepoint, the American remake of Broadchurch, was cast with Breaking Bad’s Anna Gunn playing the role of Ellie Miller opposite David Tennant. “It’s not my part. I don’t own it.”
The phrase “national treasure” might make her nose wrinkle with embarrassment, but it does go some way to describing the way that Colman is adored, Judi Dench style, by audiences and contemporaries. “I feel a little bit like I’m not ready to have that very nice title on my shoulders just yet,” she says quietly. “I know it comes from a warm and loving place, but I wonder if it means that I’m at the end of my career, and I feel like I’m only just getting going.” She catches herself “Well, at least, I hope I am, anyway.” Colman’s very British modesty has its roots in a loving, middle-class Norfolk upbringing. Her chartered surveyor father and nurse mother worked hard to send her to Gresham’s School (alma mater of Benjamin Britten and WH Auden), where she didn’t make any particular impression until, aged 16, she took on the title role in a production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and “suddenly felt really at home”.
But Colman came from a sensible world, where people didn’t do things like pretend to be someone else for a living. After leaving school she enrolled on a teaching course at Homerton College, Cambridge to buy herself some time. “I didn’t know what else to do and I still couldn’t quite let myself want to act,” she remembers. An early audition for Footlights (where she met her future co-stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb) set her on the right path. “I suddenly found all these people who were a bit weird and a bit shy like me; people who found being someone else easier, somehow, than being themselves.” Soon afterwards she met and fell in love with her future husband, Ed Sinclair, a law student who also harboured dreams of an acting career, and the deal was done. “We skipped of together into this nice, not-at-all-sensible world, where you were allowed to play forever.”
Once Colman settled on what she wanted to do, the force of her ambition burned brightly. She followed Sinclair (now a novelist) to Bristol Old Vic drama school but success did not immediately follow her 1999 graduation. The 25-year-old did a typing course and worked as a temp (“quite a jolly secretary, but not a very good one”) and even took work as a cleaning lady. At no point, however, did she consider giving up. “I couldn’t and wouldn’t do anything else,” she shrugs, almost apologetically. “Being able to put ‘Actor’ on my passport was all I wanted in the world.” Her parents were bemused but supportive; when her mother suggested she give it a year, Colman replied, with that honeyed steel of hers, that she thought she would actually give it 10.
Her scene-stealing performances in The Mitchell and Webb Situation sketch show in 2001 led to bit parts in comedies such as The Office and Black Books and a larger part, as a frazzled mother-of-four in the hit 2005 Channel 4 sitcom Green Wing. Bigger roles followed (Hot Fuzz, Peep Show), but it wasn’t until actor Paddy Considine cast her as abused wife Hannah in his harrowingly brilliant 2011 directorial debut Tyrannosaur that Colman’s star truly ascended.
Colman’s instincts are spot on; like an arrow to the emotional heart of something, she needs only to read the first few pages of a script to know whether it is for her. “It’s hard to explain,” she says, “but I can just feel whether I can do it or not.” Which is not to say that she doesn’t have a game plan. “I have a sneaking suspicion that audiences have seen me crying a little bit too often in the past couple of years,” Colman admits. “And if people get really fed up with me, then I won’t get more work. And if I can’t do what I love, then I will shrivel up and die.” So she is returning to comedy for the foreseeable future. Although stopping those tears may be easier said than done. “If something touches me, I cry. That’s it. I’m a bit raw, a bit rubbish really,” she explains. “Often a director will say to me, ‘I don’t think this is a scene where your character cries.’ And all I can say is, good luck with that!” In life, it is the same. “It was slightly embarrassing at a parents’ meeting the other day when a teacher was nice about my boy and I started to well up.” However, the thought of people turning on their televisions and seeing her, midflow, makes Colman giggle helplessly, ‘Oh look,”‘ she acts out. ‘Here we go; she’s crying again.'”
Fame, for Colman, has taken a bit of getting used to — “I do find it weird when people I don’t know are looking at me” — but her private life provides the perfect refuge. “As long as I have Ed and the boys, everything is all right,” she says of her husband of 13 years and their two young sons (eight and six), whom she asks, politely but firmly, not to have named. Their home is a happy, light-filled place, decorated beautifully in neutral colours. There are scooters in the newly converted, glass-fronted kitchen and a tree house, built from scratch by Ed, at the bottom of the garden. They don’t go out an awful lot. At the party after last year’s Baftas — at which Colman won the Best Actress Award for Broadchurch and the Best Supporting Actress Award for Accused (and, naturally, cried throughout her acceptance speeches) — she turned to Ed and suggested they sneak home. “We were in our socks, drinking tea by 10 o’clock.”
Every work move is made with her family firmly at the front of Colman’s mind. “I don’t like being away from them. It’s as simple as that.” It is not for this reason, though, that her work has been largely restricted to Britain. “If a script was good, I’d go anywhere for it. Truth is, I’ve never been offered a job in America.” But something makes me suspect that Colman — who will next be seen starring alongside Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C Reilly in a “bonkers” futuristic sci-fi film called The Lobster (filmed in Dublin rather than Hollywood) — knows as well as anyone that international acclaim is well within her reach.
In the mean time, a new series of Broadchurch will no doubt secure Colman’s place in British hearts. And when she gets on that plane to Hollywood — as she’s sure to any day now — and leaves us feeling bereft, it will certainly be with “Actor” on her passport.
In an era of scant good news, we got some last week: Olivia Colman will play Queen Elizabeth II on the next two seasons of The Crown, taking over from Claire Foy after the upcoming second series. Fans were worried about who would fill the role, but Colman, of Broadchurch and The Night Manager, is BBC’s perfect choice to play the Queen during her middle years.
Let us tell you why: Firstly, she’s used to playing royalty. She played the future Queen Mother in Hyde Park on Hudson with Bill Murray, and Queen Anne in The Favourite, set for release next year. If anyone can pull off extreme regality, it’s Colman.
On top of that, the actress can make nearly anything interesting, and the time period covered by The Crown in seasons three and four, which Colman is now signed up for, are potentially the dullest, so her presence will be somewhat of a godsend. We’ll see her as Elizabeth in the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, during which the most exciting event was probably one assassination attempt. (In the ’90s, we’ll get Elizabeth and—gasp—Diana!) Colman is pleasant and sunny in interviews but can make any part unmissable (see the anguish of her character in Broadchurch, her icy bitchiness in Fleabag, or the humor in W1A and Peep Show).
Lastly, Colman does beleaguered, long-suffering wife like a champ, turning what could be simpering roles into simmering ones. Her role in Broadchurch had her dealing not only with a cheating husband but one who was also a serial killer; on Peep Show she expertly played Sophie, who tolerates main character Mark’s quirks as stoically as anyone could. Hence, she’s perfectly suited to deal with the philandering Prince Philip (though we don’t know who will replace Doctor Who’s Matt Smith yet).
Colman’s predecessor is just as happy as we are, if you need more convincing. Claire Foy told Variety, “I just think she’s extraordinary. She’s an extraordinary human being as well. I just think that she will make it her own. And I just can’t wait to see what she does with it.”