Jenna Coleman says it will be “hard” to leave Victoria – but reveals who she wants to replace her

The Victoria star has a few ideas on who she wants to be her heir to Queen Victoria’s throne

Victoria and Albert, Series 3 (ITV)

After debuting in America and heading to Australia, the wait is almost over for Victoria fans in the UK, as the third series is finally back on screens.

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The reason why the drama is so beloved worldwide is in part due to lead actor Jenna Coleman bringing a new, more nuanced side to a character often dismissed as difficult and bad-tempered.

But as each series passes, we see Victoria head further into her 63-year reign – with 32-year-old Coleman acknowledging her time playing the young queen will soon be up.

With the character ageing, the role is expected to be recast with a more age-appropriate actor at the helm, similarly to Netflix epic The Crown.

Jenna Coleman in Victoria
Jenna Coleman in Victoria

It’s something Coleman admits will be difficult to do.

“There’s going to come a point where I have to [to be recast]. The idea I’ll be playing Victoria meeting Abdul is not really possible,” she told RadioTimes.com and other journalists.

“But it’s going to be a hard thing to give over, especially as she gets older. She’s becoming much more like everything that she’s kind of known for – her impatience and straightness and inability to hide how she feels.

“[Recasting] brings a lot of challenges and it’s hard as an actor – when you’ve taken it so far it’s hard to give it up.”

But Coleman has a few names already in mind of who she would like to take her role – and among them is a newly-minted Oscar winner who shares a similar surname.

Imelda Staunton (Getty)
Imelda Staunton (Getty)

“There’s lots of people,” she said. “Emily Watson would be amazing, so would Imelda Staunton. Helena Bonham Carter would be good, but she’s busy right now.

Olivia Colman was so good in The Favourite but she’s busy too.”

Indeed, Oscar-winner Colman is tied into two series of The Crown – playing another monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

For now, the make-up team are working to age-up Coleman, with the actor explaining that the difficulties that plague the monarch in the third series have resulted in a more run-down look for the character.

“This is Victoria in her late 20s, early 30s. She’s not that old at this stage but she does have seven children. She looks potentially older than a 30-year-old today would,” she said.

“Make-up wise, I’m just exhausted. No foundation or base, it’s a lot more stripped back. I just wear concealer. You have days where you look awful, but with her, she’s had seven children and being tired. You can see it but it’s very subtle. Or maybe I’m just getting older.

“There needs to be a progression of it for the next series, [and whether we use] a subtle prosthetics. There’s a lot of conversation.”

Tom Hughes as Prince Albert, Victoria series 3 (ITV)

Not all of the cast of Victoria are so keen for a Crown-style recast, with Tom Hughes saying he wants to play Prince Albert until the character dies aged 42.

“I hope I am able to finish the story because I am close to finishing,” he said.

“I’m trying to map [Albert’s life] out correctly and be as fair as I can. I’ve put on a bit of weight for this series, I’m holding him differently so Albert feels older.

“I’m trying to age him in the right way, doing as much as I can without cheating him. Those things are important.”

Hughes is in his first continuing role in Victoria and said the part always stood out to him as he has enjoyed mapping out the character’s finite lifespan.

“The benefit of knowing this arc of history is that I’m not caught short,” he explained. “There’s not someone coming up to you and saying ‘actually he’s a superhero’. That’s actually a real delight for me, to take my time with it and map it out.”

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However, Victoria’s lead writer Daisy Goodwin has said the show will most likely undergo a recast in the coming seasons – but wants Hughes and Coleman’s partnership to remain on-screen for a little while longer.

“I know where the series is going, it’s all there,” she said. “I think series four is going to be amazing.

“At some point we will have to recast, but hopefully not yet.”

Goodwin added the show could go on “indefinitely” should viewers still have the same appetite for historical dramas.

“It just depends on finding the right people to do it and interest in it,” she said. “I do think it’s really interesting to go back 250 years ago, and although we see people wearing different clothes, they’re not that different. Similarities between now and then are extraordinary.

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“The royal family are brilliant and we’re never short of material.


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