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The Crown almost used CGI to make Olivia Colman look more like the Queen

Plans to alter her appearance were eventually scrapped

Olivia Colman in Netflix's The Crown
Published: Sunday, 8th September 2019 at 10:40 am

Olivia Colman will be assuming the role of Elizabeth II when The Crown returns to Netflix for its third season – but there'll be one notable difference between the Oscar-winning actress and the real Queen.


While both the Queen and the previous actress to play her, Claire Foy, have blue eyes, Colman's eyes are brown – something that the show's creative team considered fixing using a variety of different techniques.

Colman was originally fitted with blue contact lenses, but director Ben Caron – who helms the first four episodes of the new seasons – told The Guardian that it was as if "she was acting behind a mask".

“It was as if we had taken all of her acting ability and put it in a safe and locked it away,” he said.

The other option that was explored was to use visual effects to turn her eyes blue in post-production. “But it didn’t feel like her," Caron explained. "CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing.”

The Crown series 3 Netflix

As a result, Colman's eyes will remain brown in the finished product, so viewers will just have to make that leap of imagination.

The star previously admitted that she felt "horrendous" replacing Foy on the series. “Everyone loves Claire Foy, so I have got the worst job in the world at the moment," she said. “The first week, I did feel myself trying to do Claire impressions."

The Crown will drop new episodes on Netflix on 17th November.


It was announced yesterday (7th September) that Gillian Anderson will appear in the following fourth season as Margaret Thatcher.


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