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Imelda Staunton: I’ll have to get Olivia Colman out of my head to play the Queen

The actress will take over as the monarch in Netflix drama the Crown.

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Imelda Staunton will play the Queen in The Crown (Yui Mok/PA)

Imelda Staunton will play the Queen in The Crown (Yui Mok/PA)

Imelda Staunton will play the Queen in The Crown (Yui Mok/PA)

Imelda Staunton says she will have to get Olivia Colman and Claire Foy out of her head as she takes on the role of playing the Queen.

The actress, 64, will take over from Colman, 46, and her predecessor Foy, 36, in lavish period drama The Crown.

Asked whether she had been preparing for the role, she told The Zoe Ball Breakfast show on BBC Radio 2: “Well of course I have…

“I’m just quietly getting on with research and quietly watching films of her and old footage and that sort of thing.

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Imelda Staunton and husband Jim Carter (Ian West/PA)

Imelda Staunton and husband Jim Carter (Ian West/PA)

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Imelda Staunton and husband Jim Carter (Ian West/PA)

“I just have to bide my time, just sort of let it seep in. (I) Just need to absorb it somehow, but also realise that I’ve watched Claire Foy and I’ve watched Olivia Colman, and then I have to get them out of my head and just move forward.

“I have to take the baton and just do the last leg very fast.”

Staunton also said of the Netflix role: “I’m so looking forward to it and… to trying to make it as good as it has been in the past, and to do it justice and to do the writing by Peter Morgan, and all the crew behind it.

“You’ve got big shoes to fill but I really, really want to do this job well.”

Staunton said she had cut her own hair during lockdown.

“I hope my mum would be proud. My mum was a hairdresser and I’ve never cut my own hair before, and I’ve done it and I’m very proud of myself,” she said, adding: “I won’t go anywhere.”

She has not taken scissors to husband Jim Carter’s locks.

“He’s looking fabulous because he’s let his hair grow and a beard. He sort of looks like Robinson Crusoe crossed with I don’t know who, but he’s looking pretty damn good,” the actress said of the Downton Abbey star.

PA