The Major Issue With Olivia Colman Taking Over From Claire Foy On ‘The Crown’

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For season three of The Crown, Claire Foy gave up her place as HRH to Olivia Colman, who took over the role of Queen Elizabeth II to match the show’s jump in timeline. But despite Colman’s perfect portrayal of the queen, there was one big issue with the transition: her eye colour.

The producers of the hit Netflix drama wanted Colman’s brown eyes to match her predecessor’s – and the queen’s – blue ones but that everything they tried ended disastrously.

Initially, Colman was given contact lenses to wear, however, they completely robbed her of her acting ability. “It was as if we had taken all of her acting ability and put it in a safe and locked it away,” director Ben Caron – who created the first four episodes of season three – told The Guardian, adding that it made Colman look like she was “acting behind a mask”.

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They could’ve turned Colman’s eyes blue in post-production using visual effects, however when they tried it Caron says it took away from her acting. “It didn’t feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing,” he explained.

Despite the eye colour change, there was never any doubt that producers wanted Colman for the job. “We always thought it should be Olivia, right from the beginning. The thing everybody loves about Claire was that she transmits her humanity in a very simple, plain, not-doing-anything kind of a way: you just get it,” casting director, Nina Gold, revealed. “We felt that was exactly the same thing Olivia does. It’s not about looks – it’s about a quality.”

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