Jenna as Queen Victoria
Currently Filming / TBR Next Year
The story of the Queen at the age of 18, when she ascended the throne, through to her romance and marriage to Prince Albert.
Jenna as Katrina Clarka
June 3, 2016
A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she's taking care of.
Jenna as Clara Oswald
Airing on BBC1 / BBC America
I’m Clara Oswald. I’m the Impossible Girl. I was born to save the Doctor.
COLLIDER – What’s it been like to take on Queen Victoria?
I’ve never played anybody real before. It’s always been fiction that you can research through a book or whatever has been adapted, but nothing that’s really happened. There’s so much to access. It’s history and it’s interesting reading from biography to biography because the voices are very different and it can be so subjective. I just read a range. (Show Creator) Daisy [Goodwin ] gave me a bit list of stuff to read, to try to get an idea of her character.
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be in a position like this while being so young? That must have been so crazy!
Daisy was having a conversation with her daughter and turned around and looked at her and thought, “Wow, could you imagine if you became the most powerful woman in the room tomorrow? You’re a teenager!” The thing about Victoria is that she was extremely obstinate and stubborn, by all accounts. Lord Melbourne said, “The Queen only tends to think forwards. Once she’s made up her mind, there is no unearthly power that will make her go ‘round.” It’s that stubbornness and that will that made her who she was. Otherwise, being an 18-year-old in that position, I can’t begin to imagine. She’d never really spent any time by herself or spent a night in a room by herself or had been in a room alone with a man before, and she was becoming the most powerful woman in the world and had to navigate Parliament. When you put it into context, it is an extraordinary story.
Do you think the fact that she didn’t seem to know or care about how she was supposed to behave is what helped people like her?
Yeah, and it’s one of the things I love most about her. None of the way she’s supposed to behave and the uniform of her life has squashed her lust for life, regardless of growing up in the Kensington system. I find that really amazing about her. Also, she’s so unapologetically herself. She’s flawed, in that way, but I think it’s what makes her really human. It’s really interesting to play because she’s so inconsistent. She’s so many things. She can be quite childish and frivolous, at times, and emotional, but other times, she’s like the wisest person in the world, way above her years. She was tempestuous and she was known for violent outbursts when she was younger, but she was incredibly romantic and with a big heart. She was very loyal to her servants. She was such a multitude of things, so trying to play that inconsistency of her character and also be unapologetically flawed yet likeable has been interesting to navigate. It’s all really, really fun to play. I keep watching Judi Dench’s Mrs. Brown. That’s what Daisy said she thinks is the most accurate performance of the Victoria she has studied and read. It’s interesting to think, “Okay, that’s the Victoria in 40 years time. That’s where we’re headed.” That way, you can get the essence, but she’s a lot younger and she’s very vibrant. She’s been through a lot, but you can see where she’s headed to, in a way.
Did it ever get totally overwhelming playing someone like this, especially with all of the emotional ups and downs?
Yeah. I always want more time. You want more time to shoot, but you have to just roll with the punches. You do as much prep as you can, and then you throw it all away, get on set, and see what happens and what the other actors bring ‘cause that changes everything. You get as prepared as you can be, but then you have to be willing to fuck it all up. Peter Capaldi probably taught me that the most. You just want to keep it alive, and hopefully, if you’ve prepped well enough, that’s there. It’s interesting because there’s such growth in this series. We really start at a place where she’s really, really young and really vulnerable and uncertain, and then we really see her grow into Queen and that role of command. You’ll see her fall in love and go through the coronation, and get pregnant and become a mother. The arc of the series is one of huge growth, and of becoming more and more Victoria, as we go on.
What was it like for you to go from fighting aliens to ruling a kingdom? Did it feel equally daunting?
It’s just different ways of working. It’s interesting, working on the voice was something I felt a lot of pressure on, in particular. It’s trying to get the sense of someone who’s younger yet regal, and that doesn’t distance, but is really accessible. I thought Emily Blunt did an amazing job in Young Victoria. There wasn’t really a day on set that wasn’t huge. You’ve got these journals that she’s written in, that tell you how she felt on the day. It just felt like you could shoot it as a feature film, but we were shooting in for TV, and we just wanted to get the detail. There is so much detail and you move through it all so fast. There’s so much wealth in all of the moment and you want to capture that.
What was it like to put on the clothes and the contacts, be on these sets, and have people call you, “Your Majesty”?
Alastair Bruce, who worked on Downton Abbey a lot, comes in and talks about protocol, and he was like, “Look, when you’re in a position like this, you never play the power. It’s just inherent that it’s there. It’s about the way people respond to you, rather than you trying to project a certain status.” I think that, if you have that status, you don’t need to. He was really useful. He said, “It’s the people around you that make you Queen by their reaction to you, but you’ve got nothing to prove.” She’s an inexperienced 18-year-old girl, going through everything that an 18-year-old girl goes through, at the same time that you’re navigating ruling and being the most powerful woman in the world. She was 4’11” and 18 years old, and so openly passionate. It’s fascinating.
Did you ever put yourself in her shoes and wonder if you could have stepped into a role like that, at 18 years old?
Yeah, and the answer is resolutely no. Her mother told her that she had to sign a regency to give up her power until she turned 21, and she just said no. She was about to become the Queen of England and her mother was telling her to do this, and she said no. She was a force of nature, and she remained that way. People just see these images of her, but by all accounts, she loved to laugh. Her humor was so apparent. She was very sociable, she had a love of opera and music, and she used to paint all of the dramatic scenes of the opera. It really captured her imagination.
You were one of the longest running Companions on Doctor Who. What was that experience like for you? Do you feel like it really made you grow, as an actor?
Yeah, it really did. It’s such a different way of working. It’s such a unique show and a unique beast, in itself. Every two weeks, it’s so different, and you’re playing an over-arching character. It’s the relationships with Matt [Smith] and Peter [Capaldi] that made that job everything that it is, and what they taught me, as actors. They’re so uniquely wonderful and really amazing friends. I think I was very lucky to have fallen into the hands of both of them, and we’re really good friends today. (source)
MARIE CLAIRE – There’s a Reason the Chemistry Between Victoria and Albert Is So…
“We’re friends in real life and had been for years. We already had a good working relationship. We both really researched our characters, and both had similar ideas. It’s just easy.”
Victoria and Albert Really Were Bodice-Ripping Levels of In Love
“The love between them was so strong. Things like the scene in the ballroom when he rips his shirt so he can put the flower in. All of that’s real, it actually happened. There are diaries–it’s all there. It was very important to get their passion.”
Yes, There’s a Season Two, and Yes, It’ll Be Even More Passionate
“Going into Season Two next year, they have huge arguments. They were an incredibly tumultuous couple, yet they loved each other fiercely. That’s going to be incredibly fun to play in 2017. But Victoria was incredibly romantic—she loved romance.”
Victoria and Albert’s Wedding Night Is Passionate—and Based on #Facts
“There is an account of their wedding night where Victoria writes how Albert beheld her in kisses, and how it was the most heavenly night she’s ever spent, and how she’s the luckiest woman in the world—that this angel of a man could possibly adore her. She’s really candid. They stay in the same bed together, and in the morning he puts her stockings on. It’s first love and she’s brimming with it.”
All the Costumes Are Genius, But Jenna Coleman Has a Feminist Favorite
“The riding outfit—when she and Albert go running in the forest. It’s navy with a red collar. There’s something quite masculine about it: it’s the same as the men’s uniform, but she has a big skirt. There are so many military jackets out this season, so it’s amazing to see fashion harkening back.”
Behind-the-Scenes of the Show = Wayyyyyy Less Glamorous
“Maneuvering in and out of cars is hilarious, and I’ve often got a backpack on. It’s really cold so you arrive in this beautiful gown, but you have a rucksack on, and a crown, and a coat, and you’re trying to navigate your way. It’s quite hilarious. Definitely less elegant off screen. Often, you’ve got wellies hidden underneath the costume!”
And Finally, Here Are Two Truths and a Lie About Next Season….
“There may be a return of a very popular character. There will be numerous births. And there may also be numerous deaths. Very opaque. Very opaque. Oh, and perhaps the invention of the Christmas tree….”
SEATTLE TIMES – British actress Jenna Coleman tried to attend drama school. She really did. But her intentions were constantly thwarted when people kept hiring her as an actress.
There are worse things, she sighs during an interview in a hotel conference room. “I learned on the job really. I feel I missed something – it’s one of those things: what if I’d taken that road, or what if I’d taken THAT road, what would I know? I’ve never been trained in Shakespeare. Does that mean I can’t do it?
I think the one thing I would’ve liked would be to have that rehearsal space, whereas I’ve done my training, but on camera, which is wonderful and I’ve learned a lot, but in a different way,” says the 30-year-old Blackpool native.
What she learned on camera catapulted her to “Doctor Who,” where she performed 39 episodes of the sci-fi favorite and became friends with two of the Doctors, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.
And while it doesn’t seem probable, that part led to the lead role in “Victoria,” premiering on PBS’ “Masterpiece” on Sunday, Jan. 15 (today). In “Victoria” Coleman interprets England’s long-reigning queen from age 18 to 21 — the defining years as Coleman sees them.
“I did lot of research on Victoria, how creative she was, which I never knew. She had such passion for music and opera and ballet and visuals. She created her own wedding dress, and wrote in her diary, and did watercolor and sketch, and she tried to learn how to sing opera. She had people come around to the house and teach her. She’s so vibrant and unapologetically full of life and never tried to hide it or pull back from it, which I really love about her.
She’s really inconsistent and very flawed, but I love that. I think that’s what’s been quite tricky to play her, being unashamedly flawed. I’m trying to make that likable. It’s really tricky, but it’s who she was, and it’s what makes her so marvelous,” she says.
Series star Jenna Coleman explores the iconic role of Queen Victoria. “It’s shocking to think, she was 18 on the day that she became queen.”
Victoria premieres on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
— PBS (@PBS) 13 dicembre 2016
Jenna explores Queen Victoria‘s upbringing, family life, and “vein of iron.”
Victoria premieres on Sunday, January 15th at 9/8c on MASTERPIECE on PBS.
— Masterpiece PBS (@masterpiecepbs) 3 gennaio 2017