Olivia Colman may have just taken the throne on Netflix’s The Crown, but actress Imelda Staunton is reportedly set to take her place in Seasons 5 and 6. After reports surfaced this week that Staunton was in talks to take on the role in the popular streaming series, which documents Queen Elizabeth’s reign throughout the decades and changes lead actresses every two seasons, many have been left wondering who exactly Staunton is.
With a career spanning decades and encompassing both the stage and screen, Staunton is a well-known face of British entertainment and has a number of accolades to prove it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, she received her first of five Olivier awards, or the British equivalent of the Tony awards, in 1985. She also has nine nominations under her belt. In 2004, she on a BAFTA award and received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Mike Leigh’s film Vera Drake. She also received an Emmy nomination for The Girl in 2012.
Staunton gained worldwide fame for her portrayal of Dolores Umbridge 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Her other credits include Maleficent, The Awakening, Psychoville, and dozens more. Moret recently, she appeared with her husband Jim Carter in Downton Abbey as Maud Bagshaw.
According to numerous outlets and as first reported by the Daily Mail, Staunton is in talks to take over the role of the Queen from her mid-60s on and was reportedly approached by producers and casting directors. Staunton would take over the role from Colman, who likewise took over the role from Claire Foy.
Prior to even beginning filming on the series, Netflix had revealed that, given the fact each season is set to cover a different period of time in the Queen’s reign, new actors would be hired to take over the lead roles, such as those of the Queen, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles.
At this time, Netflix has not confirmed the casting, a spokesperson telling The Hollywood Reporter in a statement that “we are currently filming season 4 of The Crown but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation.”
Along with Staunton’s possible casting, it has also been reported that The Crown’s creator, Peter Morgan, and his team are currently researching storylines to fill the seasons, including the Queen’s “annus horribilis,” Princess Diana’s death, as well as the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, Nelson Mandela’s visit to London in 1996, and he Queen’s historic visit to Russia in 1994.