After Netflix successfully emerged from The Crown‘s controversy involving Claire Foy and Matt Smith’s paychecks, the streamer probably didn’t want to step in it again. The source of the next potential kerfuffle involved Queen Elizabeth’s eye color. Since Foy’s peepers blazed the same icy blue hue as the monarch, Olivia Colman climbing onboard with brown eyes seemed to be something that folks would get upset about. Maybe? People will fuss about continuity at any given opportunity, so it makes sense that Netflix would want to minimize opportunities for complaint. They set out to “correct” the issue with both contact lenses and CGI, but the streamer decided that all of this work was counterproductive to Colman’s performance, so they’re sticking with her lovely, deep-brown eyes.
That’s right, The Crown is fine with bypassing accuracy on this very important detail because, in the end, the acting is what matters. One can’t blame the series for taking this route because there’s already a high bar to achieve for Colman while replacing Foy (The Favourite Oscar winner has jokingly called this “the worst job in the world” because “everyone loves Claire Foy”). Director Ben Caron explained why contacts and CGI both turned out to be no-gos:
To start with, Colman was fitted with blue contact lenses to match her eyes to Foy’s — something that turned out to be a disastrous move, according to Ben Caron, who directs the first four episodes. It made Colman seem as if “she was acting behind a mask,” he says. “It was as if we had taken all of her acting ability and put it in a safe and locked it away.” They tested turning her eyes blue in post-production, using visual effects. “But it didn’t feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing.”
It’s a royal scandal! Not really. There’s much more that The Crown will have to confront in terms of potential fan criticism. Personally, I’d never want to be following up on Vanessa Kirby’s exquisitely rage-filled performance as Princess Margaret, but Helena Bonham Carter is taking that plunge. Also, there’s brewing conflict about Gillian Anderson joining the cast as Margaret Thatcher, so get ready for that ruckus. We’ll find out how all of that fares when The Crown season 3 streams on November 17.
(Via The Guardian)