Could Helen Mirren play the Queen again? Here’s how it might happen with ‘The Crown’

By Sarah Walker

The third season of The Crown hasn’t even premiered yet and there’s already discussion about whether Helen Mirren would be up for playing the Queen down the road.

Screenwriter Peter Morgan hasn’t contacted the actress, but he said she’s a fan of the program (like all of us!) so may consider the role.

“She loves the show,” he told Entertainment Weekly in their September issue. “She thought there was nothing left to say, and I think she’s really surprised.”

Of course, Helen has extensive experience playing both British queens named Elizabeth, so she would be pretty perfect for the role. Prior to his writing on The Crown, Peter was known for his West End and Broadway play The Audience, in which Helen played Her Majesty.

Helen with a wax figure of the Queen at Madame Tussauds in London. Photo: © Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

She also starred as Elizabeth II in 2007’s The Queen, and earned an Oscar for her performance in the film. She also won an Emmy Award and Golden Globe award for portraying Elizabeth I in the 2005 miniseries Elizabeth. We wouldn’t be surprised if she and Peter end up meeting to discuss her joining the show for Season 5!

It’s expected that after the third and fourth seasons of the program, the actors who are set to play the Royal Family will be recast. That’s just happened with seasons 3 and 4.

Claire Foy, who is being replaced by Olivia Colman as the Queen, explained the rationale to regularly reinvent the cast to Vulture.

“Well, after two seasons, that’s it. I’m gone. They’re getting rid of all of us,” she told the publication. “I don’t how they’re planning on doing it, but they’re such an incredible bunch of directors and producers that it’s gonna be different and exciting. It’ll be original. I can’t wait to see where it goes. I’m so honoured to have been involved at this stage."

Claire earned a Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Writers Guild Award for her portrayal of the Queen in The Crown. Photo: © Netflix

But the actress admitted the move madesense given the forward leap in time that will happen in seasons 3 and 4.

“That’s not a shock; we always knew when we signed up to it. Also, not to be funny, but it’s a real plus,” she joked at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival.

“As an actor there’s nothing worse than the sound of ‘seven years’. I’m sure to some people it sounds amazing but to us it’s like, seven years of playing the same person? And this is a tough job, you know? It’s long, a good nine-monther. And that’s a lot of your life that you sign over to it.”

Excitement for the third and fourth seasons of the acclaimed drama is building ahead of the premiere on Nov. 17.

Season 3 picks up in 1964 and runs through 1977, and it features an all new cast. In addition to Olivia playing the Queen, Tobias Menzies (Outlander, Rome) joins as Prince Philip, Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret, Josh O'Connor will play Prince Charles, Marion Bailey will be the Queen Mother and Ben Daniels will be Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon.

MORE: See new photos of Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies in their roles from The Crown

The new season also sees some new roles, with Emerald Fennell stepping in as Camilla Parker Bowles, Erin Doherty starring as Princess Anne and Jason Watkins as late former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Season 4 will begin production later this year, and will feature newcomer Emma Corrin as Princess Diana and is also rumoured to see Gillian Anderson as late former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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