TV Interview: Jenna Coleman on Victoria series 3.
Critically-acclaimed historical drama, Victoria, returns for a third series on ITV with Jenna Coleman reprising her role as the young Queen, alongside Tom Hughes as Prince Albert.
Starting in 1848, the third instalment of the lavish drama depicts a turbulent and uncertain time for both Europe and the monarchy. With revolutions on the continent and the Chartist movement reaching its peak in London, Victoria is under pressure from the government to leave London for her own safety.
Joining the leads, Laurence Fox (Lewis) plays charismatic and wayward Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston, whilst Tony and Olivier Award nominee Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) takes the role of Victoria’s mysterious sister Feodora, who makes an unexpected return into the Queen’s life.
In addition, actor and comedian John Sessions (The Loch) stars as Prime Minister John Russell, whilst Lily Travers (Kingsman) plays the Duchess of Monmouth. Nicholas Audsley (The White Princess), David Burnett (The Mummy) and Sabrina Bartlett (Versailles) also join the cast as new characters.
Jenna Coleman tells us more…
This series sees the arrival of agent provocateur, Lord Palmerston, played by Laurence Fox. Jenna reveals that it is not only Palmerston’s popularity with the people that irks Victoria.
“She hates him. Palmerston was a law unto himself, managed things in a very different way to the queen and perhaps didn’t give her the deference she felt she deserved. There is a battle between them but also one for the people’s affections and Victoria isn’t used to competition in that area. However, Victoria slowly realises they are more similar than she thought and she begins to become rather fond of him. He is always somewhere between being invited over for tea and being thrown out – you never know which side of the fence she is sat on with him.”
Jenna reveals what it’s like to work with so many children.
“It is a form of utterly amazing and completely chaotic mayhem. You just have to call action and see what happens. Kids really do say the funniest things and it is the unpredictability on set which is hilarious, especially when you throw in a few dogs, horses and a couple of politicians. I can’t imagine the palace now not inhabited by hoards of children.”
Surprisingly though this was not Jenna’s biggest challenge filming the new series. She recalls the day she had to swim in her pyjamas…
“In a scene this series, Queen Victoria takes a dip in the water whilst wearing her bathing suit, which is a lot like pyjamas that are made from hemp. It was absolutely freezing and unfortunately we had to film this twice because the weather was so awful. The Queen is meant to be taking a leisurely dip but the waves were making it seem treacherous.
Jenna describes why Queen Victoria is such an exciting and enjoyable role to return to.
“I love her lack of filter, her frankness and honesty. I love the fact that if she likes someone she is incredibly loyal and if she doesn’t, she will let that person know. In terms of playing her, when she is in a bad mood or is tired, she is very reactionary and temperate so she has always been known and written about as having tempers. They used to write about her having a ‘combustible’, which I love. Victoria didn’t have to answer to anybody and so could really get angry within her own house. She would feel mortified after having one of these ‘combustibles’ and would cry and apologise to Albert but she ping pongs through emotions rapidly. As she gets older, she becomes even less controlled so it is fun to age with her.”
Victoria series 3 starts Sunday 24 March at 9pm on ITV