This BBC mini-series tells the story of Elizabeth I (Anne Marie Duff) from the age of twenty to her death at seventy in 1603. The BBC press release claims that: ‘this regal portrait will be seeped in historical accuracy – passionate, emotional and full of the politics and social mores of the time’. This is one of two competing UK mini-series on Elizabeth: the other focusing on the old queen’s relationship with the earl of Essex features Helen Mirren.
I wanted to be a woman of her various ages and have integrity within it, not be doing an impression of something … I knew that with the makeup and costume I would look good – the prosthetics not only looked amazing but they gave my face restrictions that it wouldn’t normally have – and we worked on obvious things like vocal differences and the physicality … What I wanted to do was to try and find an old brittle bones approach … I hope I’ve achieved that. I kept thinking in my head, ‘Why on earth have they cast one actress, not two?’ but I just went for it and I hope that it works.
Neill Gorton was responsible for the prosthetic makeup; Lauge Voigt – Lauge also sculpted the old Elizabeth’s stomach and breasts for her dressing-room confrontation with Essex – and Vicky Bancroft did the on-set application. Karen Hartley-Thomas was makeup designer; Laura [Loz] Schiavo was makeup artist; Maureen McGill & Anna Morena were hair stylist/makeup artists. FangsFX provided the prosthetic dentures.