The Stars Of The Crown Thought This Actress Was 'Scary' On Set

The Crown, Netflix's historical drama following the British royal family, has been a massive hit, so much so that it was renewed for a sixth and final season in July 2020, per The New York Times. Season 4 of the series, which hit Netflix in November 2020, captures two major storylines. One integral storyline is Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage followed by the deterioration of their relationship. The fourth season of the hit series also shines a spotlight on the complicated and even frosty relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 

For Season 4, Olivia Colman returned as Elizabeth, while The X-Files' Gillian Anderson took on the role of Thatcher. The outcome was remarkable: two women in positions of power who battled out their differences in the most British way possible — through subtle looks and curt nods. While the entire cast of The Crown did a remarkable job capturing the essence of the royal family an royal adjacent players — drama and all – Colman felt that Anderson took it to the next level and looked so much like Thatcher that it gave Colman the creeps!

Olivia Colman said it was like there was a ghost on set

Olivia Colman, who portrayed Queen Elizabeth II on the third and fourth season of The Crownoften found herself in scenes with Gillian Anderson, who played former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. This was no small task, as Anderson had to replicate Thatcher's unique, almost raspy voice. In fact, in a sit-down with fellow cast member Colman, Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana, shared that Anderson showed up at the read-throughs with headphones in so she could listen to Thatcher's voice. It obviously worked because Anderson nailed the part, so much so that it scared Colman.

In an interview with Elle Canada, Colman said of Anderson's spot-on characterization of Thatcher: "It was quite scary." She added: "So much of our job is done for us by the incredible hair and makeup teams, and wardrobe. We wouldn't be as good without them. They outdid themselves with Margaret. Sitting opposite her, especially when the light was behind her, was a bit scary."

"And Gillian's voice and walk were very funny," Colman went on. "It was very difficult to keep a straight face. It was like having a ghost around." From her appearance to her voice to her presence on camera, it seems safe to say that Anderson did the iconic Iron Lady proud.