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‘The Crown,’ Season 3: Don’t Go Make Her Brown Eyes Blue

Dark-eyed actress Olivia Colman was originally fitted with blue contact lenses for “The Crown” to make her eyes match those of Claire Foy, her predecessor in the role of Queen Elizabeth II, but the show’s makers quickly abandoned the idea because it made Oscar-winner Colman seem as though she were “acting behind a mask,” the Guardian newspaper reported Saturday.

“It was as if we had taken all of her acting ability and put it in a safe and locked it away,” director Ben Caron said. Instead, in a royal continuity break, Colman’s eyes remain their regular color – brown – throughout Seasons 3 and 4 of the series. (The real queen’s eyes are blue, like those of Foy, who played the British monarch in the first two seasons.)

Re-coloring Colman’s eyes in post-production was vetoed as well. “It didn’t feel like her. CGI-ing her eyes seemed to diminish what she was doing,” said Caron, who helmed the first four episodes of Season 3, which drops on Netflix in November.

Guardian journalist Charlotte Higgins spent months behind the scenes of the hit series, whose upcoming new season covers the 1960s and ’70s. Although writer Peter Morgan had expected Season 3 to be about the queen’s warm relationship with Prime Minister Harold Wilson, executive producer Suzanne Mackie told the Guardian that “what he has discovered is that it’s actually about [Prince] Charles, partly because Josh O’Connor, the actor who plays him is so astonishingly good.” O’Connor’s prominent ears no doubt helped.

Caron also said that “The Crown” was not about the merits or otherwise of monarchy, but a drama about human relations. He compared the show to another groundbreaking high-end, multi-season TV series about a powerful but often dysfunctional family.

“I don’t think the mafia is a great thing. Nor do lots of people. But lots of people watch ‘The Sopranos’ because they are fascinated by Tony Soprano and his family relationships, and because the stakes in the story are massive,” Caron told the Guardian.

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