Jenna Coleman had a bit of anxiety when she stepped into the role of Queen Victoria for the Masterpiece series “Victoria.”
“The biggest challenge is playing a real historical character,” Coleman says in an interview from England. “Playing a character who is aging very quickly and subtly before our eyes. Also, play a character who is probably one of the most famous people in history. It took me ages of research on her.”
Coleman returns for the third season of the acclaimed series, which airs at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13, on New Mexico PBS.
The series became one of the highest-rated dramas on PBS when it premiered in 2016.
It follows the life of Queen Victoria, who in 1837 was crowned queen when she was a teenager.
Queen Victoria navigates the scandal, corruption and political intrigues of the court and soon rises to become the most powerful woman in the world.
The third season picks up in 1848, and revolution is breaking out across Europe.
In Britain, one woman stands between order and chaos – Queen Victoria. Coleman stars as the young but fearless monarch, facing a crisis that threatens to end her reign.
“(The season) has been really lovely,” Coleman says. “It’s been incredibly hard work, and doing any series is always taxing and long. The beauty of having so much resource material, I feel like she’s a constant companion and come back and revisit. The series creates a real picture of who she was.”
Production takes place in England inside an airplane hangar.
Coleman says the new season also delves into the relationship of Queen Victoria and her husband, Albert.
The couple had nine children from 1840 to 1857.
“This season, you see her and Albert navigating this,” she says. “It seems like she is always pregnant. Each of the children are characters in their own right. We see the couple change as time passes.”
Coleman gets to live Victoria’s life for months at a time, and she is still surprised by the many layers of the monarch.
“She’s got more ownership, and her patience gets shorter,” she says. “I’ve been impressed to see how funny she was in her nature. She’s incredibly straightforward and funny. She seems to have these incredibly intense relationships in her life, and if you could make her laugh, she would be loyal. She also used to write books when she was younger and was very creative.”