As two accomplished actors – Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman – step into the roles of two iconic political heavyweights, viewers can expect a legendary cinematic face-off.
Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth and Gillian Anderson as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in season 4 of The Crown is a casting coup. When two stars of equal mettle cross swords on screen, fans are bound to get entranced. The casting of Gillian Anderson as the Iron Lady in The Crown Season 4 has the potential to initiate fireworks. This also effectively means that in terms of viewership, Netflix has an ace up its sleeve. But the consequences of the high-potential actor pairing goes beyond the mega Netflix series’ most anticipated season yet.
Titanic on-screen pairings
The debate about who was better in Michael Mann’s Heat – Robert De Niro or Al Pacino – is still unsettled for many fans. The same holds true for Martin Scorsese’s The Departed when viewers found it extremely difficult to pick a side between Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon.
More than the films, it is the face-off between two high-caliber actors that eventually becomes part of the pop culture. Come November, it would be déjà vu when viewers are again subjected to a similar quandary when The Crown season 4 hits Netflix.
When Pacino and De Niro came together for Michael Mann’s Heat, expectations were sky-high. For both the veterans, the film was worth their salt. Again in the same decade when the master of action films John Woo cast Nicolas Cage and John Travolta for Face/Off. It not only earned box office dividends for the producers but viewers too relished those moments when the two superstars were pitted against each other.
Watch: Famous Al Pacino-Robert De Niro Scene from Heat (1995) | robert de niro
The Gillian Anderson-Olivia Colman Contest
Though Anderson is senior in age and experience, she is a powerhouse performer, similar to Colman. Bot have given respectability to the characters they have portrayed till now. The pairing gives viewers enough reasons to await season 4 of The Crown with bated breath. Anderson became a household name after her portrayal of Danna Scully in X-Files. She climbed success with series like Bleak House, Any Human Heart, Sex Education and The Fall. Though her career is confined largely to TV, she also won the British Independent Film Awards for her performance in The House of Mirth and is still remembered for her performance in The Last King of Scotland.
Watch: The Crown Season 4 Release Date and Sneak Peek | Netflix
Colman came a decade later and after doing minuscule roles in British series, came to limelight in a role that was offered to her by David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Though she was part of films like Hot Fuzz and Tyrannosaur, fame eluded her. It was only after she made an appearance in ITV’s Broadchurch that she was noticed. Since then there has been no looking back. The Night Manager and Flowers brought out the best in her and then The Favourite made her a sensation. The Favourite also fetched her an Academy Award.
Gillian Anderson In Margaret Thatcher’s Tough Shoes
The pressure as of now is clearly on Gillian Anderson as the last actress to have portrayed Thatcher on the screen was the legendary Meryl Streep. Meryl had portrayed the prime minister in Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady in 2012 which also fetched her an Oscar. Comparisons will inevitably crop up for Anderson and she will be under a microscope throughout the series. Having portrayed the Queen in season 3 gives Colman an advantage, being already comfortable in the role of Queen from season 3.
In an earlier interview, Anderson had remarked that she has never taken on a role that presented so much pressure. For the same reason, she had rejected the role when it was initially offered to her by Peter Morgan. The actress took her time and mulled over the offer. It was only a week later that she was able to convey that she was ready to step into Thatcher’s shoes. Credit must also be given to Nina Gold whose initial choice was Anderson.
The Hype around Gillian Anderson’s addition to The Crown Season 4
With the amount of hysteria this casting has generated on social media. it’s evident that the world is waiting for these two performers. It is believed that the major highlights of The Crown season 4 include the Queen and Margaret Thatcher’s disagreement. Notably, over the Falklands War (the 10-week undeclared war between the UK and Argentina in 1982) and Britain’s role in South Africa during the apartheid. These two events occupy a prominent position in British history and were the highlight of Thatcher’s era.
Major highlights of the The Crown season 4 include Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher’s disagreements – notably, the Falklands War (1982) and Britain’s role in South Africa during the apartheid.
It must also be noted that both – The Queen and PM Thatcher – had contrasting views on the events. Needless to say, viewers need to brace themselves up for explosive situations. Its apparent, social media during the release of The Crown season 4 will be busy dissecting and discussing which actress had an upper hand. But amid this face-off on screen, it’s certain that viewers will come out victorious. As they are all set for some nuanced and meticulous performance from both Anderson and Colman.
Bonus Watch: The Queen’s favourite (and least favourite) Prime Ministers | The Royal Family Channel
The hype surrounding the Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman also gives an amazing PR push to the series. So, it would hardly be a surprise if the ratings of the upcoming season shoot through the roof. Though Netflix never reveals their viewership figure, rest assured such related news will hog publications in coming days. It’s surprising that despite being senior actors in the industry, they have not worked together in the past. This part can largely be attributed to Anderson as she has been extremely picky about her subjects. It’s a foregone conclusion that The Crown will continue to maintain its winning juggernaut in the fourth season too just by the mere presence of these two actresses.