Today marks the world premiere of ITV’s new period drama, Victoria, which stars former Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman in the title role as one of Britain’s longest reigning monarchs.
In preparation for the big event, ITV held an official live Q&A session with Jenna on their Facebook page this afternoon where she teased at what viewers can expect from the series while answering a selection of questions from Facebook users. Though the Q&A was relatively brief, we discovered plenty of new information about the show and its production.
Victoria is a true story about an 18 year old girl who becomes the most powerful woman in the world overnight and is forced to deal with new experiences and her sudden sense of duty, with Jenna describing the series as an “incredible story about a 4’11 unbelievably strong willed queen”. Jenna was required to learn a number of new skills for the part, including horse riding, dancing the waltz, speaking French, and playing Beethoven on the piano. The hardest aspect of the role for her to perfect, however, was actually Victoria’s voice, with only one known recording of the former monarch to work from as a point of reference.
The series will see Jenna playing Victoria in many different stages of her life – “a teenager, a young woman, a wife, a mother, and a queen in one show” – though she revealed she most enjoyed filming the scenes between Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, as well as the more grand occasions such as the coronation and the ball scenes. The series will also portray Victoria’s years of pregnancy, for which Jenna got quite attached to her latex bump. “Labour,” however, “was interesting!”
Other questions included what Jenna would do if she were really queen for a day (“everyone would have a day off work!”), what career she would have pursued if she hadn’t become an actress (“photographer or writer”), and whether she finds historical or fictional characters to be more difficult to play (“historical – because there’s more responsibility to tell it in the most accurate light possible”).
Concluding the Q&A, Jenna commented that the things she would miss most about playing Victoria were her “inconsistencies, her tantrums, and her heart”… but definitely not the corsets!
With the show receiving a royal reception for its premiere this evening at London’s Kensington Palace, we expect new details and possibly even an official UK air date to be revealed soon. Victoria is due to begin on ITV this Autumn and will launch on Masterpiece in the United States in January 2017.