A quick chat with Samantha Bond

Samantha Bond, one of five actresses portraying the Queen in a special docu-drama on Channel 4 on Sunday, talks to TV Times about her role…

Was it fun to play Her Majesty? Any highlights?

“There’s a very sweet scene where the Queen says, ‘Every light bulb, every laundry bill’. How would MPs like it if they had to show receipts for everything they spend?”

Yours is the second film of the five. What do you think people will get out of the drama?

“I’m 47 and I think for anyone younger than 50, the first few films are going to be a revelation, like watching an absolutely brilliant modern history lesson. When I was little and there wasn’t any electricity, it was quite exciting. What I was completely unaware of was the impact it must have had on my parents.”

What is so fascinating about Her Majesty?

“You can put a camera in her office, but we don’t know what happens when that camera isn’t there. Does she toss her shoes off and curl up on the sofa? Well, apparently she does! You find yourself trying to find similarities. Obviously you think, ‘Don’t be ridiculous, she’s the Queen and you couldn’t remotely be like her!’ But actually, when I play her she’s 47 and a mother.”

What is the most powerful thing that happens in your film (which covers the 1970s).

“The extraordinary thing in this piece is the attempted kidnap of Princess Anne in 1974 and what that would do to a mother. Those are very basic maternal instincts that come out.”

What about getting the look?

“In the 1970s The Queen only wore bright red lipstick and that’s quite a hard look to pull off. Then you put on the dark brown wig!”

And what about clothes?

“Not a part to take on if you’re suffering from any form of vanity at all. She’s always had the most sensational figure, but Dear Lord does she know a sensible skirt!”