She donned a specially modified swimsuit to play the Queen Mother in The Crown. Now shes a spy-busting gay senator in Deep State and revelling in its love story
Shortly before Im due to interview her in a hotel room, I run into Victoria Hamilton in the loo. I wouldnt have recognised her from The Crown, in which she plays the Queen Mother, even though she swears they did nothing to her appearance except make her wear a swimsuit that had tits built into my stomach. Then theyd take all my makeup off and put a grey wig on my head.
I would have recognised her from Deep State, because Id only just watched an episode: a hot, gory spy drama, paranoid and nail-biting. But really I recognise her because I feel like I already know her from all her great theatre roles and countless period dramas, from Scoop to Mansfield Park.
Fantastically warm and funny, Hamilton brings a huge amount to a conversation with just eyebrows and intonation. When we talk about The Crown, the acclaimed Netflix series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, I mention that it cant have sounded like a very interesting proposition: just a bunch of rich, repressed people doing what theyre told. Honestly, she says, most actors first thought was, Really, really? More royalty. Really? Really? The Queen Mother? Really? Its like a masterclass in how many differentways there are to say really in a sceptical and unenthusiastic voice.