THE LAST MAGAZINE – It’s December, a week before Christmas, and the English actress Jenna Coleman finally has some time to herself. “We just wrapped another season of Victoria, which is amazing because I’m home,” she exhales, referring to the PBS series on which she plays the eponymous queen so momentous she had an entire era named after her. “I’m literally cutting up vegetables as I speak to you—in my own clothes for probably the first time this year.”
Coleman has been acting since she was eighteen years old, when she landed a part in the long-running British soap opera Emmerdale. This experience proved more useful than drama school, offering her the opportunity to work with a range of different actors and directors during her four years on the show. Over the course of the last decade, her career has continued to blossom, first as the companion of the eleventh doctor (played by Matt Smith) on the classic series Doctor Who and now as the sex-loving, perennially pregnant young queen in Victoria, which returns for its third season this week. None of this, however, prepared her for her latest role as Joanna.
In the new Sundance Now miniseries The Cry, Coleman’s Joanna is a schoolteacher who falls for Alistair (Ewen Leslie), a media savant with a commanding presence and a way with words that clearly overpower her. After losing their infant son to unforeseen circumstances, the couple face the insatiable media, relentless and untrusting detectives, concerned relatives, and even agitated exes.“I felt like she was the last person in the world who would ever want that kind of attention, especially when we first meet her,” explains Coleman. “She’s kind of small and wearing this gray sweater and wants to curl up into a ball.”
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