Becoming Elizabeth star Alicia von Rittberg felt ‘intimidated’ overtaking the Queen role

Becoming Elizabeth star Alicia von Rittberg felt ‘intimidated’ overtaking the Queen role

Alicia von Rittberg portrays the infamous Queen Elizabeth I in the new Starzplay drama Becoming Elizabeth. The historical series focuses on the untold story of the early life of England’s Virgin Queen. Ahead of the series airing, the German actress admitted she was very “intimidated” by the role which has previously been played by Helen Mirren, Cate Blanchett and Margot Robbie.

Unlike the Hollywood actresses to have portrayed the Tudor queen in the later years of her life on the big screen,  Alicia plays a young version of the red-haired monarch.

Long before Queen Elizabeth I ascended the throne, young Elizabeth Tudor was an orphaned teenager who became embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court. 

In the Starzplay series, the death of King Henry VIII sees his nine-year-old son Edward, (played by Oliver Zetterström) take the throne.

There soon becomes a dangerous scramble for power when Elizabeth, Edward and their sister Mary (Romola Garai) become pawns in a game between the great families of England and the powers of Europe who are competing for control of the nation.

Alicia has exclusively told to the magazine about her decision to take on the iconic role for the miniseries. 

The 28-year-old star explained: “I think, in a way, I am quite lucky because this time of her life was not covered that much, so I feel like you don’t have the comparison to other brilliant actresses who have portrayed Elizabeth I before which I think really helped. 

“On the other hand, I was still incredibly intimidated because you don’t want to get it wrong.

“One, because so many great actresses have played her and secondly because she was a person who lived and you want to do her justice.

“When I was researching for it, I read an interview by Helen Mirren who said she was also intimidated to play her and then she read something a painter said.

“It said, ‘He can only show his vision of that person in a picture and the only thing she can do is the same.’ 

“It’s just another portrait, we are not trying to get it right or wrong, it is just our vision.” 

The Munich-born actress also revealed she had to master an English accent for the role and even listened to clips of Oscar-winner Kate Winslet to assist her. 

Alicia had a dialogue coach she worked with ahead of filming for Becoming Elizabeth. 

She added: “I listened to Kate Winslet a lot and she recorded something called The Far Faraway Tree – it’s so you have a melody in your ear. 

“I have read a lot of Shakespeare and have tried to have something constantly to read out loud. 

“I think that a lot of time helped me get into the accent, so I was working on it for half a year in advance and throughout the whole shoot – it was more than a year in total.” 

Other historic figures who feature in the series as part of the relentless quest for power include King Henry’s widow, Catherin Parr, (Jessica Raine) and Thomas Seymour (Tom Cullen). 

The synopsis for the eight-part series reads: “Elizabeth, England’s most iconic queen. We think we know her-the Virgin Queen, the white face powder, the Spanish Armada, Gloriana. We don’t.

“Long before she ascended to the throne, her story, and the story of those who surrounded her, is a story of ambition and betrayal. 

“Every man or woman is on the wheel of fortune, which may take them to a position of great power one moment, or the executioner’s block the next.” 


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