Olivia Colman, who has taken up the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the new season of The Crown, has said she "can't do repression."

The Oscar-winning actress told the Radio Times that she "can't hide anything" in terms of her emotions. She recalls filming scenes for the hit series depicting the 1966 Aberfan coal-tip disaster in Wales, which killed 144 people. 

"It was the hardest thing ever, to play someone much stronger emotionally than me," says Colman. "When we filmed the scenes with the tributes and the flowers and the toys, the director would say, 'Pretend you’re just judging a flower competition’ - because if I thought about what it actually was, I couldn’t cope.

The actress added: "I can’t do repression."

Colman, who won the Best Actress gong for The Favourite, takes over the role of Queen Elizabeth II from actress Claire Foy in the third season of the Netflix series.

"You train an animal to do one thing, then expect them to do something else at a whim," she says, explaining her initial difficulty with the role and the necessary suppression of emotion.

"She’d been told all her life, ‘Hold it in, don’t show you’re a woman’. It’s an impossible situation. I couldn’t do it.

"I hope she has a mountaintop or somewhere behind closed doors she can let it all out."