How Becoming Elizabeth 's Alicia von Rittberg Made Queen Elizabeth I Her Own

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Alicia von Rittberg Joins the Ranks of Stars Like Cate Blanchett

All hail Alicia von Rittberg!

The German-born actress is following the likes of Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Dame Helen Mirren by playing Queen Elizabeth I in Starz’s Becoming Elizabeth. However, don’t expect Alicia’s performance to replicate the A-listers who’ve previously tackled the role.

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Alicia admitted it was “so intimidating” taking on the Tudor queen, but she eventually felt relief when she realized Becoming Elizabeth tackles the early years of the iconic royal. 

As she put it, “So there is not that much comparison.”

Alicia also kept a mantra from Helen—who has played both Queen Elizabeth I and II—in mind. “When she researched,” Alicia told E! News, “she found a painter who portrayed Elizabeth and he was like, ‘This is just my version of the of the Queen. I’m not saying it is her.’ I think that just really helped me to calm down. It’s just our version of it.”

As for what viewers can expect from Starz’s dramatic retelling of Elizabeth Tudor’s life? Well, Alicia teased a “raw and truthful” look at the relationships in Elizabeth’s life, including the tumultuous ones with her siblings Mary (Romola Garai) and Edward (Oliver Zetterström).

“To have a look at those and understand that there was no black and white,” she explained. “That no matter how difficult it must have been between her and her siblings, there was also love and also a history—they grew up with each other!”

Kobal/Shutterstock; STARZ

Keep reading for a look at all the Hollywood legends who’ve played Queen Elizabeth I:

STARZ

Alicia von Rittberg

In 2022, Alicia von Rittberg joined an elite sisterhood of actresses, all of whom have portrayed legendary British queen Elizabeth I. In Becoming Elizabeth, Alicia portrays Elizabeth (known as Elizabeth Tudor before becoming Elizabeth I). in her early years, a time when her future wasn’t so certain thanks to a growing feud between her brother, King Edward VI, and her sister, the future Queen Mary I.

Liam Daniel/Focus Features/Kobal/Shutterstock

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie stepped into the royal role for the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots, which depicted the rise and fall of the Catholic Queen Mary Stuart.

The CW

Rachel Skarsten

Between 2015 and 2017, actress Rachel Skarsten portrayed Elizabeth of England in The CW’s period drama Reign. The series highlighted Elizabeth’s ongoing rivalry with Mary, Queen of Scotland (Adelaide Kane).

Sony Pictures

Vanessa Redgrave

Hollywood legend Vanessa Redgrave took a stab at playing Elizabeth I in the 2011 film Anonymous. The period drama questions whether William Shakespeare actually wrote all of those iconic plays.

HBO

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren, a Dame in her own right, took on the titular royal role for HBO’s 2005 miniseries Elizabeth I. The two episodes follow her complicated personal life, including her romantic entanglements with the Earl of Leicester (Jeremy Irons) and the Earl of Essex (Hugh Dancy).

Polygram/Kobal/Shutterstock

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett first played Queen Elizabeth I in the 1998 period drama Elizabeth. The film told the story of Elizabeth’s rise to power and struggles in her early years as queen. Cate would later reprise her role for the 2007 film Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Both films earned her Academy Award nominations.

Miramax/Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

Judi Dench

Blanchett wasn’t the only A-list actress to play Queen Elizabeth I in1998 In Shakespeare in Love, which won Best Picture at the 1999 Oscars, Dame Judi Dench played the famous Tudor queen. She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work.

Shutterstock

Glenda Jackson

The BBC also tackled the royal’s incredible life in its 1971 miniseries Elizabeth R. The titular role was played by Glenda Jackson, who won an Emmy for her performance.

Snap/Shutterstock

Jean Simmons

Before there was Becoming Elizabeth, fans of Tudor history would watch the 1953 film Young Bess, which depicts the early life of Elizabeth.

Warner Bros/First National/Kobal/Shutterstock

Bette Davis

In the 1939 film The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Hollywood icon Bette Davis portrayed Henry VIII‘s youngest daughter and one of England’s most famous queens.

ITV/Shutterstock

Flora Robson

In 1937, United Artists released Fire Over England starring Flora Robson as Queen Elizabeth I. The film also starred Vivien Leigh, who had yet to achieve her Gone With the Wind fame.

Becoming Elizabeth premieres June 12 on Starz.

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