"It's about bloody time, right? I mean, we've had Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters …" says the character actress Olivia Colman as we sit down in the penthouse of the Whitby Hotel in New York to record an episode of The Hollywood Reporter 's' Chatter' podcast and start discussing what a rarity it is to see a movie like her latest, Yorgos Lanthimos ' The Favorite which stars three women. The others, in this case, are Oscar winners Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz . In the drama, Colman plays Anne, the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1
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LISTEN: You can hear the entire interview below [starting at 26:45]following a conversation between host Scott Feinberg and Elsie Fisher the 15-year-old Golden Globe-nominated star of Bo Burnham 's Eighth Grade about her breakout performance
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Sarah Colman (Olivia is named after becoming an actress) was born in Norfolk, England, to a mother who was a nurse and a father who was a surveyor, and discovered her passion a t the age of 16. "I wasn't terribly good at anything," she says, "until I did a school play, and then found the thing that I loved." Still, it became an impossible dream, so Colman applied to a teacher training college in Cambridge, where she struggled academically. As she recalls, "I left the college, but stayed in the town and just cycled around. I worked as a cleaner, went to other people's lectures and did loads of plays. And that's when I realized I didn't want to be anything. other than an actor. "
For many years, Colman was known for his work with the British comedy team of David Mitchell and Robert Webb . She first auditioned for Footlights, Cambridge University's drama club, and, she recalls, "We all just got really well." Around that time, she also met her future husband, Ed Sinclair – "I saw his right-hand profile and I went," That's him! I'm gonna marry him! "" Sinclair was doing law, But they decided to apply to drama school together. Upon graduation, she had an agent, but few offers, and worked as a cleaner and cleaner, but never considered abandoning acting. "I couldn't do anything else," she says. (Sinclair, however, eventually walked away from the profession to become a writer.)
Eventually, rather out of the blue, Colman received an invitation to audition at the BBC – it turned out that Mitchell and Webb had suggested here for a sketch show they had been commissioned to make – and she got the part. For years thereafter, she worked with them performing sketch comedy on radio and TV – most famously on Peep Show a POV-shot program, on which she appeared for nine seasons between 2003 and 2015 – before her agent suggested she steps away to try to expand into other things. "I loved comedy," she says – she also appeared on episodes of The Office Black Books and Green Wing – and it was only in recent years that she became closely associated with drama
Paddy Considine on the 2007 film Hot Fuzz . That collaboration inspired Considine to cast Colman in his directorial debut, the 2007 short Dog Altogether in which she played a Christian charity shop worker who is violently abused at home. Four years later, he introduced the short into a feature, Tyrannosaur with both he and Colman reprising their parts. "It was one of the first imes I really did proper research," she says, "because I thought that character is such a responsibility to anyone, man or woman, who's gone through that. I didn't want to do it Justice. " She says of the four-week shoot, "It was an amazing experience. The first time I think I really felt like I got my teeth into something." And the resultant, massively-acclaimed performance, along with an appearance opposite Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady that same year, put her on the map internationally for the first time. "Larger parts and scripts were sent to me," she says, "which was nice."
In 2012, Colman played her first queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen, in the movie Hyde Park on Hudson and also worked on the West End for the first time, in Hay Fever . But it was the next year that her profile exploded. She won two BAFTA awards for acting for her work on Accused and 2012 – "That was amazing, that night" – and starred on the breakout hit Broadchurch , an eight-part ITV mystery series, for which the leading female role of Ellie had been scribed with her in mind. "It was so beautifully written," Colman says, "and also she's great – she's funny and bally and she's good at her job and she's a mom. She was fab. I loved her." (For her performance, she would win another BAFTA the following year.) More than nine million tuned in to the resolution of the series, and, for the first time, Colman could not go out in public in the U.K. without being recognized. "I didn't respond very well to it," she says. "I love my job and I really didn't sign up to the other stuff." She adds, I find it quite stressful. "Even so, she was a" no-brainer "to do a second season, even if it was" was much harder "to execute because the public, the press and, sometimes, the paparazzi, was always watching
Lanthimos first entered Colman's life with the offer of a part in his 2015 film The Lobster . "I kind of loved it 'cause it was nuts," she says of the script, which called on here to play the manger of a luxury resort to which single people are forced to go for a month, at the end of which they either have a romantic partner or are turned into an animal. "After Lobster I was absolutely sure that he was happy with what I had done, "she confesses." And then to find out about The Favorite ! "It was around the time of The Lobster 's release that Colman first learned Lanthimos wanted to play the ailing Queen Anne The schedule for the third and final Broadchurch series made possible by the time, but Lanthimos agreed to wait. "I've been so upset if someone else had done it," she says with a chuckle. Meanwhile, as other actresses became attached to and then unattached from The Favorite Colman, while pregnant, played on spymaster in the limited series The Night Manager adapted from John le Carre 's novel, ultimately winning a Golden Globe and garnering an Emmy nomination.
Finally, The Favorite started to come together, and Colman set about preparing. "I had a lot of weight for it, she says," so I spent a few months eating, "acknowledging," I ended up putting on about two-and-a-half stone, "or 35 pounds. also sent her here and here dance videos and old comedies to reference ahead of their three weeks of rehearsal together and the actual shoot itself. "I loved making the film," she asserts. "I think the film is beautiful. I think that Yorgos is genuinely an author, a proper genius. "And, she adds with candor," If people don't like it, I don't like them! " The Favorite premiered to raves at The Venice Film Festival had its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and then opened the New York Film Festival. It went into a limited release on Nov. 23, and has been accumulating momentum ever since, garnishing a field-leading 14 Critics' Choice Awards nominations and 12 BAFTA Awards nominations, including noms for Colman, who also won the best actress (musical or comedy) Golden Globe Award earlier this month.
The Crown, having been hired to succeed Emmy winner Claire Foy in the role of Queen Elizabeth II as the series moves into the sixties and seventies. " I was such a huge fan of The Crown and watching it and watching Claire – Claire is amazing, "Colman says. "I was doing what everyone else was doing – sort of binge-watching it. So when the call came for that, it was a very uncool," Yes, please! " straight away, immediately, without really considering that which is so successful is a bit of a pressure, because what if you're the one that fucks it up But i know I'm going to be employed for two years, which is a very nice feeling when you've got dependents and a mortgage to play and bills to pay. "