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10 Reasons You Should Know Who Olivia Colman Is

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Everyone should know who this leading lady is! For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting facts about British actress Olivia Colman, whose recent turn as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” has earned her widespread acclaim. Our list includes Meryl Streep Is an Admirer, She Champions Good Causes, She’s Picked Up Numerous Awards, She Has Fantastic Range, Her Performance in “The Favourite,” and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons You Should Know Olivia Colman.
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Top 10 Reasons You Should Know Olivia Colman


Everyone should know who this leading lady is! Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons You Should Know Olivia Colman.

For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting facts about British actress Olivia Colman, whose recent turn as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” has earned her widespread acclaim.

#10: One of Her Earliest Film Roles Was in "Hot Fuzz"


If you still haven’t seen the second entry in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, you need to stop what you’re doing and go watch it immediately. The film creatively and hilariously lampoons the buddy cop genre, with its over-the-top action sequences and badass one-liners, but takes place in the tiny English village of Sandford, Gloucestershire. Blessed with one of the best British ensemble casts of the decade, the film is filled with future A-listers, one of which is Olivia Colman. She plays Doris Thatcher, a sex-obsessed, innuendo-loving police constable. Her role may be small, but Colman certainly makes the most of it!

#9: Sharing the Screen with Judi Dench Was a Dream Come True


As one of the longest working and most accomplished thespians in the business, Dame Judi Dench has no shortage of admirers. And you can definitely add Olivia Colman to that list. After finally sharing the screen with her idol in 2018’s “Murder on the Orient Express” Colman remarked, “I dreamed about that sort of a job as long as I can remember and to find out that she is possibly nicer than I even imagined was just brilliant." She’s also quipped that sitting next to Judi Dench all day, holding a hot dog, was her idea of heaven!

#8: Her Character on “The Night Manager” Wasn’t Originally Pregnant


When Olivia Colman met with director Susanne Bier to discuss a potential role in Bier’s upcoming series “The Night Manager” she was a little nervous. Colman had recently learnt that she was pregnant and worried that it might cost her the role, since her character Angela Burr wasn’t written as such. When she turned up to the meeting, she expressed her concerns to Bier immediately, but was quickly reassured by the director. Bier told her that in the film “Fargo” the lead character is also pregnant and that “the pregnancy added to the drama." Seeing as how Colman walked away with a Golden Globe for her performance, we think Bier made the right call.

#7: Meryl Streep Is an Admirer


Olivia Colman may look up to Judi Dench but her own fan club is equally impressive. Back in 2011 she played Meryl Streep’s on-screen daughter in “The Iron Lady”, a film that ultimately earned Streep a BAFTA for Best Leading Actress. During her acceptance speech Streep thanked the usual suspects before heaping some major praise upon her co-stars. The lion’s share went to Colman, whom Meryl Streep called “divinely gifted”. Keep in mind that Streep has three Academy Awards from 21 nominations and has worked with some of the greatest actors and directors ever to walk the earth. So, when she calls you “gifted” it means a lot.

#6: She Was in Yorgos Lanthimos Film "The Lobster"


When directors find actors that they like, they tend to cast them in their films as often as possible. Need proof? Just take a look at the filmographies of guys like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson. Another director who likes to keep things simple is Yorgos Lanthimos. After casting Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in his absurdist black comedy “The Lobster” he decided to bring them both back for his 2018 film “The Favorite”. Colman’s role in “The Lobster” was relatively small, but incredibly memorable. That toaster scene anyone? We look forward to more collaborations between these two unique talents in the future!

#5: She Champions Good Causes


Few actors can claim to have championed as many causes as Olivia Colman. From working to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental health issues to taking part in Amnesty International's Women Making History festival, Colman has consistently stood up for beliefs and for others. She currently serves as a patron of the Anthony Nolan Charity, which raises money for people suffering from various blood related diseases. She’s also a patron of the UK based charity Tender, which works to prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence through education. And in 2014 she lent her voice to a radio documentary about Afghan women being persecuted by the Taliban. Now that’s what we call putting your fame to good use!

#4: She’s Picked Up Numerous Awards


Having been in the industry for nearly two decades Olivia Colman has won her fair share of awards. She’s picked up Golden Globes for her work in both “The Night Manager” and “The Favourite”, along with three BAFTA’s for her television work, and four British Independent Film Awards for films such as “Tyrannosaur” and “The Lobster”. Oh, and some Emmy nominations. All this to go along with a bunch of others we don’t have the time to mention. However, we definitely have time to point out that Olivia Colman gives one hell of an acceptance speech! Just take a look at her Golden Globes speech in which she refers to Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz as her “bitches”. Hilarious!

#3: She Has Fantastic Range


As an actor, you’re defined by your ability or inability to play a wide range of characters. For the most part, when Tom Cruise steps on screen he’s essentially playing Tom Cruise, whereas someone like Gary Oldman can play Commission James Gordon one minute and Winston Churchill the next. Olivia Colman falls into the Gary Oldman category of actors, as she’s been able to convincingly pull off a number of wildly different characters - from her breakout comedic performance as Sophie Chapman in “Peep Show” to her somber and nuanced turn as DS Ellie Miller in “Broadchurch”. Simply put Olivia Colman can do it all!

#2: Her Performance in “The Favourite”


One of the most talked about films of the year, “The Favorite” has been called “wildly creative”, “stunningly acted” and “an uproarious send-up of the aloofness of royals”. One constant in these rave reviews is the stream of praise aimed at Olivia Colman’s performance. As the sensitive and needy Queen Anne, Colman is simultaneously miserable, giddy, hilarious and endlessly fun to watch. The fact that Colman is receiving this much praise despite the star power of co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz is a testament to her skill as an actress.

#1: Her Upcoming Project: “The Crown”


Just when you thought Olivia Colman had done it all she signs up to play Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth seasons of the hit Netflix original series “The Crown”. Colman will replace Claire Foy, who portrayed the icon queen in the show’s first two seasons. This will be the third time in her career that she’s playing a queen, having played Queen Anne in “The Favourite” and Queen Elizabeth I in the 2012 film “Hyde Park on Hudson”. The third season of “The Crown” is set to be released sometime in 2019, which gives Colman fans plenty of time to catch up on all of her previous work!
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