She first shot into the spotlight with her brilliant role as Queen Anne of England in Yorgos Lanthimos’s dark period drama, ‘The Favourite’ and won the Academy Award for ‘Best Actress’. But Olivia Colman has a flurry of impressive acting credits to her name, and a bumbling, humorous, exceptionally talented side of personality that makes her one of the most sought-after actors right now. Essaying the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series, ‘The Crown’, Colman took on the mantle in Season 3 from Claire Foy, who played her in Seasons 1&2. Season 4 will focus on the power dynamic between Colman’s Queen and Gillian Anderson’s Margaret Thatcher, along with the entry of Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) in the royal household.
Apart from her illustrious acting career, these are 10 things that you may not know about Olivia Colman:
- Before studying drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Colman had trained to be a teacher. She spent one term studying primary teaching at Homerton College, Cambridge. According to the Guardian, she said that she wasn’t very committed to it and would have made a ‘terrible’ teacher.
- She is a member of the anti-press intrusion group, ‘Hacked Off’, which was established after the 2010 phone-hacking revelations.
- The character that she played in the TV show, ‘The Night Manager’, was not originally supposed to be pregnant. But the writers incorporated into the script because Colman was actually pregnant at the time.
- When she was in university, she auditioned for the ‘Cambridge Footlights Troupe’, where she met David Mitchell and Robert Webb, in whose sitcom ‘Peep Show she starred as Sophie Chapman.
- ‘The Favourite’ isn’t the first collaboration of Director Yorgos Lanthimos and Colman. She played a hotel manager in his dystopian drama, ‘The Lobster’, after which Lanthimos was sure that he wanted her to play Queen Anne.
- Her dog’s name is Alfred, Lord Waggyson, which is a reference to the poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, as she revealed in actor David Tennant’s podcast, ‘David Does a Podcast With…’
- She’s a fan of the queen. According to Chatelaine, she says that she has a soft spot for the queen, and she reiterates that even though we think it’s not hard to be the queen, it is very hard.
- To prepare for the role of Margaret Thatcher’s daughter Carol Thatcher in ‘The Iron Lady’, she said that she watched her appearances on the show, ‘I’m a Celebrity’, to get her voice right.
- She did the voiceover for the Andrex commercials ‘be kind to your behind’ advertisements in 2013. According to Guardian, Colman asked whether they could pay her in puppies. They said no.
- Colman was the only choice for the role of Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Crown’. According to screenwriter Peter Morgan, ‘It was Colman or no one’.
Watch the trailer for Season 4 of ‘The Crown’ here: