Olivia Colman is riding high following her success at the BAFTA TV awards. Her deserved recognition at the awards followed a year of critical acclaim for the Norfolk-born star, who has won a place in the British public”s affections with her down-to-earth, open manner.
In the past decade, Olivia has taken on a variety of supporting comedic roles which endeared her to millions; as Sophie in Peep Show, Alex, Tom Hollander”s wife in Rev, and PA Sally in Twenty Twelve.
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But recently, our perception of Olivia has been turned on its head thanks to a number of decidedly grittier roles — most noticeably in Tyrannasaur playing Hannah, dubbed “the most humiliated women in the history of cinema” by one critic, Accused and Broadchurch.
Olivia is forging a new path as one of the country”s most talented and diverse leading ladies. But who is the woman behind the buzz Here”s five things you should really know about the British star.
1. It was love at first sight when she first set eyes on future husband, writer Ed Sinclair. They met at Cambridge, both cast in a student production, and the second she saw him as she walked into rehearsals she felt a thunderbolt — “I”m going to marry him”.
“He was gorgeous, the most beautiful thing I”d ever seen,” she told the Telegraph. The feeling was not instantly mutual. “I stuck with him and made him realise he could only be happy with me. I still feel like I”m punching above my weight.” The smitten couple are proud parents to two boys.
2. If she wan”t an actress, Olivia could have had a life on the road. Back when she was at school, the actress took a computer career test that told her she would make “an ideal HGV lorry driver, because I”ve got 100 per cent spatial awareness. I”d be able to back into tight spots”.
3. She fell in with Peep Show“s David Mitchell and Robert Webb by accident. Olivia answered an audition advert, imagining it would be an amateur dramatic society, but instead found it was for Footlights, the Cambridge finishing school for comedians.
In Cambridge studying at teacher training college, she decamped to the Bristol Old Vic to study drama and began her career with supporting roles in Peep Show and That Mitchell & Webb Look. “I owe Rob and David so much — they gave me my first job. I might not be doing this at all if it wasn”t for them. And they”re lovely friends.”
4. Her most embarrassing moment was wetting herself on stage. “We were doing The Miser and there were lots of quick changes, and David (Mitchell) never managed to get his bow tie in the right place,” she told the Guardian. “It became to much to bear, wondering what he would have under his chin each time I turned around!”
5. She counts Meryl Streep among her fans. Olivia starred alongside Meryl in The Iron Lady, playing Carol Thatcher to the Oscar-winner”s Margaret. While Meryl won a Bafta for her performance, she singled out her talented British co-star calling her “divinely gifted”.