Olivia Colman Source

GMA News – With the Oscars just around the corner, we would like to focus on four talented veterans this time: Colman, 47, received her second nomination and the first in the same category as Close for her performance as Anne in the drama, “The Father,” where she shared the limelight with Hopkins.

 

We last saw you in London right before the lockdown, and you confessed that you won’t mind staying in your home for a couple of months as you enjoy the privacy. After nine months of lockdown, are you ready to go out and work and enjoy your life?

I miss going to work but actually, I have to say I am probably the only person who I could happily do this for two solid years. I love it.

 

So what are you doing during lockdown?

Cooking, trying to get better at cooking. My husband’s a very good cook. I’m a little bit rubbish but quite good at baking. I am just being at home with the kids.  It felt like an opportunity, to have that much time with school-aged kids will never happen again and so I was just trying to enjoy it and trying to enjoy being with them and try to endear myself to them I suppose (laughs) by making food that they liked.

 

Could you take us to your TV room and describe it? What are your favourite TV shows?

I am in our TV room right now and I’ve tried to make it look as nice as possible. In fact, all the crap is hidden that side of the camera so, you know, dog beds and the cars and there’s a lot of mess but it’s cosy and lived in.

Recently, we’ve been watching as a family. We’ve been watching “Community” because we always try and watch something that we can all watch together.  We went through “New Girl” at the beginning of the lockdown. We watch comedies together and I loved “Normal People.” I was totally obsessed with that but we had ’til the kids had gone to bed to watch that one and there’s “Queen’s Gambit” which I really want to see.

 

What is your TV guilty pleasures?

I do love “Bake Off” and I adore something called “Selling Sunset” recently. I saw one episode of “Selling Sunset” and thought that’s something I could probably get lost in.

 

 

What is your first memory of TV?

So there’s a little girl with a chalkboard. I remember being home from school because I was unwell and we had a black and white telly. She was on it an awful lot and then “Farming Diary” came on. I think there was only “Pebble Men” at 1:00 and “Farming Diary” and that was it until I came home from school and then really there was almost no telly on and it was only two or three channels. My dad would fall asleep in front of the telly and yes then the National Anthem. And then he realized he should go to bed.  Amazing.

 

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In a NZ exclusive Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman talk to Karl Puschmann about their powerful film THE FATHER

 

The New Zealand Herald– The night after watching The Father I woke up panicked. It was still dark and the faint amber glow from my young daughter’s night light in the room across the hall threw uncertain shadows against the wall.

While my mind knew it was merely my dressing gown lazily hanging off the door handle and not a sinister figure lurking in the dark, could my mind really be trusted? Did I know what I thought I knew or was what I knew not what was going on at all? And, if that was the case, then how would I even know?
The truly frightening answer was that I wouldn’t.
This is the fear that Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins’ new film The Father instilled. The thought of being trapped inside the fragility of my own decaying mind. A prison made of changing walls, unknowable guards and only fleeting fragments of coherent freedom.
It’s a remarkable and powerful film and one I’d been hesitant to see. A film about a woman caring for her dementia-stricken dad did not sound like my idea of a good time. Even with its superb cast.
But I was drastically wrong. The Father is unlike any medical drama you’ve ever seen. Far from being a weepy Bluesfest – although bring tissues, you’ll need them – it instead plays out like an intense thriller. You’re never sure who or what can be trusted or, indeed, what is even real as events, rooms, people and sense of time all slip and slide into and out of each other.
And at the centre of it all is Hopkins’ character, also named Anthony to add a meta-layer of confusion to the whole thing, working through the mystery of who stole his prized watch as the world shifts around him and as his daughter Anne (Colman) cares for, or perhaps conspires against him.
“I’d never seen this subject matter from this particular point of view,” Colman tells me over Zoom. “You, as the audience, are experiencing the confusion with Anthony.”
“It was a surprise when I got the script,” Hopkins adds. “You’re going through an ordinary day and a script arrives and your agent says, ‘Read it, it’s kinda good.’ Well, I started reading it and thought, ‘Oh God, this is great.'”
Hopkins was in, “thrilled to do it”, he says, but the producers were finding that getting the cash together to make a movie about dementia, no matter how darkly thrilling, was proving a hard sell. Until, all of a sudden, it wasn’t.
“They had to go through the mathematics of getting it financed because it’s difficult to finance films,” Hopkins says. Then, with a small chuckle, he says, “And then Olivia got the Oscar.”
After winning Best Actress at the 2019 Academy Awards for her performance in The Favourite, Colman was in demand. But, she says, the story here was too good to pass up.
“I remember going, ‘Oh… oh, shit! That’s what it’s like.’ Because I had no idea what was happening,” she says recalling how she felt the first time she read the script. “Is he in that room? Did she just leave?… I thought it was brilliant and I wanted to be part of it.”
“And then I heard it was Anthony Hopkins and, well, it was an absolute ‘yes’,” she beams.
The movie has garnered critical acclaim and a whopping six Oscar nominations, including incredibly well deserved nods for Hopkins and Colman in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories respectively.
But it’s not just a terrific film. It’s bigger than that.
“The Father provides a lot of opportunities to help educate Kiwis in terms of dementia,” says Lisa Burns, the GM of marketing and fundraising at Dementia Auckland. “We struggle with the stigma of this condition and what this film does is open up an empathetic opportunity for people to get a better understanding of what it’s like.”
Currently, 70,000 New Zealanders are living with dementia, so many that it’s been labelled a silent epidemic. As the population ages that number is forecast to explode to 170,000 Kiwis in the next 30 years.
Burns, who lost her grandmother to dementia, describes the film’s depiction as powerful and confronting due to the realistic portrayal of what life’s like for both the person suffering from the illness and their carer.
“Disorientation of time, place, people are common signs of someone with dementia,” she says. “It’s an interesting experience as a viewer going through that confusion – what’s real, what’s not real?”
Hopkins says his startling performance which sees him, at times, be accuser, victim, charmer and aggressor, borrowed aspects from his parents in their older years, although neither suffered dementia, but generously credits most of his work to the script.
“My father didn’t have dementia but he’d be irascible, impatient. Didn’t want any fuss. But it’s in the lines. When Olivia comes into the room and I say, ‘What are you talking about? I don’t need to be looked after!’ Well, that’s easy to play because it’s written,” he smiles. “‘I don’t need to be looked after!’ It doesn’t take a genius to reinterpret that. It’s written down for you.”
Perhaps, but it’s impossible to not be affected by his performance and the film. With the movie now in cinemas, I ask what they personally kept from their characters and the film.
“Well, I’ve actually kept two chairs from the set, does that count? ” Colman laughs, proving herself every bit a delight as you’d hope.
“You did?” Hopkins, chuckles, tickled at the thought.
“I did!” she grins, “But that’s not what you meant is it?”
It wasn’t, but it’s an unforgettable answer.
She may have played the Queen, but Olivia Colman thinks it’s “bizarre” that the monarch is still Australia’s head of state.

 Herald Sun-  She may have played the Queen on The Crown, one of the world’s most popular dramas, but Olivia Colman is just a tiny bit baffled by Australia’s interest in the real-life drama surrounding the real royal family.

“It is a bit bizarre the Queen is still your head of state,” laughs the British actor via Zoom from the London home she shares with her husband, Ed, and three children.

“In Britain, growing up with them always there, you don’t really consider them. It’s like, if you live in Sydney, you probably don’t go to the Opera House.

“I don’t go to all the incredible things in London because they’re there. And it’s the same with the royal family – they were always there so you don’t think about them. I think for people outside of the UK, they’re a much bigger deal. But I could be wrong about that!”

Colman’s stunning performance as Queen Elizabeth II won her huge acclaim (and a Golden Globe), but she says she was more than ready to hand over the reins (or the reign!) to fellow Brit, Imelda Staunton, who takes on the daunting role for the show’s final two seasons.

“I have a short attention span, so playing a role for two years is a long time for me,” Colman says. “And though I was sad to say goodbye to everybody and I really enjoyed it, I was excited to do something different. Playing the Queen, even though she is very strong and stoic and silent and she listens a lot, I wanted to [play a role] where I have a bit of a rant and be less controlled.”

 

FATHER FIGURES

Colman’s new film The Father, based on the award-winning French play, is not exactly a rant-fest but a poignant and deeply emotional ride about a woman dealing with her father’s (Anthony Hopkins) rapidly advancing dementia.

It’s a brutal, heartbreaking film about a topic many of us have either dealt with – or eventually will deal with – the declining health of ageing parents.

“My folks are still around and still together. They’re the late-70s now and there’s no sign of dementia, so hopefully, they’ve escaped it,” Colman says. “Watching that happen to your parents must be tough. I just can’t imagine watching someone that you love and admire go through that.”

Colman says when she found out she was going to star opposite fellow Oscar-winner, Hopkins, in the film she swore – a lot.

“It was like, ‘f—,” Colman laughs. “I mean, can you imagine? I’ve known his face my whole life and everything he’s done – he’s a bit of an acting God to me – and you think to yourself, you’re going to do a job with him. And I was like, ‘f— off, shut up, no way!’. And then he’s so much nicer, he’s so kind, he’s so generous, he’s so f–ing brilliant at his job. Every morning I’d say to my husband, ‘Ha, I’m going to work with Tony Hopkins!’ ”

 

LIGHT RELIEF

Despite the story’s heavy emotional content, Colman says she and Hopkins would crack each other up between scenes. “I know it’s a really hard watch, but we had such a joyful time together; I know that sounds weird, but Tony tells hilarious stories and does amazing impressions. We had a lovely time, and that’s our approach to work anyway – neither of us is very method.

“Tony would lean over and whisper to me, ‘Aren’t we lucky?’ and I’d say, ‘YES!’ ” The role, which has already won her an AACTA (Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards – “I was so thrilled and surprised – I’ve never been to Australia!”), has also landed Colman her second Academy Award nomination. (She won the Best Actress Oscar in 2019 for playing another queen – the wildly eccentric Queen Anne in The Favourite.)

Indeed, in recent years, the 47-year-old’s career has skyrocketed, making her one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors. And her deserved success is not just for her sheer talent but her incredible versatility; she easily navigates between drama (The Crown, Broadchurch, The Night Manager) and comedy (see her breakout performance in the UK classic, Peep Show, while her biting turn as Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hideous stepmother in Fleabag literally stole the show).

 

THE REAL DEAL

The utterly charming Colman is also that rare type of Hollywood star – resolutely down to earth, and self-deprecating. “People get too full of themselves,” she has said.

She’s also honest about her insecurities around the constant scrutiny that comes with being in the public eye.

“I’ve got a ring light here which is meant to be more flattering,” she says pointing to a bright light above her computer screen.

“Because the moment there’s a photo from this angle,” she says, pointing up from under her chin, “everyone comments on it and you think, f— off, I wasn’t born a supermodel and I’ve had three children and my body is stretched and bits have drooped and it’s not fair everyone is expected to conform. Because I feel embarrassed if I’m meant to be dressed up for a do, or feel like people are thinking, who does she think she is – you can’t polish a turd. Anyway, I’m nice and my husband loves me.”

 

HOME BODY

Colman says she navigates media scrutiny by “not really going out”. (The pandemic, she says, has helped with that.)

“But I know I’m not alone. I know many women feel negative things about themselves, and I have got marginally better. I also protect myself by not putting myself in that position as much as possible. I can see my friends whose bodies have changed, or their faces have changed over the years, and I think they’re so f—ing beautiful because they’re amazing people. I can see that just by looking at them and I want to get to that in my own head, but I’m not there yet.”

With that Colman is keen to get back to a lockdown-induced Friends marathon with her son.

“We’re always watching Friends – my younger boy loves it. I love cuddling up with him and watching it because I’m sort of reliving my 20s.”

That’s the good thing about pandemic-era home Zoom interviews – you can pop off to the next room to watch Friends with your kid.

“You can also wear slippers,” Colman continues with another huge laugh, pulling one of her feet up to the camera to reveal some very fancy silver footwear.

“The one thing about doing interviews during the pandemic is that I can wear my slippers. So … silver linings.”

 

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ET Online- Olivia Colman doesn’t remember much about the night she won her Oscar. She had been nominated for her performance in The Favourite, though in an especially tight Best Actress race, Glenn Close was the presumed frontrunner. But then the envelope was opened, and Frances McDormand read off Colman’s name. “This is hilarious,” she spluttered onstage, visibly dazed even as she cradled the gold statuette in her arms. “I’ve got an Oscar.”

Through tears, Colman thanked her co-stars and crew, as well as Close (“This is not how I wanted it to be!”) and her children, who she hoped were watching at home. (“This is not going to happen again.”) She wrapped up her speech by exclaiming both about and towards her fellow nominee: “Lady Gaga!”

“I can’t remember what I said. I only know because I’ve seen it played back now,” she tells ET over Zoom from her home in London. “I can’t remember what happened afterwards. My husband said it was the best night of his life. And had it been the other way around, if I could have watched him, I understand, I would have loved that, and I would’ve remembered everything. But I’m afraid I still can’t quite believe it happened.”

Contrary to what she said that night, Colman will soon have another chance to relive some of those memories, having earned her second Oscar nomination earlier this month.

This time, the recognition comes for her work in the dementia drama, The Father, which marks the directorial debut of French playwright Florian Zeller, adapted from his own award-winning stage show. The film centres on an ageing patriarch (Anthony Hopkins) struggling to make sense of his progressing memory loss. Unlike other works that have explored the same subject, this is told through Anthony’s perspective, the very fabric of the film — the sets, the timeline, even the actors — shifting as its lead fades into the fog of confusion. We, the viewer, experience what he might be.

“The first time I read it was the first time I’d ever experienced anything written from that point of view,” Colman says. “To suddenly make sense of the confusion because you are as confused. It’s been quite nice to understand where the confusion can stem from. If someone has been gentle in their lives, to suddenly see that they’ve got rage in them, is that the real them? Was the other one not the real them? But it’s OK. We’d all be f**king furious having to deal with this every day.”

Colman plays Anthony’s daughter and de facto caretaker, Anne. The play, and thus the film, was inspired by Zeller’s personal experiences with an ailing grandparent, making Colman’s character something like a surrogate for both himself and the audience. There she is, attendant and infinitely patient as she attempts to mask her breaking heart with a sunshiny hopefulness.

“She’s my favourite actress,” Zeller says of casting Colman. “And I think that the film would not have been the same without her. She has something magical. As soon as you see her, you love her. That was really important for the film because it’s not only about this man losing his bearings. It’s also about his daughter trying to face this situation.”

Zeller had written the script with Hopkins in mind, reasoning that because most people would have become familiar with Sir Anthony Hopkins throughout their lives, playing to his mortality would lend an additional layer of gravitas to the story. Colman found that to be the case when she got to set, explaining, “I’ve grown up with Tony’s face on films and I remember him being interviewed on Parkinson — it’s a chat show in the UK — and he was larger than life, a sort of acting god.”

“So, that made it extra poignant to me, I suppose, to watch this man who I admired so much confused or watch him crumple. All of that stuff in the back of my mind, in my history, helped,” she says. “And he’s so wonderful to act opposite. He is so good that I didn’t have to do anything except to watch him and feel it and react to him.”

The horrors of cognitive degeneration aside, Colman found filming to be especially enjoyable. “I suppose that sounds bonkers,” she laughs. Between takes, she sat with Hopkins and listened to him share stories of his storied life, slipping into impressions of Jimmy Stewart and Frank Sinatra for his delighted one-woman audience.

“I just sat there and I went, ‘Oh, please don’t say that we’re back on set. I’m just loving this so much.’ And he’d lean in and go, ‘Aren’t we lucky? Isn’t life beautiful?'” Colman giggles, trying on her own impression of Hopkins. “And I know there are lots of upsetting pieces in it, but we got to work with amazing people and the moment something sad is finished, you have a cup of tea and a cuddle and go, ‘It’s all right.’ And then you go do something else. You don’t carry on being miserable throughout the day. I wouldn’t be able to cope with that.”

The Father premiered at Sundance in early 2020 with a lauded festival run to follow. Still, Sony Pictures Classics, the studio behind the film, held off its theatrical release until the Oscars’ last eligible weekend, a risky move that nonetheless paid off: Not only is Colman nominated for Best Actress, but The Father is up for Best Picture and Hopkins for Best Actor, among six total nominations.

In an altogether unprecedented awards season, no one knows exactly what to expect from the forthcoming Academy Awards, let alone who might win one. Not that Colman believes it’s something you can ever prepare for, even now two years on from when she won her Oscar.

“I liken it to when I got married, someone said, ‘Every now and then, just pause and have a look and try and remember it all.’ Because it’s so much excitement and such a blur that when it’s all over, you go, ‘Well, all that planning, and I can’t remember it!'” Colman says. “The Oscars were a bit like that, just because I was sort of in a denial all the way. Sort of wafting into it, going, “It’s silly. It’s just silly. It can’t be real, can’t be real, can’t be happening.’ And then it happened.”

The Father is in theatres now and available on-demand on March 26.

 

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Esquire Middle East- Olivia Colman knows what she’s doing. Even when she doesn’t, she does.

“I think just time passing gives me a bit more, you know, confidence,” Colman tells Esquire Middle East.

The English actress, 47, has in the last decade gone from one of the most underappreciated talents in the world to one of the most universally beloved, collecting an Academy Award for Best Actress, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild award.

On top of that, she’s nominated for another Academy Award this year, too—for her role in Florian Zeller’s The Father, opposite fellow nominee Anthony Hopkins.

Colman is one of the rare individuals who, no matter how many accolades you bestow upon them, never seems to be changed by it all in the slightest. Talking to us over Zoom, she’s as genial and open-hearted as ever, someone who you can’t talk to without feeling like you’ve made a new friend.

The secret to her success—and her unbridled warmth and aforementioned confidence—is in her acceptance that you don’t need to be perfect to be great.

“I know what I’m doing now. Well, you never get to the point where you really feel like you know what you’re doing. But I trust myself, all because I know I can make mistakes. I think that helps. I trust that if I make a mistake, it doesn’t matter,” says Colman.

The actress, who famously has no process in how she gets into characters, performed nearly automatically opposite Hopkins in the Father, a harrowing portrayal of one man’s failing mind and the daughter he’s relying on to cling to man he once was, and can’t accept he no longer is.

The two worked without rehearsals, sparring back and forth in one or two takes and then laughing off the screen. All of this was enabled by a first-time filmmaker in Zeller who trusted his actors and allowed them the space to create without the preciousness or stress that often comes with inexperience.

That, to Colman, was everything.

“I think it’s so important to feel safe and secure. Anyone who tries to sort of break you down and make you feel absolute nonsense. If you feel safe and secure, and you trust everyone around you, you can go anywhere with any amount of emotion,” Colman says.

“If you get someone who’s an a**hole, you don’t want to be nice. You don’t want to do good work for them.”

Rufus Sewell, who plays Colman’s increasingly less-patient husband, took to the vibe that Zeller, Colman and Hopkins had created on set immediately.

“I’m not a particularly serious person. When people meet me, they’re often surprised because I always get cast as these dour, humourless tw*ts,” says Sewell.

Colman brought out the silly in Sewell like few had before.

“It was very fun, easy, and especially silly. There was a lot of silliness. With me and Olivia, I felt like that we were going to be separated. That was the joy of it. I looked forward to each day,” says Sewell.

Colman, Sewell and Hopkins would eat together each day, getting a laugh out of one another hours on end.

“There were no dressing rooms or trailers. Most of the time we were in the same makeup room telling stories and jokes and, you know, farting around. For me, it was a wonderful discovery that my favourite actors work the same way I do,” says Sewell.

At the end of the day, of course, what matters most is the work itself, and in The Father, the crew has turned in a masterpiece—a wholly unique, horrifying and tightly-wound drama that deserves every one of the six Academy Awards its nominated for, including Best Picture.

The specialness of The Father, of course, is not lost on any of them, least of all Colman herself.

“I know that I had no problem getting out of bed every morning. No, I was excited to go to work. I thought I’m part of something really beautiful and I’m working with lovely people. I love my work. I love working. I love going to work. But every now and then you get one that’s really special, and this felt special. I’ll be eternally grateful to Florian for writing it and letting me be in it and letting me act opposite Anthony Hopkins. I can die happy now that that’s happened,” says Colman.

 

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