From Peep Show to Hollywood royalty: Why we love Olivia Colman

Robert Webb and David Mitchell knew it. As Webb affectionately put it on Twitter following her Golden Globe win: “Colman. She’s so bloody *nice*… She’s a consummate professional with seemingly unlimited talent. WHAT a shocking a*******.”

Meryl Streep, after working with Olivia Colman on the Iron Lady in 2011, quickly cottoned on. In her acceptance speech for her BAFTA the following year, the Hollywood heavyweight made sure to thank her “divinely gifted” British co-star.

All those fans who have loved her from the start – cheering from sofas across the UK as Sophie from Peep Show, who we last saw drunk and buried in a children’s ball pit, now scoops up some of the film industry’s biggest awards – those fans, they all knew it, too.

Olivia Colman won a BAFTA for best leading actress
Image: Colman has now won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her role in The Favourite

Now, thanks to her gloriously comic portrayal of the dowdy, cantankerous Queen Anne in dark period drama The Favourite, her co-star Rachel Weisz is describing her as a “goddess” and it seems the whole world is waking up to the brilliance of Olivia Colman.

In January, the Norwich-born actress won a Golden Globe, opening her acceptance speech with a “cor, blimey” and a look of bewilderment as she surveyed the A-list audience, before referring to Weisz and fellow co-star Emma Stone as “ma bitches”.

A Critics’ Choice win followed, and now the BAFTA.

“We’re going to get so pissed tonight,” she announced to cheers from the BAFTA crowd, after admitting she was shaking, and thanking “all the producers, obvs”.

More from Olivia Colman

Webb is right. Colman is bloody nice. And she can bloody act, too. From Peep Show and Green Wing to Broadchurch and The Night Manager, she flits from laughs to drama, tension – anything you can throw at her – with ease.

Just a few months ago, Colman could be heard lending her voice to the latest series of Thomas The Tank Engine. Now, she appears to be the only serious competition for seven-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close for the Oscar.

We need to hear the Colman speech, Oscar gods. Make it happen.

After nearly two decades on our screens, it seems 2019 is the year of Queen Colman. (After Queen Anne, she will play the Queen in The Crown).

In celebration of the woman who is fast becoming a national treasure, here are just some of the roles we love her for, crown or no crown. Obvs.

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