Sunday, 16 December 2012

INTERVIEW: Olivia Colman at the British Independent Film Awards 2012

After winning the coveted Best Actress award last year for Tyrannosaur, Peep Show's Olivia Colman made a raptuous return to the British Independent Film Awards with another win for her work in Hyde Park On Hudson. Fantastic at playing comedic roles in films such as Hot Fuzz and Confetti to cult British television series including Look Around You and Green Wing, Olivia is gaining equal notoriety for her more gritty, straight-laced roles, and deservedly so. Genuinely shaken a little with nervous excitement from her win, Olivia's giddiness came through during my interview with her, inescapably British, over-apologising when she couldn't find the right words. I found her reaction to the win incredibly touching and one of the most down-to-earth actors I've had the pleasure to meet.

The following interview took place at the Moet British Independent Film Awards in London on 9th December 2012.

GG: Congratulations for your win for Best Supporting Actress for Hyde Park On Hudson, your second British Independent Film award. How did you research your role playing the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother?

Olivia: Quite fortunately for me there not an awful lot of footage, especially not a lot of her voice recorded. She was captured in the day doing a lot of silent smiling. Although she was massively instrumental in her husband’s confidence, it was quite handy that there wasn’t a lot of comparable material, so people couldn’t say ‘oh she didn’t sound anything like that!’

Olivia Colman in Hyde Park On Hudson
GG: It’s only a couple of years after The King’s Speech [2010] was released – do you think Hyde Park On Hudson was a well-timed film?

Olivia: They spent about five years trying to get Hyde Park On Hudson going I think, so in theory it came before The King’s Speech. I don’t know this is an urban myth but they couldn’t get Bill [Murray] off the golf course and that’s why it took so long to film! [Laughter] Having met him I think it’s probably not that far from the truth [laughter].

GG: What was the most challenging thing you found with your role in Hyde Park On Hudson?

Olivia: It wasn’t an enormous challenge really, it was lovely – it was quite clear from the script who she was and obviously we all have images of who she was. I’ve seen documentaries about her so we all know a lot about her. I got very good at the wave [Olivia imitates the famous royal wave] which I can’t now remember very well, and she was sweet. I can’t do impersonations so I just have to hope that people give you a bit of leeway and just try and portray her effectively. Is that the right word? I’m so overexcited I can’t think of the right words I’m so sorry [laughter].

GG: How do you pick a role?

Olivia: Honestly I see if I like the script and I always feel grateful to have the work. I remember what it’s like not to work and I prefer working.

Olivia Colman with her Best Supporting Actress BIFA 2012 Award for Hyde Park On Hudson
GG: What is it that makes British films so special?

Olivia: I only speak English so it makes British films quite handy for me [laughter]. I would be buggered if I had to try and do a film in any other language. I think we have a wonderful sort of humility in a way, people are willing and wanting to make something beautiful and creative and they will just do it. I know that happens in independent film across the world but I’ always so humbled and proud by the films I see that people make, particularly young directors producing their first short films and sharing them. It’s always so exciting I find it quite moving. They mean more I think.

GG: Do you have any upcoming projects? 

Olivia: Cuban Fury is out next year and a number of TV projects.

NB: This interview must not be published anywhere without credit or my permission.

Hyde Park On Hudson trailer:
Tyrannosaur trailer:
Olivia in Peep Show:
Hot Fuzz trailer:

Posted by: Geek Girl Kerensa Creswell-Bryant
Geek Girl, Updated at: 22:23