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Spotlight On: Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman in Broadchurch


Date Of Birth: 30th January 1974

Born: Norfolk, England

Birth Name: Sarah Caroline Colman

Height: 1.7 metres (5.6 feet)


Biography



Olivia Colman was born in Norfolk to a nurse mother and a chartered surveyor father. She was educated at two local independent schools: Norwich High School for Girls and Gresham's School in Holt and went on to Homerton College in Cambridge where she spent a term training to become a primary school teacher. While at Cambridge she first met David Mitchell and Robert Webb (who she would later co-star with in the TV comedy Peep Show) and auditioned for amateur theatrical club Footlights. Eventually she decided to switch to drama and went on to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


Colman's career has seen her work in both TV and film but she is most commonly known for her work with David Mitchell and Robert Webb who she collaborated with on the radio show That Mitchell and Webb Sound and the television show That Mitchell and Webb Look and, most notably, on Peep Show - The Channel 4 point-of-view comedy series written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain which she co-starred in from Series 1-7. 


More recently Colman has begun to collaborate with Paddy Considine who she originally met during the filming of Edgar Wright's Hot Fuzz. Since then she has acted alongside him in Shane Meadows' Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee and has starred in Considine's two directorial projects Dog Altogether and Tyrannosaur (for which she earned several awards).


Colman lives in London with her husband Ed Sinclair, whom she met at Cambridge, and their two children. 


Filmography 


2000: Bruiser (TV Series) played various characters over six episodes 

2001: The Mitchell and Webb Situation (TV Series) played various characters over five episodes

2001: People Like Us (TV Series) played and unnamed character in Series 2, Episode 1 (The Vicar)

2001: Mr Charity (TV Series) played the part of Distressed Mother in Series 1, Episode 5 (Nice To Feed You)

2001: Comedy Lab (TV Series) played the part of Linda in Daydream Believers: "Brand New Beamer"

2002: Rescue Me (TV Series) played the part of Paula in Series 1, Episode 4

2002: Holby City (TV Series) played the part of Kim Preeble in Series 4, Episode 45 (New Hearts, Old Scores)

2002: The Office (TV Series) played the part of Helena in Series 2, Episode 6

2003: The Gash (TV Series) played various characters over three episodes

2003: Eyes Down (TV Series) played the part of Mandy Foster in Series 1, Episode 3 (Stars In Their Eyes)

2003: The Strategic Humor Initiative played various characters

2003-2010: Peep Show (TV Series) played the part of Sophie Chapman in 32 Episodes

2004: Black Books (TV Series) played the part of Tanya in Series 3, Episode 2 (Elephants and Hens)

2004: Swiss Toni (TV Series) played the part of Linda Byron in Series 2, Episode 1 (Troubleshooter)

2004: NY-LON (TV Series) played the part of Lucy in Series 1, Episode 5 (Something About Family)

2004: Coming Up (TV Series) played the part of Receptionist in Series 2, Episode 1 (The Baader Meinhoff Gang Show)

2004: Terkel In Trouble (Film) provided the voice of Terkel's Mum

2004-2006: Green Wing (TV Series) played the part of Harriet Schulenburg in 18 episodes 

2005: Angell's Hell played the part of Belinda 

2005: Look Around You (TV Series) played the part of Pam Bachelor in six episodes

2005: Help (TV Series) played an unnamed character in Series 1, Episode 6

2005: The Robinsons (TV Series) played the part of Connie in Series 1, Episode 3

2005: Murder in Suburbia (TV Series) played the part of Ellie in Series 2, Episode 6 (Golden Oldies)

2005: Shakespeare Re-Told (TV Series) played the part of Ursula in Series 1, Episode 1 (Much Ado About Nothing)

2005: Zemanovaload (Film) played the part of a TV Producer

2005: One Off (Short Film) played the part of Ian's Mother

2006: Confetti (Film)  played the part of Joanna

2006-2008: That Mitchell and Webb Look (TV Series) played various characters in thirteen episodes

2007: The Grey Man played the part of Linda Dodds 

2007: The Time Of Your Life (TV Series) played the part of Amanda in six episodes

2007: Hot Fuzz (Film) played the part of PC Doris Thatcher

2007: Grow Your Own (Film) played the part of Alice

2007: I Could Never Be Your Woman (Film) played the part of a Hairdresser

2007: Dog Altogether (Short Film) played the part of Anita

2008: Love Soup (TV Series) played the part of Penny in Series 2, Episode 2 (Integrated Logistics)

2008: Hancock and Joan (TV Film) played the part of Marion

2008: Consuming Passion (TV Film) played the part of Janet/Nurse Violetta Kiss

2008-2009: Beautiful People (TV Series) played the part of Debbie Doonan in twelve episodes

2009: Skins (TV Series) played the part of Gina Campbell in Series 3, Episode 6 (Naomi)

2009: Midsomer Murders (TV Series) played the part of Bernice in the episode Small Mercies

2009: Mister Eleven (TV Series) played the part of Beth in two episodes

2009: Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee (Film) played the part of Olivia

2010: Doctor Who (TV Series) played the part of Mother/Prisoner Zero in Series 5, Episode 1 (The Eleventh Hour)

2010-onwards: Rev (TV Series) played the part of Alex Smallbone in 13 episodes

2011: Exile (TV Series) played the part of Nancy Ronstadt in three episodes

2011: Tyrannosaur (Film) played the part of Hannah

2011: Arrietty (Film) voiced the character of Homily

2011: The Iron Lady (Film) played the part of Carol Thatcher

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2011-2012: Twenty-Twelve (TV Series) played the part of Sally Owen in eight episodes

2012: Accused (TV Series) played the part of Sue in Series 2, Episode 2 (Mo's Story)

2012: Bad Sugar (TV Film) played the part of Joan Cauldwell

2012: Run (TV Series) played the part of Carol

2012: Hyde Park On Hudson (Film) played the part of Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother)

2013: Broadchurch (TV Series) played the part of Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller in eight episodes

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2013: I Give It A Year (Film) played the part of a Marriage Counsellor

2013: Cuban Fury (Film) played the part of Sam


Personal Quotes


On the prospect of writing:

"Every now and then I think I should write something, and I'd love to get a crack at doing my own stuff, but I can't write so that's no use!"


On her acting aspirations: 

"I always imagined I'd be playing Lady Macbeth and Medea and things, but it turned out I wasn't very good at that. So luckily I got work doing comedy acting, actoring, and I love it"


On fame:

"This may sound mad, but you sort of assume that no one's going to watch what you do. You go on set, have a lovely time, and then you forget anyone's going to see it. So it's always a bit of a shock to be recognised. I get terribly embarrassed."


On being recognised:

"Thankfully, I'm still at the level where most people don't know who I am. I prefer it like that. I'm basically a slipper-wearing, parka-wearing, slightly spotty lady, who likes to wander around Peckham with her pushchair."