20 Reasons Why Olivia Colman Is Better Than Everyone Else

1 year ago 47

She does it all, low-brow comedy to high-stakes drama, and I just can't get enough of that toothy grin.

Olivia Colman has two streaming hits right now, The Lost Daughter and Landscapers, but I have worshipped this woman since the early aughts when she was improvising as a chain-smoking housewife with Martin Freeman on Bruiser and cracking me up as the alcoholic love interest on Peep Show. She's wickedly funny on talk shows, she's won a bunch of awards, and she legit seems like a down-to-earth person.

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Here are 20 reasons why she's my favorite.

1. Her professional acting debut on Bruisers.

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Bruiser only aired for one season in 2000, but thank god for YouTube, eh? This clip fills me with an uncomfortable amount of joy. That accent. 

2. Her performance as Sophie on Peep Show.

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Olivia blessed us with her characterization of Sophie on Peep Show, the offbeat POV-style British comedy that ran from 2003-2015. The show was my first introduction to Olivia — my adoration of her was still nascent, but I knew... I knew. 

3. Her small role as a reporter in The Office (UK).

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Wait, did I say Peep Show was my intro to Olivia? How could I possibly have forgotten her star-making turn in The Office, a show I watched fifty times over before I even knew what Peep Show was? 

4. She's an Oscar winner for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite.

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Damn. Right. She deserved it. How endearing is her teary, gracious acceptance speech?

5. She worked as a temp, typist, and a cleaner before fame.

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Before she was making millions and winning Academy Awards, Olivia worked regular jobs just like the rest of us peons. She’s a self-made woman! In her Oscar speech, she acknowledged her past by saying, "I used to work as a cleaner, and I loved that job, but I did spend quite a lot of my time imagining this."

8. She played Doris Thatcher in Hot Fuzz.

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A great movie made all the better by Olivia Colman cracking dirty jokes throughout.  

9. She's been married for 21 years to her college sweetheart.

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She's got the acting thing down, and she's got the marriage thing down. Olivia met Ed Sinclair when they were both studying at Cambridge. Apparently, it was love at first sight for her. She told The Telegraph, "When he walked into the room, I just went, 'That's him!'"

10. Oh yeah, she went to Cambridge University.

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I *think* you have to be kinda smart to go there. Beauty, brains, talent — she's got it all. 

11. Her husband wrote Landscapers for her to star in.

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That's right, Ed Sinclair, Olivia's hubby, is also an actor and a writer. He told Yahoo that he wrote the Landscapers script just for his love, "From the outset, it was very much conceived as an Olivia Colman vehicle, I was looking to write something for her, so that was definitely in play." How. Sweet.

12. She let Dakota Johnson give her a DIY tattoo.

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13. She will not lose weight for any role.

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Olivia made it perfectly clear in a 2015 interview with The Times that she would not starve herself just to fit into a director or producer's vision of womanhood: "God help anyone who tries to suggest ... If anyone told me I was too fat for a role, I'd have them." She will gain weight, though—she told The Telegraph that she put on 35 pounds for her role in The Favourite!

14. She's a master of dark comedy and character acting.

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Have you seen Flowers? If not, you need to go watch this bizarre, dark, quirky comedy starring Olivia and Julian Barrett. I had to give it a second try because the first episode didn't quite hook me, but oh man am I glad I did. 

15. But she can also bring us to our knees with her dramatic acting.

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Remember this scene from Broadchurch? Don't press play if you haven't because... MAJOR SPOILER. But wow. That raw emotion. That is commitment. 

16. She owns her age.

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Olivia isn't afraid to admit she's had some botox once or twice, but she also shows us that a 47-year-old actress who hasn't had major plastic surgery can star in TV shows and movies. No judgment on those who go under the knife, but it's refreshing to see a woman look her age and not feel bad about it. 

17. She's humble.

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Olivia seems genuinely good-natured and gracious, and she doesn't take her success for granted.  She told Vogue, "If you’re working, you’re so f***ing lucky. A lot of actors better than me aren’t.” 

18. She was on Fleabag!

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Fleabag gave us so much, but perhaps the best choice Phoebe Waller-Bridge made was casting Olivia Colman as the stepmother (godmother?). She delivers backhanded compliments and brutal burns under a veneer of doe-eyed innocence. 

19. She's a feminist.

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Olivia was one of several prominent public figures who signed an open letter in support of trans women, which read in part, "We are feminists and we write, on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, to express our solidarity with trans women, particularly trans women of colour, who experience violence and hostility so frequently it is almost a way of life."

20. She has a dog named Alfred Lord Waggyson.

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Get it? Like Alfred Lord Tennyson, the English poet? That's the kind of sophisticated humor you can expect from Olivia Colman. I actually did not know of her dog's existence prior to writing this article, but now that I'm aware she's a lover of both animals and 19th century English poetry, my idolization of her has reached new heights. 

What is your favorite movie or show featuring Olivia Colman?

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