Olivia Colman has been on a roll for quite some time, and 2019 is shaping up to be the year she really goes global.
Currently filming her turn as Queen Elizabeth II for the forthcoming third series of ‘The Crown’, Olivia has now bagged her second Golden Globe for her lead role in Yorgos Lanthimos’ ‘The Favourite’, with attention now turning to whether she’ll be taking home the Oscar in February.
Whether she first caught your eye in ‘Broadchurch’ or ‘The Night Manager’, or you’ve been a fan since her days as Sophie in ‘Peep Show’, we all have an Olivia Colman role that sticks in our mind.
However, there have been a fair few over the years that you might have forgotten...
Considering its impressive cast of British comics who have since gone on to become known as among the best in the business, we’re surprised that ‘Bruiser’ is so often overlooked in the comedy history books.
The six-part comedy sketch show was the first small-screen collaboration between David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who met at Cambridge years earlier and began their comedy partnership.
Ricky Gervais and Richard Ayoade also worked on it as writers, while Martin Freeman and Olivia Colman were among the cast, with the latter later going on to appear in their shows ‘Peep Show’ and ‘That Mitchell And Webb Look’.
Take a look at her in (rather explicit, actually) action below:
‘The Office’ (2002)
Two years later, Olivia reunited with Ricky Gervais, in an episode of his hugely successful BBC comedy ‘The Office’.
Olivia appeared in a small role as Helena, a writer for the company’s internal newspaper who interviews David Brent about his approach to management, with predictable results.
‘Terkel In Trouble’ (2004)
Olivia’s first foray into the world of cinema was with a voice acting role in the English-language version of ‘Terkel In Trouble’, originally released in Denmark in 2004.
The CGI film – billed as being aimed at “lovers of Beavis And Butthead, The Simpsons and South Park” – tells the story of teenage Terkel, played by comic Adrian Edmondson, with other comedians including Bill Bailey and Johnny Vegas also lending their voices to the film.
‘Confetti’ features an impressive cast including Jimmy Carr, Julia Davis, Alison Steadman, Martin Freeman, Jessica Hynes and Stephen Mangan, but Olivia told The Guardian in 2011 she’s never been able to bring herself to watch it.
In the film, she and frequent co-star Robert Webb play a naturist couple and Olivia told the newspaper she’d been misled about how much of her body would be in the film, and what would be pixelated.
“It was the worst experience of my life,” she said. “I now never trust anybody. I love people, I believe in the goodness of people, but ever since that, there’s a bit of me that died... it’s not funny to me at all. I didn’t sleep for a year.”
Millennial viewers might remember Olivia from her brief role in the second generation of ‘Skins’, where she played the brilliantly-named Naomi Campbell’s free-spirited mum.
Here she is in character, musing about why she thinks bananas might be too “patriarchal” for her commune’s shopping list...
‘Hyde Park On Hudson’ (2012)
Between her upcoming role in ‘The Crown’ and her Golden Globe-winning turn in ‘The Favourite’, 2019 is certainly the year that things get regal for Olivia Colman.
As it turns out, she already has a bit of practise, having starred as the previous Queen Elizabeth, wife of King George VI, in the historical comedy-drama ‘Hyde Park On Hudson’.
The film saw Bill Murray in the role of President Roosevelt, while his wife Daisy was portrayed by Laura Linney.
‘Pudsey The Dog: The Movie’ (2014)
Yes, in addition to her Bafta and Golden Globe-winning acting work, Olivia also voiced Nelly the horse in the big screen debut of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’-winning canine star Pudsey The Dog, produced, of course, by Simon Cowell.
While the titular mutt was voiced by ‘BGT’ judge David Walliams, other cast members included Jessica Hynes, Lorraine Kelly and comedian John Sessions.
An Olivia Colman role that’s oft-forgotten not because of the quality of her performance, but because the character is so far removed from what we’re used to seeing her do.
While her CV features mostly sympathetic comedic characters, eccentrics and strong leading women, Olivia brought her A-game to the BBC Three series ‘Fleabag’, playing the main character’s truly odious step-mother.
The actress’ jam-packed 2019 will also see her starring in the upcoming second series of ‘Fleabag’, opposite the show’s creator and writer, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who recently enjoyed massive success on both sides of the Atlantic with ‘Killing Eve’.
Oh yeah, and that AA Advert (2004)
“Bev!” “Kev!” Yep, that was Olivia Colman.