If there’s anyone who knows how to captivate us with the subtle and magnificent power of performance, it’s Olivia Colman.
One of Britain’s best-loved actors drew us in with a series of pitch-perfect roles in Peep Show, Broadchurch, The Queen, The Night Manager – and of course, her Oscar-winning turn in 2018 period comedy The Favourite.
Clearly, this is a woman who knows how to get under an audience’s skin with raw, emotive and inherently believable storytelling.
So it’s music to our ears to hear that Coleman’s performance in a new film about a father’s struggle with dementia is being hailed as one of her greatest yet. The trailer for the drama has just been released, offering a glimpse of what the film critics are so excited about.
The Father, based on an award-winning French play of the same name, sees Colman play Anne, the daughter of larger-than-life Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), who is suffering a slow and baffling decline from dementia.
Anthony’s battle with the degenerative illness is all the more gut-wrenching because of the kind of charming, cantankerous and ebullient person that he is. The audience sees first-hand his frustration at the worried reactions of those around him, including his daughter (Colman), his nurse (played by Imogen Poots) and a third woman (Olivia Williams) who appears to become his daughter.
“The way you keep looking as if something is wrong, everything is fine,” he snaps at his daughter at one point, as she herself is heard saying: “I saw it in his eyes, he didn’t know who I was. It was like I was a stranger to him.”
The new film is written and directed by French novelist Florian Zeller, who also wrote the play. But those expecting a one-dimensional drama about the tragedy of memory loss are in for a surprise.
As well as drawing back the curtain on the more heartbreaking aspects of dementia, The Father brings moments of farcical comedy in the mix – along with a thriller-esque feel of unreality. The viewer is invited to experience dementia from an inside perspective, so they are never really sure whose version of reality is correct, or where/in whom danger lies.
Amid this creeping sense of unease, Colman takes commanding lead as a woman who is struggling to balance the demands of her increasingly erratic father with her own life, and her relationship with husband and maybe-bad guy Paul (Rufus Sewell).
The play on which The Father is based won the prestigious Molière award; an honour that the film version now seems likely to emanate. After airing at Sundance earlier this year, several critics tipped Zeller’s adaptation for Oscar success next year (LA-based critic and writer Donny Sheldon hailed Colman’s performance as “the most empathetic, heartfelt work of her career”).
Just under a million people suffer from dementia in the UK according to Alzheimer’s Society, and that figure is set to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.
With the condition still widely misunderstood and coated in confusion – not least from the perspective of those who have it, and their loved ones – The Father plays an important role in driving the narrative around dementia forward (and in that sense, it’s not dissimilar to Emma Healey’s hit thriller novel Elizabeth Is Missing, which was also based on a protagonist with dementia).
One thing’s for sure: with the powerhouse duo of Colman and Hopkins at the helm, this twisty and harrowing film is sure to be top of your watch list when it comes out in 2021.
Do you need support with a loved one suffering from dementia? Get expert help and guidance at DementiaUK
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Olivia Colman have welcomed a donation from Amazon Prime Video to a fund which the actors launched to help support theatre professionals whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic.
Amazon said it would give $6m to support the European film, TV and theatre production community get through the crisis.
The first awards are £1m to a Covid-response fund created by the film and TV charity; and £500,000 to the theatre community fund spearheaded by Waller-Bridge, Colman and their Fleabag producer Francesca Moody.
In a joint statement the three women said: “We’re utterly blown away to have such an extraordinary level of support from Amazon.
“Our theatre community has never been more threatened or fragile and this donation, alongside those from other industry individuals, is a game changer for its future. On behalf of the theatre community fund we extend a huge thank you to Amazon for the acknowledgement of the value and power of UK theatre and how we as an industry will survive anything when we hold each other up in times of crisis.”
Waller-Bridge is a hugely powerful figure in the film and TV industry whose career began, like countless others, in live performing arts – one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. Fleabag, her breakthrough, was first performed at the Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013.
The fund was launched at the end of July with a £1m pledge of donations by its founders and from other star names including Gillian Anderson, James Corden, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Radcliffe and Meera Syal.
The Amazon money will help in the fund’s two strands offering grants of up to £3,000. The first is hardship grants to freelancers in immediate need. The second is innovation and creation money to help artists produce work.
The other donation, of £1m, will go to the film and TV charity, which has so far distributed more than £3.3m in financial support to thousands of workers in the industry. The Amazon money will, it said, “kick-start a second wave of support including a major new grants scheme that will focus on supporting diverse talent as the industry recovers and production resumes”.
The donations can arguably be traced back to an intervention made by Sam Mendes in June. In the Financial Times he wrote of the irony of Netflix and Amazon Prime “making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die”.
He called on the streaming giants to use “a fraction of their Covid-19 windfall to help those who have been mortally wounded”.
Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said: “The creative community in Europe has been vital to our success in producing high-quality Amazon original TV series and movies for our global audience, and it is essential for us to help that community through this pandemic.”
The money was welcomed by the UK government. Caroline Dinenage, culture minister, said: “We recognise that the last few months have been difficult for many people in the performing arts and screen industries given the impact of Covid-19.
“This donation from Amazon adds to the unprecedented support from the UK government to help secure these brilliant industries’ future and help them thrive once more.”
The 2020 BAFTAs had an emphasis on sustainability this year. The academy went to great lengths to ensure that all aspects of the evening were as eco-conscious as possible – from a fully recyclable red carpet to the organic, locally-sourced dinner served to guests in the evening – in an effort for the event to be carbon neutral. BAFTA also requested that guests make “sustainable choices” when it came to dressing for the ceremony – suggesting that they might like to rent a dress, buy vintage or rewear something they already own.
Olivia Colman adhered to the sustainable sensibility of the evening by partnering with Atelier Swarovski on some beautiful bespoke jewellery created from lab-grown diamonds – widely considered a more eco-friendly option than using labour-intensive mined diamonds. The actress debuted Swarovski’s first pink created diamonds on the red carpet, in the form of a striking pink cocktail ring.
The piece featured a 2.03-carat cushion cut Fancy Purplish Pink Swarovski Created Diamond with an intensity of colour and style of cut that is rare in a lab-created diamond of that size. The hero stone was surrounded by Cabochon Star Rubies and pink Swarovski Genuine Topaz.
On her other hand, Colman wore a stunning blue cocktail ring consisting of a 42-carat antique cushion-cut Swarovski Created Sapphire.
When she stepped out on the red carpet, the actress added a third ring, calling for equal representation for actresses, with “50:50” written in the middle.
“I share the same passion for conscious luxury and sustainability as Atelier Swarovski,” Colman told us, of her decision to partner with the brand. “It is a true pleasure to debut these bespoke jewels featuring the first pink Swarovski Created Diamonds, which prove that beautiful fashion choices can still be kind to people and planet.”
The rings were complemented by sparkling cluster and droplet earrings, featuring eight Swarovski Created Sapphires totalling over 28 carats, enhanced with additional Fancy Purplish Pink Swarovski Created Diamonds.
Colman’s stylist, Harper’s Bazaar contributor Miranda Almond, worked closely with Swarovski on the design of the jewellery, to ensure that it perfectly complemented the actress’ floral-embroidered Alexander McQueen dress.
“We wanted the shape of the earrings to be an addition to the style of the neckline and not compete against it,” Almond explained. “I think they add a sense of playfulness and look super cool, too.”
The droplet part of the earrings were designed to be detachable, so they also could be worn as simple clusters, allowing Almond to make a call on the night as to which version of the jewellery looked better. The stylist added that it’s vital more high-profile stars highlight sustainable practices on the red carpet.
“The more sustainable we can be with fashion and jewellery production the better for everyone,” she told us. “To shine a light on those brands that do is an important step to making it the norm rather than the exception.”
“Who did your make-up? You look like a badger,” might be one of the best lines from the film The Favourite, for which Olivia Colman won the Best Actress Oscar in 2019. When it comes to red carpet make-up, however, she’s quite rightly a little less experimental. Take Sunday night’s BAFTAs 2020 make-up look: drawing on the purple, blue and pink tones in her embroidered Alexander McQueen gown, her look was softly romantic yet modern, with pink and lilac eyeshadows accented with dark, glossy lashes and defined brows.
“Olivia is so trusting and open to ideas, and I’m also partial to her make-up having a ‘fresh factor,’” her make-up artist Sarah Uslan told British Vogue. Uslan first worked with the star when she came to Los Angeles in 2011 for a screening of her film Tyrannosaur. “Even if we go for a bold lip and big doe eyes, it’s always balanced with her natural-looking skin and a feathery brow.”
The getting ready process is delightfully fuss-free, Uslan insisted. “Getting Olivia ready certainly does not feel like work; it’s lots of laughs, some yummy snacks and a pot of tea,” she said. The hard work starts beforehand. “The conversation always starts with the dress. Miranda Almond, her stylist, will send a picture to her hairstylist Marcus Francis and myself, sharing her thoughts for make-up and hair, and then letting us run with it. Olivia is so trusting that once she’s in the chair and we’ve talked through some ideas, she sometimes doesn’t even look at herself until the very end, by which time she gives us a smile and says, ‘Well done.’”
Uslan made Colman’s naturally big, beautiful eyes the main feature of the actress’s beauty look for the BAFTAs. Keeping the complexion bare until after the eye make-up had been completed – “so that if any shadow falls, I can quickly clean up with some moisturiser and keep the skin fresh and flawless before foundation” – she administered a quick facial massage using a tool like a Gua Sha.
Then, Uslan opted for the Marc Jacobs pink and lilac Provocouture Eye Palette. First, she applied the “You Might” shade all over the lid followed by “Otherwise” in the crease; then “Sat It” over the centre of the lid to add a pop of highlight. Accenting the eyes with Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Pencils, she used “Ro(cocoa)” at the lash-line and then double-lined with “Plum(age)”. “I then used a small brush to blend the seam of the liner and give a smoked-out effect.” Uslan followed with “Luna(tic)” to give a subtle lilac highlight at the corner of her eyes, adding a little more “Plum(age)” and “Ro(cocoa)” at the bottom lash-line to accentuate her eyes. To complete the look, she used Marc Jacobs Velvet Epic Lash Primer to build up the length and volume of lashes, and then applied Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara.
Creating a perfect base with Marc Jacobs Under(Cover) Blurring Coconut Face Primer and Shameless Youthful-Look Foundation, as well as Fair 10 concealer in the inner corner of the under eye mixed with Light 20 across the undereye to conceal and lift, she kept the rest of the make-up natural but glowing, with a touch of Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator on her temples and cheekbones.
How does she ensure the look lasts all night long? “I usually send Olivia out of the door with a bit of powder for the T-zone, her lip colour (last night’s was Marc Jacobs Lip Creme in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”) and sometimes a pea-sized amount of concealer,” said Uslan. “The trick is making it all fit in her teeny-tiny beautiful clutches. It’s always like a Tetris challenge.”
Award season started on Sunday with the Golden Globes, and as has become the norm, actresses used the event to make a political statement, whether on stage – like Michelle Williams defending abortion rights – or on the red carpet, like Olivia Colman.
The Crown actress wore a red dress by Emilia Wickstead, with puffed sleeves and a loose train. But the statement she made was in her jewelry, which you may have completely missed at first glance.
Olivia wore a ring with the ERA 50:50 logo, an organization campaigning for gender equality on the British stage and on screen by 2020.
The winner has voiced lack of representation in the past, recently stating that she “hopes bloody well” that she will pay the same price as her Crown co-star Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Philip.
She is not the only actress to campaign for equal pay in the United States, with Frances McDormand, Patricia Arquette and Halle Berry all dedicating their Oscar speeches to the issue in previous years.
With the BAFTAs and the Oscars coming up, we can expect a lot more debate, and we are there for that.
Hollywood producers are yet to cast Eleanor Tomlinson in a remake of The Great Escape. But the actress has taken matters into her own hands.
The star, best known as Poldark’s Demelza and most recently seen in the BBC adaptation of The War of the Worlds, chose Steve McQueen’s daring wartime hero Virgil Hilts when asked by the artist, Joe Simpson, to name her dream role.
The result will be on display in ACT, a new exhibition featuring portraits of 10 actors in the roles they wish they had played.
Among them are Matt Lucas as Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain, Paddy Considine as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Cleopatra and Olivia Colman as Bess in Breaking the Waves.
Michael Sheen said he had played all of his dream roles already. Instead, he opted to be painted as Max, the little boy in Maurice Sendak’s children’s book, Where The Wild Things Are.
Initially, Tomlinson did not choose The Great Escape. Simpson explained: “Originally she wanted Gone With The Wind, because she loved Scarlett O’Hara. I was just about to get cracking and she had a change of mind and said she’d done so much period drama – she was constantly in frocks, and she wanted to do something different.”
Lucas had planned to be the title character in Annie, the musical, before settling on Singin’ In The Rain.
The project has taken Simpson five years in total. Persuading famous names to take part was the first challenge. His first sitter was Considine, who was a friend of a friend. Considine then introduced him to Colman, as the pair had worked together.
“It was 2015, so it was pre-Oscars [Colman won the best actress award last year] but she was still pretty big. It was very nice to get a voicemail message from her out of the blue, saying she was interested.”
Others were contacted via their agents, or via social media: Simpson approached Sheen on Twitter, sending him a picture of the Considine portrait and inviting him to take part. Sheen responded immediately.
“Some people were hesitant, and in the beginning it was a bit of an unknown,” Simpson said. But all the actors who took part embraced the idea. In the case of Colman and Breaking the Waves, Lars von Trier’s bleak 1996 film, she told Simpson that “she had only seen it once but it had a huge emotional impact on her and she couldn’t stop thinking about it”.
After discussing the character and how the actors wanted to be depicted, Simpson photographed them with costumes and props.
He then added the backdrops using Photoshop on a computer screen, before going into the studio and painting them in oils.
The results are “like a film still from a film that doesn’t exist”, Simpson said. “These are the most researched pieces I’ve worked on, where I study each role and create a scene from scratch – which includes making costumes, referencing cinematography, genre conventions and character profiles and visiting authentic locations – all to build a single frame story.”
It also deepened his knowledge of film, as he had to watch each one several times: “Embarrassingly, I had never seen Singin’ In The Rain.”
The show opens at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery on January 25 and will travel to Theatre Clwyd, North Wales and Alfred East Art Gallery, Kettering.
Simpson has been in discussions with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Dame Judi Dench about further portraits for the ACT project.
British actress Olivia Colman was seen in a sneak peek at her beauty routine before she hit the red carpet at the Golden Globes last night.
The Crown actress, 45, who went on to win a Best Actress gong for her role as Queen Elizabeth in the hit Netflix series, was seen on her hair stylist Marcus Francis and make-up artist Sarah Uslan’s Instagram accounts, where they revealed her style secrets.
Taking to Instagram, Sarah Uslan – a former assistant to make up founder Bobbi Brown- wrote: ‘Different QUEEN this year but just as fantastic’, before adding ‘Final touch ups with this Golden Globes nominee and downright amazing woman’, revealing the Pat MacGrath Labs make-up she used for her look.
Sarah revealed she had used the Pause Well-Aging face tool, a stimulating toner aimed at menopausal skin which aims to improve elasticity, before using Emma Hardie Plump and Glow facial mist.
Moving onto her make-up, Sarah prepped Olivia’s skin with the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer, before using the brand’s Skin Fetish: Sublime Foundation in shades 4 and 5. The base was then set with the Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Powder in Light 1.
Completing the look, she applied the Pat MacGrath Labs’ PermaGel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in XtremeBlack, which was ‘smudged on the upper lash line’, and then added a dark shade from the Mthrshp Sublime: Golden Opulence palette ‘for a soft smokey liner effect’.
Finally on the eyes, Sarah applied the FetishEyes Mascara, before moving onto the lips, which were plumped to perfection using the PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff and the BlitzTrance lipstick in Full Fantasy.
Meanwhile hairstylist Marcus Francis gave her a new pixie cut for the night using Kevin Murphy products, and British fashion editor Miranda Almond styled her in a red puff sleeve Emilia Wickstead gown.
The British actress looked delighted as she was honoured for her role as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, as she confessed that she had drunk too much ahead of making her acceptance speech.
‘I said I had money on this not happening, I feel like I’m living someone else’s life and I definitely think I’ve won someone else’s award.
‘Thank you so much. I’ve had the loveliest time doing this and to all my fellow nominees who are just marvellous.’
She added: ‘I don’t know what to say, I’ve already got a little bit boozy because I thought this wasn’t going to happen. Thank you completely sums it up.’
Olivia portrayed the Queen in the much-anticipated second season of The Crown, which was released last month.
Long live the queen indeed. Olivia Colman maintained her perfect Golden Globes record on Sunday, taking home Best TV Drama Actress for “The Crown.” The Oscar winner previously won for her supporting turn on the AMC limited series “The Night Manager” three years ago and for her eventual Oscar-winning performance in “The Favourite” last year.
While many stars have gone 2 for 2 at the Globes, including last year’s TV drama actress winner Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), it’s much more difficult to bat 1000 at three-plus nominations for acting (this excludes defunct Globes categories, like New Star of the Year and the Henrietta Award, that don’t have a project attached). Martin Landau also went 3 for 3, prevailing for the second season of “Mission: Impossible” in 1968 and then on the film side for his supporting performances in “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (1988) and “Ed Wood” (1994), the latter of which earned him an Oscar.
Neither Colman nor Landau have anything on Rosalind Russell though. She converted all five of her nominations into wins: Best Actress for “Sister Kenny” (1946) and “Mourning Becomes Electra” (1947) (this was before the Globes split the race into genres), and Best Comedy/Musical Actress for “Auntie Mame” (1958), “A Majority of One” (1961) and “Gypsy” (1962).
Colman, whose “The Crown” predecessor Claire Foy also won this award three years ago — aka the same night Colman won for “The Night Manager — was in second place in our odds behind Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), who was aiming to become the first woman to win the drama and comedy/musical actress TV categories.
In third in our odds was Emmy champ Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), followed by Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) and “The Morning Show’s” Reese Witherspoon.
The Crown star Olivia Colman seemed right at home with Her Majesty’s beloved Corgis as she posed for a first look snap with the pooches.
The acclaimed actress, 45, will take on the role of Queen Elizabeth II for the third and fourth series of the Netflix drama, which will transition into the 1960s and 70s when it finally returns in November.
A dog owner herself, Olivia was the spitting image of the Queen as she sat alongside the iconic royal dogs for the image.
Olivia seems to have won over the toughest critics as she took over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy, as the corgis seem right at home in the Palace setting.
The Oscar winner seems far more comfortable working with the dogs than predecessor Claire, who admitted in 2017 she would bribe them with cheese.
She told Vanity Fair: ‘Oh my god—the corgis. I’m not much of a dog person, to be perfectly frank.
‘I really loved them, but they’re just, in general . . . the corgis are odd. They love cheese, like cheddar cheese.’
The Crown is finally set for a return to screens in November after over two years away, after actor Tobias Menzies appeared to let slip the air date last month.
Speaking to Jo Good on BBC Radio London, the actor said: ‘We shot season three and that starts in November.’
This release date would fall into line with Netflix’s previous confirmation that Series Three would be released ‘in the latter half of 2019, ‘ which had been reported by Deadline in April.
Tobias is set to take over the role of Prince Phillip from Matt when series three of The Crown moves into the 1960s and 70s, and will depict historic moments such as the 1966 Aberfan disaster, and the first miner strikes between 1972 and 1974.
A key story that will centre around Prince Phillip will be the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing, which is viewed by many as one of the most pivotal moments of the 20th Century.
The Durrells’ Josh O’Connor will take over the role of Prince Charles as he grows into a young man, and will set the stage for his later marriage to Princess Diana through his early romance with Camilla Parker-Bowles (to be played by Emerald Fennell.)
Helena Bonham Carter will play Princess Margaret. Fans will get to see the turbulent journey in Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s marriage, eventually leading to their split in 1978 – a controversy among the royal family at the time.
Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon (to be played by Ben Daniels) was seen by fans in the show’s second series, as she fell in love with the dashing aristocrat and decided to marry him in what proved a surprise to some.
Jason Watkins will also take over the role of Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and will see him work closely with Queen Elizabeth II to abolish capital punishment and stop discrimination against women and minorities.
Royal duties took a back seat as Olivia Colman made a welcome appearance at a fundraising event in London‘s Knightsbridge on Monday evening.
The Oscar winning actress will return to TV as Queen Elizabeth II when the forthcoming third season of historical drama The Crown airs on Netflix.
But filming commitments on behalf of the hugely popular show, which charts the Queen’s rise to power as head of the British monarchy, were put to one side while Olivia, 45, paid a visit to renowned auction house Bonhams.
The star was making an appearance at the Art for Eve reception as the charity kicks off the third year of its arts fundraising programme, which has so far raised more than £400,000.
Posing for photos as she made her way inside, Olivia looked typically elegant in a tasteful white evening dress and black leather boots.
The actress added to her understated look with a stylish camel coat, while a distinctive black lather handbag proved to be her only visible accessory.
Other stars attending the event included comedienne Jo Brand, fashion entrepreneur Noelle Reno and reality star Megan Barton-Hanson, who will soon strip off for The All New Monty 2019: Who Bares Wins on behalf of cancer awareness.
The Eve Appeal is currently the only UK charity raising funds for research into all five gynaecological cancers – womb, ovarian, cervical, vulval and vaginal.
Monday’s reception will be be followed by an auction on May 2, during which guests can bid on 13 lots including artworks by the likes of Grayson Perry, Bambi, Julian Opie and Patrick Hughes.
Olivia is currently hard at work on the new series of The Crown, which covers the period from 1964-1970 when the Queen’s son Charles was between the ages of 16 and 22.
She will join Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Phillip, and Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Princess Margaret, with the cast reenacting pivotal royal moments from the past 50 years.
These include Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles (Emerald Fennell) flirting at a polo match in 1975, and the future king’s investiture ceremony in 1969.