Congratulations to Olivia who won an award for her performance in Tyrannosaur at the Chicago International Film Festival
Silver Hugo for Best Actress to Olivia Colman in TYRANNOSAUR (UK) for an outstanding performance hitting every note showing her vulnerability, her power and her humor.
If you have even a smidgen of taste in comedy then you’ll already be familiar with Olivia Colman, who played Mark’s on-off (mostly off) girlfriend in Peep Show, PC Doris Thatcher in Hot Fuzz and harassed mum-of-many Harriet Schulenberg in Green Wing. Lately, however, Colman’s career has begun to move into more serious drama with films such as Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur and the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady.
Tyrannosaur is a drama about domestic abuse in which Colman plays a Christian charity worker who seeks escape from her violent husband James (Eddie Marsan) through a friendship with alcoholic widower James (Peter Mullan). The film has already stormed its way through Sundance, picking up the Directing Award and Special Jury Prize, and rumours are abound that it could do equally well at this year’s BAFTAs.
However, I went into this interview straight after watching Studio Ghibli’s latest animated adventure Arrietty, based on the timeless children’s novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Colman provided the UK voiceover for the character of Homily, the hand-wringing, fretful mother of the title character who would probably benefit greatly from “borrowing” some Xanax. Despite her fits of anxiety, the character is incredibly endearing and Arrietty is every bit as beautiful and heart-warming as the world has come to expect from a Studio Ghibli film.
Bleeding Cool: What was the dubbing process like for Arrietty? Were you recording alongside the other actors.
Olivia Colman: No, well I certainly didn’t meet any other actors, so I heard what they’d recorded and then I did my bit. I don’t know if anyone else met but it’s funny, I can’t wait to see it so I can see if it works or not. It’s a funny feeling, having a chat but not ever meeting anybody.
BC: Had you read the book before?
OC: Yes, and we’ve got the audiobook in the car that my kids listen to and I remember reading it when I was very little. I remember seeing the film, you know the Jim Broadbent film, years ago when that came out and I loved it.
BC: Had you heard that they’ve also recorded another English-language version, but with American accents for the US audience?
OC: Yes, I’d just learnt that, it’s great! So you get your own accents for your own regions. It’s nice to have a little reminder of the Englishness of it when it’s set in that beautiful Japanese garden.
BC: The next big release for you is Tyrannosaur, directed by Paddy Considine. How did you get involed with the project?
OC: Apparently, Paddy says, we met during Hot Fuzz, and when he turned up for his first rehearsal I was terribly excited that Paddy Considine was about to walk through the door, and I jumped up and grinned at him and opened the door for him, and he says that was the moment when he thought “Oh she’ll do for the film.”
I don’t why know why he did that but I’m very pleased he did. He was thinking at the time for a short and he was looking for someone to play my character. Luckily he stuck with it and I did the feature as well.
BC: It sounds like a very intense story and it covers a lot of sensitive subjects. How did you prepare for the role?
OC: I’m not sure that you can, really. He’s written it so beautifully and the characters are so multi-dimensional that you just have to throw yourself in and go with it. That sounds a bit vague, but it’s so beautifully written that you just have to imagine what it would be like to be that unhappy or that happy … [Laughs]. It’s not great, is it? I would be a rubbish drama teacher.
BC: Did you do a lot of rehearsal beforehand?
OC: Not really, we sat and talked a bit, and you felt very secure and trusted him, and you just walked through where’d you think you might move to. He said, “I don’t want you to fix it, I don’t want you to feel stuck, you don’t have to say any of the lines yet, we’ll wait until everyone’s ready and then you can just go.” So as long as you didn’t let it out of the room in the middle of a speech and hope the camera would follow you … I found it quie scary initially, because I’m used to parameters, but it was a lovely experience.
BC: Tyrannosaur has already done very well at Sundance, are you now looking forward to the BAFTAs?
OC: I don’t know. It’ll be nice to see how the general public take to it and I think they’ll love it. I’m so … if someone says they don’t like it I’m not sure I’m going to be able to cope, because I was so passionate about it. I really hope people love it as much as we do and I don’t suppose it matters about awards. If anyone comes out with, “yeah, it was alright, ” I don’t know what I’ll say. I think it’s going to be a love or a hate thing, a Marmite thing.
BC: Paddy started out as an actor and became quite well known for doing that before he started to make the move into writing and directing. Would you ever make the move behind the camera?
OC: Ooh, no! No, it’s never even crossed my mind, and I think that if, by 37, it hasn’t crossed my mind then there’s a good reason for that. Some people are good at it and some people aren’t and I think I would be in the latter camp. I don’t think I could bear the responsibility.
BC: You’ve got another very interesting film coming out, The Iron Lady. Did you have any scenes with Meryl Streep?
OC: Yes, all my scenes are with Meryl. It was an amazing experience and completely different to Tyrannosaur, because it was a much bigger budget and a lot more, sort of, organised, I suppose, and I lot of waiting for the right lights to be done. So it was a really different way of doing things but interesting and very exciting to be part of it. I have only seen little bits of it in ADR, I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve seen lots of Tyrannosaur, I’ve seen it a few times when we went to Sundance together, but I haven’t seen Iron Lady yet. From what I have seen it looks very exciting and Meryl is, as you’d imagine, amazing!
BC: You’re already very well known for comedy, with TV series like Peep Show, but now it seems you’re doing a lot more serious drama. Was that a move you chose to make or did it just work out that way?
OC: No, it’s just turned out that way, it’s not a conscious decision. I started out just wanting to be an actor and it ended up that I did a lot of comedy first, which was brilliant because you get to laugh all day at work! So yes, I’m loving the fact that I’m getting more stuff to do now, but it’s just the way it’s worked out, really.
BC: What’s next for you?
OC: At the moment I’m just finishing Rev, which is a telly series about a vicar, and I’m just about to start a film with Bill Murray called Hyde Park on Hudson, which is really fun, but luckily it’s all set in England. It’s meant to be America but they’ve found places that look like it here, so I don’t have to go away!
Arrietty is in UK cinemas this Friday, June 29th, with Tyrannosaur to follow in early October and The Iron Lady coming along in January (or December, apparently, in the US).
I have updated the gallery with some beautiful pictures of Olivia at the Paul premiere in London last night and I found some photos of her at the Variety Studio, Sundance on January 23, 2011 in Park City, Utah:
Tyrannosaur got recognised by the award for The World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic at Sundance and Olivia Colman also was awarded World cinema special jury prize, dramatic for breakout performance which she shares with her co-star Peter Mullan
Film in Leeds has been on the rise in recent years and another locally-shot film has been winning awards.
Tyrannosaur, filmed in Leeds and Wakefield, is the talk of critics across the globe as it bagged two awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
Sundance, the world’s leading independent film festival, takes place every year in Park City, Utah.
It was set up by Hollywood superstar Robert Redford to encourage independent cinema.
Tyrannosaur, is another success from Warp Films – the team behind Four Lions, This Is England and Dead Man’s Shoes.
Renowned actor Paddy Considine took the World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic Award for Tyrannosaur, his feature directorial debut, produced by Warp X – an offshoot of Warp Films – and co-funded by Screen Yorkshire.
Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan were awarded The World Cinema Special Jury Prizes: Dramatic for Breakout Performances for their roles in the hard-hitting drama, which explores how love and friendship can be found in the darkest of places.
Filmed in Leeds and Wakefield in 2010, Tyrannosaur was produced on Warp Films’ low budget feature initiative Warp X, which aims to support emerging talent to break into features.
While it was wowing the critics and audiences alike in the States, Tyrannosaur also had its European premiere as part of the Bright Future programme of first and second feature films at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.
The film tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mullan) a man plagued by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction. As Joseph’s life spirals into turmoil a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah (Olivia Colman), a Christian charity shop worker. Their relationship develops to reveal that Hannah is hiding a secret of her own with devastating results on both of their lives.
The wins for Tyrannosaur complement last week’s Best TV Drama Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards for This Is England ’86 – a hard-hitting four-part drama based on characters from the original film. Ironically such success comes as Screen Yorkshire undertakes redundancy consultation with fifteen of its nineteen staff.
Hugo Heppell, Head of Production at Screen Yorkshire, who co-funded Tyrannosaur and gave locations and crewing support, says:
“We are absolutely thrilled at the success of Tyrannosaur at the Sundance Film Festival and congratulate Paddy Considine, Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman for their richly deserved awards. This unflinching, wonderful film, shot entirely on location in Seacroft, Leeds, takes its place alongside The Arbor and The Kings Speech among the most lauded films of the year, and shows that film is still very much alive in Yorkshire despite these difficult times.”
Director Paddy Considine, made his name appearing in several films by Shane Meadows, before appearing in TV’s Red Riding Trilogy and international cinema hits such as The Bourne Ultimatum. The script for Tyrannosaur, written by Considine, was based on his 2008 BAFTA winning short Dog Altogether.
One of the most striking performances at this year’s Sundance Film Festival has come from British actress Olivia Colman — best known for her comedy roles. Her TV credits include Peep Show and Doctor Who.
In the Sundance film Tyrannosaur, she plays a God-fearing charity gift shop worker subjected to horrific degradation by her abusive husband. Her acting has won praise, particularly her ability to convey a gamut of emotions — anger, humiliation, hurt, and tenderness — all with great authenticity. She’s not the boastful type, but Colman thinks her performance in Tyrannosaur, which is directed by Paddy Considine, is one of her best.
I have a lot toupdate about Olivia at Sundance she and the film she was there for Tyrannosaur has really been recieved well with olivia getting some fantastic reviews. Here are some of them:
Mark Adams, chief film critic at trade magazine Screen International, says Tyrannosaur is, “a thoughtful, uncompromising and at times moving debut driven by quite outstanding performances by Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman.”
Over at BBC America, Tom Brook describes Olivia Colman’s performance in Tyrannosaur as “one of the most striking performances at this year’s Sundance Film Festival”, adding, “her acting has won praise, particularly her ability to convey a gamut of emotions — anger, humiliation, hurt, and tenderness — all with great authenticity.”
Sundance has some real joy for us Olivia fans I have added some great professional pictures from the festival:
Total film have interviewed Paddy Considine while he is at Sundance film festival and he has let us know that Olivia will star in his new film:
“According to Total Film, Considine was hinting (though they don’t say just how he was doing so) that Olivia Colman, the star of Tyrannosaur, would have a role in the film. He also revealed that another famous story about misunderstood forces is to provide some kind of influence on the film:
He plans to shoot the movie in England and says The Exorcist is a reference point for him. But don’t expect pea-puke and spinning heads – the dilemma of the mother when she doubts her own daughter are more his inspiration.”
Paddy Considine makes a powerful and intense directorial debut with Tyrannosaur, the hard and at times harrowing – though ultimately redemptive – story of a self-destructive man and his relationship with a charity-shop worker. The bleak story and strong language may appear a handicap, but the film is a thoughtful, uncompromising and at times moving debut driven by quite outstanding performances by Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman.
Actor Considine follows in a great British tradition of British actors choosing tough stories for their first films – such as Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth; Tim Roth’s The War Zone and Samantha Morton’s The Unloved – and he has delivered a dazzlingly intense film that is tough to watch but completely memorable and challenging.
The film, which has its world premiere at Sundance, is not an easy watch at times – though much of the violent brutality actually happens off screen or out of shot – with the astonishingly fine performances making the film all the more sad and realistic.
The opening scene sets the tone of the film. A drunken and raging Joseph (Peter Mullan) stumbles out of a pub, swearing and crashing around the alleyway, and proceeds to kick his loyal dog so brutally that it dies the next day. He is a tortured and tormented man, driven to drunken self-destruction and living a cycle of brutality and harsh self-absorption.
After smashing the window of a local post office he hides in a charity shop, where the Christian-minded shop assistant Hannah (Olivia Colman, in a moving performance) wants to offer kind words and support. He simply swears at her, but after being beaten up he returns to the shop the next day.
Joseph is harshly dismissive of her Christianity, good nature and desire to help and criticises her for being middle class and knowing nothing of the harsh life on his estate. What she is hiding, though, is that she is being abused by her husband James (Eddie Marsan) at home, and her life is anything but perfect.
Battered and beaten after an incident with her husband, Hannah seeks solace with Joseph, but he questions his ability to help and protect her. She stays at his tidy house where he talks about his wife, who had died some years before. His joke name for her was ‘Tyrannosaurus’ – describing her as a big woman who makes a lot of noise climbing the stairs, causing a vibration that made the tea in his cup quiver…just like the Tyrannosaurus Rex in Spielberg’s Jurassic Park.
The film impressively spirals to a dark twist towards an unlikely sense of redemption for both Hannah and Joseph as they gently and falteringly fumble towards a relationship based on care and understanding.
The revelation in Tyrannosaur is the moving and remarkable performance by Olivia Colman as battered wife Hannah. She is well known in the UK through comedy shows such as Peep Show and Rev, and had a role in Edgar Wright’s film Hot Fuzz as well as starring alongside Paddy Considine in Shane Meadow’s film Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee. But here she is remarkable and is complemented by an appropriately brutal and haunted performance by Peter Mullan who is at his very best as the embittered and tortured Joseph.
Paddy Considine writes and directs impressively, making good use of the widescreen scope format to emphasise the bleakness of the estate where Joseph lives. He has created a tough and harrowing story that is punctuated by dark moments of compassion and humour and yet which offers a sense of redemption amidst the abuse and killing of household pets.