She might not be a household name (at least not yet), but British actress Olivia Colman is poised to become Hollywood royalty.
The 44-year-old actress is generating serious Oscar buzz for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite. She’s already won best actress prizes for her work in the Yorgo Lanthimos movie from the Venice Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and scored a Golden Globe nomination. Many think a best actress Oscar is the logical next step.
Colman will likely become even more familiar to audiences when she takes on a role as another British queen in The Crown. She’s replacing Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Season 3 of the show, which should premiere sometime in 2019.
Olivia Colman’s career
To U.S. audiences, it might seem like Colman came out of nowhere. But if you live in the U.K., you’re probably familiar with her work. She’s been working steadily in British TV and film since 2000, with comedic roles on shows like Bruiser, Green Wing, and Peep Show and movies like Hot Fuzz. But getting established as an actress wasn’t easy. In her first year of going on auditions, she didn’t land a single job, she told the New York Times. But she stuck with her dream of becoming an actress, working as a secretary and cleaner to pay the bills in the meantime.
Though Colman started out in comedy, she eventually took on dramatic roles in movies like Tyrannosaur, where she played an abused wife, The Iron Lady, where she played Margaret Thatcher’s daughter Carol, and Lanthimos’s previous film The Lobster.
From 2013 to 2017, she played DS Ellie Miller on three seasons of Broadchurch. The show was critically acclaimed and won several BAFTA awards, including a best actress trophy for Colman. In 2016, she starred in the BBC miniseries The Night Manager as a British intelligence operative. She won a best supporting actress Golden Globe for her role.
What’s next for Colman
The Crown isn’t Colman’s only upcoming project. She’s voicing a Strawberry in the new animated adaption of Watership Down. The limited series premieres on Netflix on December 23.
The actress will also play Madame Thénardier in the new, non-musical adaption of Les Misérables. The six-part miniseries also stars Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins and will air on PBS in April 2019. In her next movie, Them That Follow, she plays the matriarch of a strange Appalachian community.
Olivia Colman’s net worth
Olivia Colman | Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
After nearly 20 years as a working actor, Colman is worth an estimated $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. While we don’t know how much she got paid for her big role in The Favourite, we do know she earned as much as her male co-stars for The Crown.
Critics slammed the show earlier this year when it was revealed that Claire Foy was earning less than co-star Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip. Producers have since said that they’ve embraced pay parity. That means Colman’s paycheck was at least as large as her Tobias Menzies’s, who’s taking over the Prince Philip role.
“Going forward, no one gets paid more than the Queen,” executive producer Suzanne Mackie has said.
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