Olivia Colman has appeared on the cover of British Vogue for the first time, and opened up about why she finds fame 'embarrassing' and her decision to move out of London with her family.
The Oscar-winning actress, 49, moved her family from their home in Peckham, south London, in 2022. She, her husband Ed Sinclair now reside in Colman’s home county of Norfolk - but the move wasn’t prompted by any dislike for the capital city.
"We never fell out of love with London," Colman told the fashion magazine. "I love London but it became difficult." Asked why, Colman referred to paparazzi as "just a***holes standing outside your front door, following you on the school run".
She added: "I was scared. At one point, there were two cars chasing us and I was having a sort of meltdown, terrified. I was crying and they were laughing."
Actor #OliviaColman occupies a special place in the heart – and the identity – of the nation, writes Giles Hattersley in the December 2023 issue of #BritishVogue. “Fame? I find all of it very embarrassing," Colman says. Read the interview here: https://t.co/NzfOA95uanpic.twitter.com/Yb5QY64I1T
— British Vogue (@BritishVogue) November 16, 2023
Colman, who played the late Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth series of Netflix’s The Crown - which has just released the first instalment of its sixth and final series - reflected on how she is 'not good' at dealing with fame.
She revealed one of her pet peeves that people tend to do while she’s out and about. "People taking what they think is a sneaky photograph," Colman said. "It’s always obvious, you know, and it’s awful. Don’t do it.
"It happened the other day at my kids’ school, a mum took one. You can’t even go, ‘Sorry, don’t do that’ as then they say, ‘I wasn’t! I didn’t!’ And then you look like a d***. It’s a shame. I wish I was braver but I’m not."
Colman also revealed that she tends to stay at home most of the time, if she isn’t working. "I’ve got my lovely friends and I know [the area] very well so I can go to places where there aren’t other people," she said. "We go to each other’s houses for food and chat. I don’t tend to [go to a restaurant]. Unless you can have a little quiet place. Because, you know… people."
The Favourite star, who will appear in Wonka opposite Timothée Chalamet when the film is released in December, has previously offered her thoughts about fame and how it affected her life.
Speaking to the Irish Times in 2021, she said she would not have 'coped at all' with being famous in her 20s. “I got it late, when I already had my family. I don’t know how people cope with it young - and people who want to be famous, I don’t know what to say to them."
Colman added that she would not remember winning her Oscar if not for YouTube. "It was bonkers. You’re being swept along by people, and you’re going, ‘This can’t be happening’. I think you go into self-preservation, emergency mode, because it’s too much to cope with. I only really remember it because I’ve seen it [on YouTube]."
The actress is also set to star in Wicked Little Letters, alongside Jessie Buckley, Lolly Adefope and Timothy Spall. The StudioCanal film, directed by Thea Sharrock, is based on the true story of Edith Swan (Colman) and Rose Gooding (Buckley), who were neighbours involved in a foul-mouthed scandal in Littlehampton in the 1920s.
Read more about Olivia Colman:
Olivia Colman Is Definitely Not Playing It Cool When It Comes To Her Next Dream Role (HuffPost UK, 2-min read)
First look at Olivia Colman's new film as it gets UK release date (Good Housekeeping, 1-min read)
Secret Invasion: Olivia Colman's Sonya Falsworth is 'the most dangerous woman in the UK' (Yahoo TV UK, 3-min read)