Olivia Colman reveals she was 'chased' by paparazzi in cars while living in London: 'I was crying and they were laughing'

Olivia Colman smiles as she poses on the red carpet
Olivia Colman opened up about an incident that prompted her to leave London and move to Norfolk. (Getty Images) (Variety via Getty Images)

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."

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."

Olivia Colman attends
One of Olivia Colman's biggest roles was playing Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth series of The Crown. (Getty Images) (WireImage)

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."

Olivia Colman and Ed Sinclair attend the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall
Olivia Colman and husband Ed Sinclair moved their family away from London in 2022. (Getty Images) (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

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.

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