11 things you probably didn’t know about Olivia Colman from ‘The Crown’

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Olivia Colman won best actress at the 2019 Academy Awards. ABC/Craig Sjodin

Olivia Colman is best known for her roles as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” and Queen Elizabeth II on “The Crown.”

Even though you may have seen her on the big screen, you may not even know her real name.

Here are some things you probably don’t know about the award-winning actress:


Her first name isn’t actually Olivia.

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She may go by Olivia, but that’s not her first name. Dave J Hogan / Contributor

The star’s stage name is Olivia Colman, but her real name is Sarah Caroline Olivia Colman.


Colman and her husband met doing a show together at Cambridge.

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Olivia Colman and her husband, Ed Sinclair, at the 2019 Oscars. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Colman and her husband, Ed Sinclair, met doing a production of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Table Manners” at Cambridge University’s Footlights Dramatic Club.

Per Hello magazine, Coleman told The Telegraph that it was love at first sight for her, and they got married in 2001.

“We were 20 and he was also an actor. If you meet at that age then you’re fine. For me it was thunderbolts straight away,” she said.


She won an Oscar the first time she was ever nominated.

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Olivia Colman’s first Oscar nomination and first win were in 2019. Mike Blake/Reuters

Colman’s turn as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” led to many awards for the actress. In addition to winning a Golden Globe and a BAFTA, the role led to her first Oscar nomination and win.

When she won the award for best actress, she gave a heartwarming speech – during which she exclaimed “Lady Gaga!” when she spotted the star in the audience.

Since then, Colman has also won a Golden Globe for best actress in a television series for her work on “The Crown.”


Colman was working as a cleaner when she realised she wanted to be an actor.

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Olivia Colman pursued a couple of careers before landing on acting. Vera Anderson / Contributor

Colman was training to be a primary-school teacher in Cambridge before she dropped out of school.

She told the Hollywood Reporter, “I left the college, but stayed in the town and just cycled around. I worked as a cleaner, went to other people’s lectures and did loads of plays. And that’s when I realised I didn’t want to be anything other than an actor.”

In her 2018 acceptance speech at the Oscars, Colman even paid homage to her humble roots, saying, “I used to work as a cleaner, and I loved that job, but I did spend quite a lot of my time imagining this.”


“The Favourite” is Colman’s second collaboration with director Yorgos Lanthimos and costar Rachel Weisz.

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Olivia Colman starred in ‘The Favourite’ alongside Rachel Weisz. Element Pictures

Colman first worked with Yorgos Lanthimos on his dystopian independent comedy “The Lobster” (2015). In it, Rachel Weisz had a small role and Colman played a hotel manager.

After working with Colman on “The Lobster,” Lanthimos knew he wanted her for the role of Queen Anne in “The Favourite.”

In fact, in an interview with Deadline, Lanthimos said that he wouldn’t have made “The Favourite” without her because he couldn’t picture anyone else in the leading role.


Colman gained weight to play Queen Anne in “The Favourite.”

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Olivia Colman reportedly gained 35 pounds for the role. Fox Searchlight Pictures

According to the Telegraph, Colman gained approximately two and a half stone, 35 pounds, to play Queen Anne so she wouldn’t have to use prosthetics.

When asked how she did it, she joked that “there was no technique, just triple portions.”

After filming, she said she worked with a personal trainer to lose the weight


She’s the proud owner of a roll of toilet paper from Buckingham Palace.

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Olivia Colman at the 2020 Golden Globes. Frazer Harrison / Staff

In a 2019 interview with The Times, Colman said that her husband took a roll of toilet paper while they were visiting Buckingham Palace for a charity event for Prince William.

“My husband stole some loo roll just to say we got it from Buckingham Palace,” she told the publication.


Fans of British comedy might know Colman as Sophie Chapman from “Peep Show.”

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Olivia Colman used to star on ‘Peep Show.’ Channel 4

Colman used to star on the British series “Peep Show,” which was created by comedians David Mitchell and Robert Webb. It first aired in 2003 and it lasted for nine seasons.

The actress also appeared on “That Mitchell and Webb Look,” another comedy series by Mitchell and Webb.

The comedians were among the first to congratulate Colman on her Oscars win on Twitter.


Other fans might also recognise her from the series “Broadchurch.”

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Olivia Colman starred alongside David Tennant on ‘Broadchurch.’ BBC/Broadchurch screenshot

On the crime drama series “Broadchurch,” Colman starred as Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller alongside former and future “Doctor Who” stars David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker.

Other notable dramatic roles from Colman include Hannah in the film “Tyrannosaur” and Angela Burr on the TV series “The Night Manager,” which also starred Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, and Elizabeth Debicki.


Her coworkers have plenty of kind things to say about her.

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Rachel Weisz, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Olivia Colman. Stuart C. Wilson / Stringer

When Colman won the best actress Oscar for her role in “The Favourite,” her costar Emma Stone was visibly thrilled – she broke down in tears and gave Colman a kiss on the cheek.

Other people who Colman has worked with have also said kind things about the actress.

Weisz told Harper’s Bazaar, “She is just gorgeous and lovely.”

Lanthimos told Deadline, “We’re friends and collaborators and I would be happy to work together again.”


Her dog is called Alfred, Lord Waggyson.

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Olivia Colman’s dog has a noble name. Andreas Rentz/Getty

On David Tennant’s podcast, “David Tennant Does A Podcast With…,” the actress revealed that her dog’s name is Alfred, Lord Waggyson.

It’s a reference to the British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

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