Olivia Colman on shunning social media and pretending no one watches her movies | Ents & Arts News

Feb 23, 2024 | Uncategorized

Olivia Colman is not on social media – or at least the real Olivia Colman isn’t.

The Oscar-winning star tells Sky News: “Apparently there are people who are [pretending] to be me, but I don’t have it, so I can’t see it.”

(L-R) Jessie Buckley and Colman. Pic: StudioCanal
(L-R) Jessie Buckley and Colman. Pic: StudioCanal

Despite an impressive three-decade career (and counting), and a reputation teetering on national treasure, it’s the fear of negative comments that keeps her offline.

She explains: “I’m not brave enough. I know it would hurt. I’m not very thick skinned, and so I don’t want to know. I would rather pretend that no one ever sees a film that we make, actually.

“We’ve had a lovely time. We really hope to do something to make people enjoy it. So, when people go, ‘Oh, I don’t like it’, it does hurt, because a lot of effort goes into something.

“Constructive criticism [is] fine. But [not] when someone just goes, ‘I don’t like it’…”

From earning her TV stripes back in the early noughties in point of view comedy Peep Show, to playing Queen Anne in The Favourite, which saw her successfully break America and bag an Academy Award in 2018, her CV would seem to offer very little for even the harshest viewer to pick holes in.

Guest appearances in critically acclaimed shows including Fleabag and more recently The Bear further commend her judicious career choices.

She’s currently starring in Wicked Little Letters, a comedy drama based on a stranger-than-life true story of a poison pen letter scandal which ran wild in rural Sussex in the 1920s.

It was a sensation that found its way from the small seaside town of Littlehampton to the Houses of Parliament and was consulted upon with the home secretary of the time.

‘She does something weird with her face’

Colman’s co-star Jessie Buckley shares in the frustration of unsolicited, and unhelpful feedback from onlookers.

After much time spent preparing for a role, she says such comments as, “Oh, she does something weird with her face,” can grate.

In an age where everyone has an opinion – and feels entitled to share it – the movie has clear parallels to be drawn with the modern-day phenomenon of online trolling.

It’s a behaviour Colman largely puts down to repression.

‘Sticks and stones…’

“I can only assume [the people who do it] are not happy in their lives because it’s a very cruel thing, maybe they don’t understand the hurt they might be causing.

“When there have been people who have confronted their online trolls, and they’ve gone, ‘Oh!’ and burst into tears, and gone ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you’…

“That’s fascinating that often they are people who have something that they can’t deal with or can’t get out.

“It’s a little bit of power they have, but it’s awful the effect it can have. We know that. We know people who’ve really been so hurt by it and done terrible things to themselves.

“Everyone thinks, ‘Oh words can’t hurt you’. But words are the worst.

“That old adage, sticks and stones may break my bones… But it’s not true. You never get can delete them if someone’s been cruel.”

‘We’d be brilliant together’

Colman describes it as “eternally startling” to see women failing to support each another, and even attacking one other, adding, “women should big each other up and protect each other and love each other”.

Buckley agrees: “People do these things because they want to be seen ultimately. But if you have something to say, say it to my face.

“We women have so much amazing life force inside. If we stopped all that s****, we’d be brilliant. We’d be brilliant together. [Women are] much bigger than the space that we’re often contained within.”

Wicked Little Letters, also starring Timothy Spall, Anjana Vasan and Joanna Scanlan, is in cinemas now.

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