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Olivia Colman reflects on the 2004 role that became the “bane of my life”

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Susan Devaney
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Believe it or not, but Oscar-nominated actress Olivia Colman once worried about her future in acting. 

Of late, we’ve seen actress Olivia Colman scoop prestigious awards for her incredible role in the film everyone’s talking about: The Favourite.

Over the past few years, we’ve watched the actress steal the show in the likes of Green Wing, Broadchurch and The Night Manager. And now we’re on tenterhooks as we await our first glimpse of her in her new role as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown.

However, things could’ve been very different, according to Colman, and it’s all due to a certain advert. Cast your minds back to 2004, when she appeared as Bev in the AA’s beloved Kev & Bev. In it, Colman and her co-star Mark Burdis, as the titular characters, can be seen driving a rundown car before they pull up alongside a shiner versions of themselves at the traffic lights. Their doppelgangers then reveal that their appearance, and seemingly affluent lifestyle, is all thanks to AA: they took out a loan, bought their cool, new car, and things took off from there.

Watch the advert below for yourself: 

Reflecting on her role in the ad during the latest episode of David Tennant Does a Podcast With…, a podcast hosted by her friend and former Broadchurch co-star, David Tennant, Colman said: “AA! That has become the bane of my life.”

She continued: “I thought they were going to run that for about a week but they ran it for what felt like four times a day for a year.”

Instead of signing a contract that would give Colman commission every time it was played on TV, the AA paid Colman a “buy-out” fee instead, which meant that she only got paid the once, too.

“It was really annoying,” Colman added. “I lost some jobs.”

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The Golden Globe winner also revealed that she once found herself writing to Wikipedia in a bid to get the site to change her age by pretending to be someone else.

“Once, on Wikipedia, they had my birthday as the wrong day, the wrong month, and eight years before I was born,” Colman explained.

“I emailed them, pretending it wasn’t me. [I wrote] ‘I was at school with her and that’s not her birthday’. I didn’t want them to think I was being so vain.”

Colman won a Golden Globe for her portrayal as Queen Anne in The Favourite

But the website failed to acknowledge her request, so she sent a third email, saying: “Actually, this is me, and it’s really upsetting me that you’ve made me eight years older than I actually am.”

The Favourite actress then said she was asked for a birth certificate as proof, to which she replied: “‘Whose f*****g birth certificate have you looked at in the first place to make me eight years older?’”

You can listen to David Tennant Does a Podcast With... in full here.

Images: Getty 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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