Olivia Colman’s best memory about winning an Oscar is hilariously British

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, the Oscar-winning actor revealed that all her recollections about the Academy Awards are a bit hazy for a very relatable reason.  

We can remember it like it was yesterday.

Oscars night – or very early morning in the UK – and it’s time for the Best Actress category. The camera pans over the nominees: Lady Gaga, Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, Yalitza Aparicio and Olivia Colman. Gary Oldman is on the stage opening the envelope. The crowd waits and then – Olivia Colman wins!

The actor, a picture of shock and elation, was frozen in her seat when her name was announced. You’ve seen the video, right? Colman being kissed on both cheeks by her husband and her co-star from The Favourite Emma Stone, while the film’s director Yorgos Lanthimos knelt at her feet. Finally, she made her way to the stage to give one of the most memorable speeches in Oscar history. 

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“This is genuinely quite stressful,” she said, gazing at her award in wide-eyed amazement. “This is hilarious. I got an Oscar!”

Olivia Colman accepting her Oscar at the 2019 Academy Awards

We can remember it like it was yesterday. The only problem is that Colman can’t.

Speaking on The Graham Norton Show last night, the actor revealed that she was too busy having a few champagnes at the Academy Awards to remember too much from the evening which, well, is a big mood.

“The great thing about the Oscars is there is a bar just behind [the stage] so everyone is there,” she explained. “There are hundreds of seat fillers, hundreds, so almost everybody is in the bar getting bladdered!”

She continued: “And then someone comes in and goes ‘It’s Best Documentary’ and [they all run into the room]… I was there 90% of the time.” 

Olivia Colman on the red carpet at the 2019 Oscars.

Seriously, she’s not joking. She told Norton that she “actually can’t remember” her big win. She looked over at her couch-mate, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, and revealed that she met him at the Oscars and she can’t remember that, either.

“She was in a daze after she won,” Boseman said, graciously. 

Later on The Graham Norton Show, Colman revealed a few details from the set of The Crown, launching on Netflix on 17 November. Colman has taken on the role of Queen Elizabeth for seasons three and four, alongside Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret and Outlander’s Tobias Menzies as Prince Philip.

Colman explained that the cast worked with a coach designed to help them walk like royalty. 

“We were all given lovely Polly who is a movement coach, and it turns out I can’t change what my body does. I still walk like me, which I’ve been told is like a farmer,” Colman joked. 

The Crown Netflix
The Crown: Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II

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In scenes where Colman had to move, she said that she would often find a stern frown plastered onto her face as a sign of her concentration. “I’m not very good at it,” she shrugged. (We disagree, and you can read our review of Colman’s masterful performance in season three of The Crown here.)

The Crown season three streams on Netflix from 17 November. 

Images: Getty, Netflix


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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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