There might still be a few straggling Americans who don’t yet know the name Olivia Colman, but even those holdouts won’t be able to last much longer. The multi-talented Brit, who’s about to take over the role of Elizabeth II from Claire Foy on The Crown, just won her first Oscar (on her first nomination) for playing another queen: Queen Anne, in Yorgos Lanthimos’s dark comedy The Favourite.
But Colman’s past resume is already extensive: she’s featured in both Mitchell and Webb sketch shows, Hot Fuzz, The Night Manager, and Broadchurch (among others) — and she has a recurring role in Fleabag, created by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Waller-Bridge, who also created the acclaimed series Killing Eve, was among the joyfully stupefied TV audience as Colman took her dark horse Oscar victory. “Oh my god. I’ve literally never screamed so much at a TV,” says Waller-Bridge. “And her speech! Everything about that woman. Everything about her. She’s classic.”
In Fleabag, Colman plays the protagonist’s godmother-turned-step-mother, a family friend who married Fleabag’s father after her mother’s death. And she’ll be returning for season 2. “Yes, we have an Academy Award winner in Fleabag season 2,” Waller-Bridge laughs.
From the look of the trailer, she’s just as passive-aggressive as she was the first time around.
“She’s extraordinary,” Waller-Bridge says of Colman. “She really can do anything. She’s the most versatile actor I’ve ever come across.”
Waller-Bridge herself is bringing Fleabag in its original one-woman-show format to New York City for a 5-week engagement beginning March 7. Check back to EW.com soon for more from her about that production.