2018 BIFA Awards: Backstage with Best Actress winner Olivia Colman (‘The Favourite’)

Moments after Olivia Colman won Best Actress at Sunday’s British Independent Film Awards for “The Favourite,” she was asked in a backstage interview to name the first film she remembers seeing in the cinema. And, like everyone’s mum, she struggled for ages with the title of the movie.

“Candleford? Candlewick? Candleboot? Larkrise to Candleford? Candleshoe?”

Three journalists whipped their phones out to start Googling the picture, while the rest of us shouted out possible films she could have been thinking of.

“No, no, no. Will any of you be around later? Because I’ll remember this in a moment and it will kill me.”

Eventually, it was her publicist who found the film: “Candleshoe.”

“With who? ” Asked Colman. Jodie Foster and David Niven came the answer.

“Thank you very much. I knew I wasn’t going mad,” though perhaps the effects of portraying Queen Anne has left its mark. “I don’t know why I’m saying thank you very much, because I didn’t actually remember half of it. I don’t really know what’s going on,” laughs Colman.

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The conversation was then switched to a more serious tone when Colman was asked about this being ‘the year of the women.’

“The year of the woman – as opposed to all the years where women weren’t in the running for anything?” Colman laughed again. It’s certainly the year of Olivia Colman, that’s for sure. However, she did comment on the current state of equality – or inequality.

“Are we all equal yet? Is the pay equal yet? No. So, of course, it’s still in the running. Until everything is absolutely equal, until we’re all seen as the same, it’s still in the running. But ‘The Favourite’ was thought about years before – it’s just accidental that it’s come out now in the Me Too time.”

SEE 2018 British Independent Film Awards: ‘The Favourite’ sweeps with record 10 wins, including Best Picture

Colman was probably the most sought-after person at the BIFAS and us journalists were certainly keenest to speak to her, so it was cruelly ironic that we were afforded the least amount of time with her. Like Rachel Weisz shooing Queen Anne away from hot chocolate, Colman was whisked away from the press by her publicist, though she did squeeze in a quick allusion to the monarch she portrayed in “The Favourite” and the one she plays in the upcoming third season of “The Crown” (Queen Elizabeth II).

“You can’t really compare the two,” she laughed knowingly, “they are very different – can you imagine the two of them meeting?”

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