SAG Awards nominee profile: Olivia Colman (‘The Crown’) is looking for first individual win after last year’s ensemble victory

Now a seven-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee, Olivia Colman is seeking her first individual win from her peer group in two categories. One opportunity is for her supporting performance in “The Father,” where she seeks her first film win, and the other is for her performance in television’s “The Crown.” The only SAG victory to Colman’s name is from her work on that Netflix period piece as a member of the winning 2020 drama ensemble. This year she seeks to finally get a solo win for that very same series.

In “The Crown,” Colman plays Queen Elizabeth II, a role she inherited from Claire Foy who won SAG Awards for the show’s first and second seasons in 2017 and 2018. The fourth season, which Colman is currently nominated for, sees Elizabeth sharing the public stage for the first time with two other female British mega-icons, Margaret Thatcher (played by Gillian Anderson) and Diana (played by Emma Corrin). Sharing that stage doesn’t come easy to a queen reaching the third decade of her reign, but Colman plays that tension with sensitivity.

The screen isn’t the only thing Colman is sharing with Anderson and Corrin this year, though, because all three women are nominated for SAG’s TV drama actress prize, which combines lead and supporting performances into one hyper-competitive race. They contend against two women from another Netflix series, “Ozark”: Laura Linney, the show’s lead, and Julia Garner, its supporting standout. With only two shows represented in this category and both with multiple nominees, it’s safe the say that vote-splitting won’t give any one contender a distinct advantage or disadvantage. Both shows are also up for the drama ensemble prize where “The Crown” is the defending champion, putting the two shows on a fairly level playing field.

Because Colman was unable to snag SAG last year in her first season on “The Crown,” one might think she’s unlikely to rebound for a win this year, but there’s precedent for this to happen. In this category alone, Maggie Smith was able to win on her second attempt for “Downton Abbey” in 2014, as were Sally Field for “Brothers and Sisters” in 2009 and Jennifer Garner for “Alias” in 2005. Linney and Julia Garner are looking for similarly redemptive wins: Linney has been nominated twice before for “Ozark” and Garner once, but neither has won for the series yet.

Colman’s profile on the awards circuit has skyrocketed in recent years due to her presence on “The Crown” as well as a triumphant 2018-2019 awards season that culminated in her surprise Academy Award win for Best Actress in “The Favourite.” Might her peers think she’s been duly awarded already? Perhaps not at these awards where she hasn’t received an individual honor yet, so if she is to ride another awards wave it might as well start with a new SAG statue with only her name on it.

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “SAG Awards nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2021 contenders in film and TV.

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