Olivia Colman: “No one’s ever asked me about Doctor Who”

"I wouldn't put any money on it. I assume they would have to ask me for it to be true"

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The Broadchurch buzz may have died down but Olivia Colman is still undeniably the woman of the moment. Not only is she the star of C4’s new urban drama, Run, but she’s also got roles lined up in The 7:39, Mr Sloane and appears opposite Chris O’Dowd, Ian McShane and Nick Frost in dancing flick Cuban Fury. 

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She’s gone from ‘that actress off Peep Show and Rev’ to scooping a trio of Bafta TV awards at this year’s ceremony for her turns in Twenty Twelve and The Accused. But while most would have ended their celebrations falling out of a limo at 4am, Colman admits, “it was all a bit overwhelming so straight after dinner I asked my husband, ‘Can we go home? I want to put my socks on.’ So we snuck off.”

However, it turns out the sudden recognition in the street can get a bit much for the 39-year-old British actress. “I get quite embarrassed. I only do journeys I really have to because I don’t know what to do. It’s a bit peculiar and I’m sure I’ll get better at it but if I need to get a pint of milk, I’ll wait until I really need to go. When you’re away from home it’s slightly daunting and I’m a bit of a chicken.” 

Although you wouldn’t think Colman was chicken based on her recent hard-hitting performances, and it looks like her latest as tough single mother Carol in Run will be no different. “She’s not an angel, but a lesser being might go under and I like her for that. I never like playing doormats and she’s certainly not that.”

Neither is another character she’s rumoured to be in the running to take on. Ever since Matt Smith announced his departure from Doctor Who, anyone who’s anyone in TV has had their name linked to the role, but Colman’s has remained at the forefront. So does she pay attention to the rumours?

“My brother sent me a text saying, ‘Congratulations, they’ve released odds on you being the new Doctor Who,’ which we thought was funny. No one’s ever asked me about it. I wouldn’t put any money on it. I assume they would have to ask me for it to be true.”


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Run is on Monday 15 – Thursday 18 July at 10pm on Channel 4