Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Why Olivia Colman Says the Brutal 'Tyrannosaur' Was 'Most Enjoyable Time I've Had'

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire April 3, 2012 at 10:55AM

Prior to taking on lead duties opposite Peter Mullan in"Tyrannosaur," British actress Olivia Colman was best known for her witty turns in "Hot Fuzz" and a slew of TV projects, including "Peep Show" and "Green Wings." Now thanks to her award-winning performance as an abused housewife in the feature directorial debut of actor-turned-filmmaker Paddy Considine, Colman has proven to the world that she's no one-trick pony.
0
Watch: Gritty Trailer for Paddy Considine's Directorial Debut "Tyrannosaur"
Strand Releasing Olivia Colman in "Tyrannosaur"

Prior to taking on lead duties opposite Peter Mullan in"Tyrannosaur," British actress Olivia Colman was best known for her witty turns in "Hot Fuzz" and a slew of TV projects, including "Peep Show" and "Green Wings." Now thanks to her award-winning performance as an abused housewife in the feature directorial debut of actor-turned-filmmaker Paddy Considine, Colman has proven to the world that she's no one-trick pony.

In "Tyrannosaur" -- which netted best acting honors for both her and Mullan at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere -- Colman plays Hannah, a kindly Christian charity worker who suffers at the hands of her horrifically abusive husband (Eddie Marsan). When she befriends Joseph (Mullan), an unemployed widower with his own share of demons, she sees in him a kindred spirit. Things get hairy when her husband becomes aware of their growing affection for each other.

Strand Releasing is releasing the film on DVD today, so to mark the occasion we caught up with Colman to discuss her breakout dramatic turn and her recent work opposite Meryl Streep as Maragaret Thatcher's daughter in "The Iron Lady."

Prior to seeing you in "Tyrannosaur," I knew you mostly for "Hot Fuzz." This marks quite the change of pace.

Yes, I'd imagine it was a bit of a shock for you.

What led Paddy to thinking of you for this?

I don't know, really. We just got on incredibly well. On our first rehearsal for "Hot Fuzz," I was so excited that we was coming in that I opened the door for him. He said that at that moment he thought I'd be right for his short film. I'm eternally grateful he thought that.

Your character undergoes a horrific amount of abuse in "Tyrannosaur." What were your initial impressions when you first caught wind of what your character would have to endure over the course of the film?

Paddy warned me where he was going with the character. In the short, you didn't really get to see Hannah's life at all. It was by far the best script I read ever, I think. I just wanted to do him proud. He really took a chance on me, since he hadn't seen me do things like that before. I just wanted to do it well. I was definitely nervous, but also quite excited about being given this wonderful opportunity.

Were you wary of taking on a film where you'd be required to do much of the dramatic lifting?

I didn't have any reservations, really. It was the sort of part I dreamt of since I was a teenager wanting to be an actress. The main thing I didn't want was for anyone who's been through that to watch it and not think it was done in a real way. So I just wanted to do it as well as I could. I just grabbed it with my hands.

Did you reach out to abuse victims to prepare?

A bit. There are various organizations here, as I'm sure there are in America, that help victims of domestic violence. I went to two women that work for one. I did imagine that I would speak to some abuse victims, but they thought that wouldn't be very helpful. So they took me through the work they did there and answered a lot of my questions. The most useful thing they did; they sent me a case study to read of one woman in particular that was so shocking. I showed it to Paddy and he was horrified. We both thought if it had been a horror film, nobody would have believed it. That really helped inform me that this is real.

After some screenings, a couple of women have come up to me telling me that the film brought up memories of when they found themselves in a place like that. That was very emotional. They said thank you for telling their story. That made me feel very happy that we had done it well.

This article is related to: Interviews, Small Screens, Tyrannosaur






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More