Olivia Colman: ‘I audition for lots I don’t get’

Olivia Colman talks to TV Times magazine about knowing whodunit in Broadchurch and why Julie Walters is her role model…

Everyone’s asking who killed 11-year-old schoolboy Danny Latimer. Is the riddle solved before the final episode?
“Even that is going to be giving it away so I’m not going to tell you!”

You describe your character DS Ellie Miller as ‘a jolly good egg’. But could she still be Danny’s murderer?
“Me? I can’t tell you if it’s me! Ok. Yes, David and I are the killers – haha!”

In an unusual move, writer Chris Chibnall kept you and the crew in the dark as to who did it until you received the scripts for the episode that reveals all…
“I enjoyed this way of working, I haven’t done it before and it added to the excitement. It’s hard when you finally get the news, you think ‘Would I have done anything differently?'”

Have you enjoyed starring alongside David Tennant?
“Yes. If you ever meet someone who, having met him, says they’re not that keen on David, then they would be idiots and I wouldn’t like them! He’s an absolute sweetheart, he’s fun and brilliant to work with.”

You’re becoming one of our best-loved actresses…
“When I was doing a lot of comedy, I looked at Julie Walters, Kathy Burke, Emma Thompson, women who were brilliant at comedy and managed to prove they could make the change onto the other side of the coin. There’s a root and influence there in that I thought: “See, it can be done!'”

What do you think was the turning point for you from comedy to more straight, gritty roles?
“Tyrannosaur changed everything and is the thing I’ll be most proud of for ever.”

You must get offered so much work!
“‘I also audition for a lot of things I don’t get. If I’m lucky, if it’s down to two jobs, I’ll pick the one that is more interesting to me or the one I haven’t done before, it’s just a gut thing. But it’s not like I’m sitting here with a load of scripts turning up and I can just have any one that I like. I don’t know if that ever happens to anybody.”

Do you think there will be a second series of Broadchurch?
“You’ll have to watch all episodes first to see if you think that is feasible!”