Olivia Colman: ‘I like that she’s not quite right’

Olivia Colman teams up with Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan for Bad Sugar (Channel 4, Sunday), a wickedly funny new black comedy about a dysfunctional mining dynasty from the writers of Peep Show.

TV&Satellite Week magazine caught up with her to find out more…

How did the idea for Bad Sugar originate?

“Sharon Horgan, Julia Davis and I were approached by a producer who asked if we’d like to work together. We sat down in a pub with a laptop. The original idea came from Julia, who loves the glamorous, evil women from Dallas and Dynasty.”

What was it like being reunited with Peep Show’s Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong?

“We had a dream list of writers, and Sam and Jesse were at the top of it. Their stuff is subtle but absurdist, bright and witty – a joy to do.”

How would you describe the Cauldwell family and your character, Joan?

“They are troubled, dysfunctional – all the obvious words. But rather fun to go and visit, I’d say. Joan has been told that she accidentally poisoned her brother. She’s very sweet and silly, and maybe had a big blow to the head when she was younger.”

Did you enjoy working with Sharon and Julia?

“It was an absolute dream. I’m completely in love with them both and I really admire their work. I own DVDs of all their stuff so it was exciting to meet them.”

You’ve been doing more drama lately in TV shows such as Accused and on the big screen. Is that a pleasant change?

“The dream is to play as broad an array of parts as possible. That’s why I wanted to become an actress, and comedy happened by accident. I feel out of my depth talking about comedy, because I’m not a comedian, I’m an actor. Drama is where my heart lies, and I feel a lot more confident doing that.”

If Bad Sugar becomes a series, what storylines might you come up with for Joan?

“Perhaps Joan’s character is all an act and she’s just as bad as anybody else. Or maybe she’s a man. Who else would have a taxidermy table so you could stuff things in your own bedroom? She’s not quite right, and I like that.”

Bad Sugar is on Channel 4 on Sunday 26 August at 10pm

Latest TV News