Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
9 January 2019

Leader: Olivia Colman, Queen of the Globes

The actress is representative of an important trend towards greater, and broader, representation of older women on screen. 

By New Statesman

“I went on a private jet and I ate constantly throughout the film and it was brilliant,” said Olivia Colman in her Golden Globes acceptance speech. It was a typically unstuffy sentiment from an actor who has been widely praised for her performance as one queen – Anne, in The Favourite – and is about to play another, Elizabeth II, in the third series of the blockbuster Netflix drama The Crown.

Ms Colman’s success is well deserved. She graduated from a part in the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show to the ITV detective drama Broadchurch and the BBC adaptation of John le Carré’s The Night Manager, showing an equal aptitude for comedy and drama. Even better, she is representative of an important trend towards greater, and broader, representation of older women on screen. Actresses have often complained about the dearth of good roles as they get older – but at 44, Ms Colman appears to be just getting started. The Favourite, which tells a story of intrigue and love at Queen Anne’s court, is now tipped for glory at the Oscars. Its success further erodes the widely held idea that films with female leads are commercially risky. Long live Queen Olivia.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?

This article appears in the 09 Jan 2019 issue of the New Statesman, The Brexit Showdown