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Actresses who won't run from any roles ; One's a Bafta-winning actress and national treasure, the other's the daughter of an acting icon and member...

July 13, 2013


Actresses who won't run from any roles ; One's a Bafta-winning actress and national treasure, the other's the daughter of an acting icon and member of the cool clique. But, as KEELEY BOLGER discovers, Olivia Colman and Jaime Winstone are just two-down-to-earth girls at heart

THERE are plenty of people who think actress Olivia Colman has one of the most coveted jobs on the planet. But her children, Finn, seven, and Hal, five, aren't among them.

My sons are too little to get wrapped up in the fame side of things and I keep reminding them that being an actor is nice but it's not impressive. Saving lives is impressive, says the Broadchurch star, punctuating her sentences with a flash of her dimpled smile.

Their mates go, 'Your mum's famous', and my sons go, 'Yeah but that's not cool. It's cool to be a nurse'.

Colman and her sons may be modest but with two recent Bafta wins for her performances in Olympic parody Twenty Twelve and BBC One drama Accused under her belt, the Norfolk-born actress is truly on the radar.

Ever the chameleon, the 39-year-old has played the Queen Mother in Brit flick Hudson On Hyde Park, a grief-stricken aunt in the sequel to ITV's The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher and tough cop Ellie Miller in Broadchurch in the past year alone. To top that, she was recently linked to play the next Doctor Who, something which tickled her hugely.

Maybe I can start rumours about all sorts of roles, says the actress, giggling.

Doctor Who might not be in the pipeline, but one role that's confirmed is Carol in Channel 4's gritty new drama, Run.

Carol is a down-on-her-luck single mother who's struggling to keep her errant sons on the straight and narrow.

The series, which will be shown over four consecutive nights, weaves together four seemingly unconnected people who are each facing life-changing decisions.

Carol's doing what she can, explains Colman, who also plays Tom Hollander's spirited wife Alex in BBC Two comedy Rev. She's trying to keep the family together and she's doing it in an unconventional way.

Despite having so many strings to her bow, including her stand- out performance as an abused woman in Paddy Considine's film Tyrannosaur, Colman has no intention of leaving Blighty for La-La land just yet.

Me go to Hollywood? Only for a holiday! she snorts. I'm getting good work here and you don't want to ruin it and start somewhere else. I feel lucky to be working.

Her co-star in Run, Jaime Winstone, who greets Colman with a bear hug, is all too aware of the scarcity of work in their profession. Winstone, 28, plays a stripper called Tara who learns the man she's been having an affair with has been killed.

You have to keep yourself proactive, she says. You're not working all year round. Some people are, some people aren't and that's the way this business is.

But I find there's a lack of material or a narrow-minded view where you're only getting certain roles or just not being put up for things because you sound like this or you're a working-class actor, says the 28-year-old.

Having dipped her toe into film-making for the gothic horror Elfie Hopkins, which she co-produced, Winstone's currently working on a short film.

I love film, I grew up on it, she says, although she doesn't know what her dream role would be.

Killing zombies is cool, she says, and London-born Winstone should know. In 2008, she starred in the critically-acclaimed Dead Set in which zombies attacked the Big Brother house.

Yeah, you want to do serious drama but you also want to carry around massive machine guns, she says with a chuckle.

Although she came to prominence in Noel Clarke's Kidulthood, it was her role as one of the victims in Five Daughters (BBC One's drama based on the real-life killings of five women in Ipswich in 2006) that showed she should be taken seriously.

Even so, she's discovered the roles can be quite restricted. I'm a young British actress, so you do get a lot of scripts for prostitutes and strippers, which shows there's a lack of material but also that there are a lot of strippers and prostitutes, she says with a shrug.

But like Colman, Winstone's happy to take on roles that others might flinch from. I've got a lot of mates who are strippers and they're great girls. Some do it to keep fit, some do it to earn good money and that's what I liked about Tara. You judge her automatically but she's a mother. There's a backdrop to everyone. The baddies aren't necessarily baddies, they're just trying to have a good chance at life.

One person who's sure to be watching Run is her actor father Ray. My parents are very proud and they'll definitely be watching, she says. They definitely tell me what they think and they're very critical, so they keep me on my toes for sure.

. ? Run starts on Channel 4 on Monday

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