Olivia Colman and Jenna Coleman are two of the most recognizable faces in British TV and cinema. Is there any relation between the two?
Olivia Colman and Jenna Coleman are unrelated. Both are English actresses who have received critical acclaim for their TV performances. They have also both appeared on “Doctor Who”, though Colman only appeared in one episode whereas Coleman was a main cast member. Olivia Coleman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in “The Favourite”.
For more on Olivia Colman and Jenna Coleman, read on.
Sarah Caroline Olivia Colman was born on January 30, 1974, in Norwich, England. She attended Norwich High School for Girls and gained her first acting experience at 16 in a school production of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie”.
Her mother had been a ballet dancer and inspired Colman to pursue an acting career. She studied primary teaching at Cambridge University for a term, where she also auditioned for the famous Footlights Dramatic Club.
Colman had minor roles in numerous British comedy series in the early 2000s. Her breakthrough role came when she collaborated with David Mitchell and Robert Webb, who she met at Cambridge, on their comedy “Peep Show”.
The show was a huge success and Colman worked with Mitchell and Webb on several other projects. Her agent suggested that she was becoming too closely linked with the duo and needed to expand her horizons.
She appeared in an episode of “Doctor Who”, a link to Jenna Coleman, though her appearance came a few years before Coleman joined the cast.
Colman appeared in the hit action-comedy “Hot Fuzz”, then began transitioning into more serious roles. She won critical acclaim for her role in “The Iron Lady”, won a BAFTA for “Broadchurch” and gained further acclaim for “The Lobster”.
Her greatest success came in 2018 when she portrayed Queen Anne in “The Favourite”, alongside Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The role won Colman the Academy Award for Best Actress and her genuine disbelief at winning the award endeared her to audiences worldwide.
It would not be the only time she portrayed royalty, as she later joined the cast of “The Crown”, playing Queen Elizabeth II.
Colman has occasionally performed in London theatre productions throughout her career
Jenna-Louise Coleman was born on April 27, 1986, in Blackpool, England. Coleman has revealed that her grandmother named her after the character of Jenna Wade from “Dallas”.
She was head girl at Arnold School in Blackpool but did not go on to attend university, a decision she has said she regrets.
Coleman joined a theatre company, In Yer Space, while still in school. The group performed at the Edinburgh Festival and Coleman won an award for her performance in the play.
She attended auditions at a number of drama schools while also looking for acting work and was cast in “Emmerdale”, the long-running rural soap opera. Coleman won the “Best Newcomer” award at the 2007 British Soap Awards.
Despite being 23, Coleman was cast as a secondary school pupil in “Waterloo Road”. She also had a brief appearance in “Captain America: The First Avenger” as the date of Bucky Barnes.
Her profile increased greatly in 2012 when she was chosen as the new companion of The Doctor in “Doctor Who”; it was decided that she had the best chemistry with Matt Smith and possessed an ability to talk more quickly than him.
Coleman was part of “Doctor Who” for a few years before leaving to portray Queen Victoria in “Victoria”. She felt the role would let her display more acting range and help her avoid typecasting.
In 2018, it was announced that Coleman would return to the theatre in a production of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons”.