Olivia Colman says she would be ‘earning a f*** of a lot more’ if she was a man

While promoting her latest movie, Wicked Little Letters, Oscar award-winning actor and all-round icon Olivia Colman has hit out at the fact that her gender limits her earning potential as an actor.

Colman, who is known for appearing in a number of high-profile (and, frankly, excellent) movies and shows, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour programme that outdated ideas about men being box office draws lead to a high pay disparity between male and female actors.

She said: “Male actors get paid more because they used to say they draw in the audiences and actually, that hasn’t been true for decades. But they still like to use that as a reason to not pay women as much.

“I’m very aware that if I was Oliver Colman, I’d be earning a f*** of a lot more than I am. I know of one pay disparity which is a 12,000% difference. Do the maths,” she added, but did not reveal what movie or show that was.

Colman also recently pointed out that there was a double standard about men and women swearing. She told Radio Times: “If a woman swears, people act shocked. F*** off! Women are human – funny, filthy, loving, caring – just like men.”

Colman plays Edith Swann in Wicked Little Letters, which tells the true story of the Littlehampton poison-pen scandal in 1923, when Swann and other residents of the town received letters full of threats and obscenities and they try to find out why.

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Colman previously played Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown and the 18th-century Queen Anne in The Favourite, as well as playing Fleabag’s stepmum in the amazing, heart-wrenching and critically acclaimed comedy Fleabag and, of course, Nick’s mum in the heart-warming queer, teen romance Heartstopper.

Olivia Colman in Heartstopper
Olivia Colman in Heartstopper with Kit Connor. (Credit: Netflix)

Though Colman has played many ‘mum’ characters, her role in Heartstopper is a particularly sympathetic and sweet mother who is extremely supportive of son Nick (Kit Connor) coming out as bisexual and his relationship with Charlie (Joe Locke).

Heartstopper creator Alice Oseman previously said she was “shocked” that Colman agreed to come on board.

She said: “I honestly was 100 per cent convinced there was no way this was going to happen and that it was the stupidest idea ever. It’s so special, and having such an accomplished actor to do Nick’s mum’s scenes makes them so much more special and so much more meaningful. Her performance is so beautiful and subtle – we’re all very lucky to have her.”

Colman previously won an Oscar for Best Actress in The Favourite and was nominated for Academy Awards in The Father and The Lost Daughter.