Olivia Colman: Working with Anthony Hopkins on 'The Father' was 'one of the easiest jobs ever' (exclusive)

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·3-min read

Watch: Olivia Colman discusses sharing the screen with Anthony Hopkins

Olivia Colman says working on The Father was "one of the easiest jobs ever", thanks to the incredible performance of her Oscar-winning co-star Sir Anthony Hopkins.

The 47-year-old British star was nominated for several awards — including a Best Supporting Actress Oscar — for her performance as Anne in director Florian Zeller's hard-hitting drama.

The movie focuses on Hopkins' character Anthony as his life begins to unravel due to the onset of dementia, with the audience thrust into his sense of confusion.

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Anthony's illness positions the character as an unreliable narrator, with Colman therefore given the job of portraying both Anne and Anthony's sometimes skewed perception of his daughter.

"I've got to say that it was one of the easiest jobs ever, because you're working with Anthony Hopkins," Colman tells Yahoo Entertainment UK. 

Imogen Poots joins Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)
Imogen Poots joins Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)

She adds: "He's so good, you only have to react to him. It makes my job very easy. 

"I just play the scene as the scene dictates. I'm not really one for thinking too much about it beforehand, I don't think. Often, if you try to do too much, it ruins it. 

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"When the script is that good and when you're working with someone like him, don't try to put too much into it. Just go with it and feel it. What's lovely is that Tony likes to work like that too. We just had a really nice time."

Hopkins won the Oscar for Best Actor for his work, securing his second statuette after being honoured for The Silence of the Lambs in 1992.

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins were both awards season fixtures for their work in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)
Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins were both awards season fixtures for their work in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)

While other actors might have sleepless nights at the thought of going head to head with Hopkins in front of the camera, Colman says she was far more excited than she was nervous.

"I'd wake up earlier than normal going 'oh goody, I've got another day with Anthony Hopkins'," she says. 

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Colman adds: "It was lovely. We had such a nice time, and that's often the case with a film that's very emotive and difficult. 

"However, if you did a comedy, often it would be very stressful whether the jokes land in the right place. But this was joyful from start to finish."

Olivia Colman plays Anne, daughter of Anthony Hopkins' character, in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)
Olivia Colman plays Anne, daughter of Anthony Hopkins' character, in 'The Father'. (Sean Gleason/Lionsgate)

Colman's career began in the comedy world, with a recurring role in Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show and as part of the ensemble cast of sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look.

She has recently expanded into movies, winning a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the deliciously bizarre The Favourite, as well as taking on the role of Queen Elizabeth II in the third and fourth seasons of The Crown.

Read more: Colman discusses drastic weight changes for two royal roles

Having now said goodbye to that role, her upcoming projects reportedly include the upcoming Marvel series Secret Invasion, in which she would appear alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

The Father is in UK cinemas from 11 June.

Watch: Trailer for The Father