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Olivia Colman on Wonka, The Crown and positive masculine role models

The News Agents podcast / Global Player

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Olivia Colman on Wonka, The Crown and positive masculine role models

The performer spoke to Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis.

Oscar winning actress, Olivia Colman, has told The News Agents podcast that ‘a masculine role model of gentleness’ is ‘much cooler and much hotter’ than ‘the Andrew Tates of the world’ saying, ‘I don’t want to get gloomy about the fact that we have the Andrew Tates of the world… a masculine role model of gentleness is so much cooler, so much hotter – those people do exist. Harry Styles, he’s a very attractive man, to the women who fancy him, and he is not remotely an aggressive man.’

Speaking to podcast hosts Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis, Olivia spoke about her Wonka co-star Timothée Chalamet’s character in the much-anticipated film, telling Emily and Jon, ‘Timmy, Timothée Chalamet,  plays a boy who grew up without… He is a beautiful role model… He is a gentle young man with a skill, and he looks out particularly for this child. It’s lovely and beautiful. He’s a lovely role model in the film.’

Olivia spoke to The News Agents alongside Susie McDonald, the CEO of Tender, a charity which provides classes in schools to raise awareness about the issue of domestic abuse.

Commenting on how prevalent misogyny still is amongst young people, Olivia told Emily and Jon: 

‘I think without something like Tender – adults teaching children very young – it’s going to keep going. You’re going to hear from the cool guy at school who slags off women, or online influencers who are misogynistic to an extraordinary degree, it’s sort of endemic from childhood and the influences around you. And that’s why you need people coming into your schools to say, it’s actually not cool and it’s not funny, and to be a man who is gentle, and protective is a much more impressive thing.’

On positive masculine role models like popstar Harry Styles: 

‘I don’t want to get gloomy about the fact that we have the Andrew Tates of the world. We do have so much good that’s happened… The acceptance of the LGBTQ + community, we still need to go further, but so much has changed. And women have more of a voice to say stuff, even though they’re still suffering. I want positivity to come out of this, that things are moving in the right direction, and also a masculine role model of gentleness is so much cooler, so much hotter – those people do exist. Harry Styles, he’s a very attractive man, to the women who fancy him, and he is not remotely an aggressive man.’

Sharing how it is harder to get the domestic violence awareness classes in private schools: 

‘I still find it fascinating that it’s harder to get these [Tender classes] into private schools. I think private schools think we don’t we don’t have issues like that and statistically, they do. Alcoholism, if it is from a posh wine bottle, is still alcoholism. And just because the front door is nice, there can still be coercive, controlling, unpleasant behaviour behind that posh front door. Statistically that you are not avoiding it by being of a higher socio-economic background. And I would love all schools, to want their children to have happy lives. I don’t understand why there’s a discussion about it.’

Commenting on her Wonka co-star Timothée Chalamet: 

‘Timmy, Timothée Chalamet, plays a boy who grew up without… He is a beautiful role model… He is a gentle young man with a skill, and he looks out particularly for this child. It’s lovely and beautiful. He’s a lovely role model in the film.’

 Speaking more about Wonka, Olivia told Emily and Jon: 

‘It’s a prequel, it’s how Wonka became the Wonka that we know as the Gene Wilder character. Paul King, Simon Farnaby, who were responsible for Paddington 1 and 2 – amazing. They have totally taken this Dahl world and the baddies names are so sort Roald Dahl-ish. It’s beautiful…. There are some baddies. I’m one of the baddies, and she’s not that nice. She does sort of keep prisoners in her cellar…  I love my job. A good therapeutic scream and cry and snot is fantastic. But it’s also brilliant mucking about with Tom Davis and Jim Carter and everybody on Wonka. And for kids it’s a beautiful film.’

Asked whether she is uncomfortable with the latest series of The Crown covering a time period in living memory, Olivia replied:

 ‘I feel uncomfortable answering questions about whether or not The Crown should have stopped before now because I loved the job. It was a great job. I’m not a spokesperson for the Royal Family, don’t know them. I can understand, I can feel that maybe it’s too close to home now.’

 Speaking more about The Crown, Olivia said:

‘I haven’t watched the new ones yet… The first two with Claire [Foy], I particularly loved because they were historical stuff. I’d say, ‘I didn’t know that.’  I loved that. And it has become more uncomfortable, but Peter Morgan writes beautifully, and I had a lovely time doing the job.’

Listen to the full interview on The News Agents podcast on Global Player. 

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