Olivia Colman has won her first Academy Award. It’s a surprise victory for the British actress who beat out veteran actress Glenn Close and pop icon Lady Gaga to clinch the win. Yalitzia Aparicio of Roma and Melissa McCarthy of Can You Ever Forgive Me? were also nominated in the category.
Colman won for her critically-acclaimed performance in The Favourite, in which she plays a manic Queen Anne with two women, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, vying to be the center of her attention.
Colman seemed genuinely flabbergasted by her win and found it difficult to compose herself.
“It’s genuinely quite stressful,” the actress said as she struggled to hold back tears. “This is hilarious.”
Although she was very emotional, Colman managed to mention her fellow nominees and briefly addressed the fact that Close was considered the “favorite” to take home the trophy.
“Glenn, you’ve been my idol for so long, this is not how I wanted it to be,” she said. “I think you’re amazing. I love you very much.”
As The Guardian notes, Colman had already racked up a couple of wins already this awards season. She won the best actress in a comedy or musical at the Golden Globes, and best actress at the BAFTAs, the British version of the Academy Awards, in February.
The Favourite was tied for the highest number of nominations with Roma. But Colman’s triumph would be the film’s only win of the night.
The film which delivers a unique spin on the typical British period drama has a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and film critics praised Colman’s take on a gout-ridden monarch, who must not only deal with French incursions, but also the seemingly more pressing matter of deciding which of her closest companions should be the one who gets all of her affection.
The film also stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Joe Alwyn, and Nicholas Hoult.
In a previous interview with The Independent, Colman said that she still has a constant fear that one day she won’t be able to land any acting work. That prospect is looking more unlikely now that she has an Academy Award under her belt.
“I much prefer these sorts of roles because there is no pressure to be something you are not, and I am obviously not glamorous,” Colman said. “I’m more a jeans and sweater-with-something-spilled-on-it person.”
Her endearing acceptance speech has undoubtedly earned her some new fans in the United States and that fanbase will likely increase once fans see her in the upcoming season of Netflix’s The Crown, which is expected to premiere later this year.