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Olivia Colman hits out at Hollywood gender pay gap

Olivia Colman has spoken out about gender disparities in Hollywood (Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pi)
Olivia Colman has spoken out about gender disparities in Hollywood (Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pi)

Olivia Colman has shared her frustrations over the undervaluation of female-led cinema and the need for equal pay.

The 50-year-old award-winning actress, who has four BAFTA awards, two Emmys, an Oscar, and three Golden Globes to her name, says she can’t believe that in 2024 it’s even still an issue.

“There’ve been many fantastic female-centric films which have moved me. And some of the biggest-grossing films, Barbie, Bridesmaids, Thelma & Louise, are led by women,” she vented to the Radio Times podcast.

“People say men get paid more because they get more bums on seats. That’s a lie! It can be proved in the box office. I don’t know why we’re still having to discuss it!”

Reflecting on her early struggles in the industry, she recalled “sleeping on friends' sofas” and barely being able to afford bus fare.

Noting: “My first year out of drama school, I went for 100 auditions and didn’t get one. I thought my agent was going to dump me.”Colman’s big break came in Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show as Sophie Chapman, the co-worker and on-off love interest of main character Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell).

She has since experienced a meteoric rise to fame thanks to television roles including Broadchurch and The Crown, plus, lauded big screen parts in The Favourite and The Father.

Her break-out dramatic role was in the bleak domestic violence drama Tyrannosaur.

This weekend will see her attend the 2024 BAFTAs due to her role in Wonka, which has been nominated for Outstanding British Film.

She will next be seen on screen in Wicked Little Letters, which is released in UK cinemas from February and sees her reunite with Jessie Buckley after their acclaimed performances in 2021's The Lost Daughter as younger and older versions of main character Leda.

While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Colman, she prefers to look for the silver linings, adding to the publication: “I don't regret the saddest parts of my life because you learn from them.”