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Colman didn't know writer's name

Published 02/06/2015

Olivia Colman plays a spy alongside Tom Hollander in The Night Manager
Olivia Colman plays a spy alongside Tom Hollander in The Night Manager

Actress Olivia Colman has admitted she had no idea she was talking to the famous novelist John Le Carre about starring in a TV adaptation of one of his books - because she did not know his real name.

Bafta-winning Colman, 41, plays a spy alongside Tom Hollander in The Night Manager, a BBC adaptation of the novel by Le Carre, whose real name is David Cornwell.

She told Radio Times magazine: "I didn't know it isn't his real name. At the read-through, I was chatting away to someone called David Cornwell, telling him how great the story was, without realising that he was John Le Carre."

Colman also told how she experienced a work drought after the second series of Broadchurch, despite acclaim for her performance in the ITV drama.

"I think there's a perception that I'll be too busy," she said.

"So actually, after those (winning) first two Baftas, I didn't really get offered anything, which makes you think: 'Oh, no!' And, after I finished the second series of Broadchurch, nothing came up for six months, which really is a long time and I got a bit panicky."

The pregnant Twenty Twenty actress, who begins filming the third series of Broadchurch after she has her third child, added: "I'd always worked steadily and, maybe once a day or so, someone would tell me that they loved Peep Show.

"But Broadchurch was a totally different thing. The level of interest was actually quite intimidating.

"On the second one, there were so many long lenses around that we had to film scenes that gave anything away indoors."

She said she is also looking forward to reuniting with Robert Webb and David Mitchell in a ninth and final series of Channel 4 hit Peep Show.

"I've seen the writers," she said, "And I've said I'd do anything, even a drive-by scene, to be in it."

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