Olivia Colman reveals Wikipedia battle over date of birth

The Oscar-nominated star has also discussed her struggles with fame.

Olivia Colman has revealed she once wrote to Wikipedia to request they change the age on her page, because they had aged her by eight years.

The Oscar-nominated actress admitted to pretending to be somebody else so as not to look “vain” while contacting the web-based free encyclopaedia.

Colman, 44, told her Broadchurch co-star David Tennant on his new podcast: “Once, on Wikipedia, they had my birthday as the wrong day, the wrong month, and eight years before I was born.

“I emailed them, pretending it wasn’t me. (I wrote) ‘I was at school with her and that’s not her birthday’. I didn’t want them to think I was being so vain.

National Television Awards 2015 – Show – London
Olivia Colman and David Tennant (Yui Mok/PA)

She said it was “years ago” and that she gave a nickname to disguise her identity.

Colman added: “I didn’t get a reply, and wrote again going ‘sorry guys, but I know it’s wrong’. And they didn’t reply.

“So I said, ‘actually, this is me, and it’s really upsetting me that you’ve made me eight years older than I actually am’.

“And they said, ‘we’d have to see a birth certificate to prove it’, and I went, ‘whose f****** birth certificate have you looked at in the first place to make me eight years older?'”

Colman said that her date of birth was finally changed to the correct one, January 30 1974, but joked that she should have said she was younger.

Colman, who has received a best actress Oscar nomination for her role as Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos’ period comedy drama The Favourite, also told Tennant that she struggles with her level of fame due to higher profile roles in recent years.

She first became famous for her role as Sophie in Channel 4’s Peep Show, but has become better known for starring in ITV drama Broadchurch, BBC drama The Night Manager and films including Hot Fuzz, Tyrannosaur and The Iron Lady, in which she played Carol Thatcher opposite Meryl Streep.

Colman’s biggest film role yet is in the critically-acclaimed The Favourite, for which she is also nominated for a Bafta.

She said she does not really go out and that she has “become very much a hermit”.

“I have friends that I adore and I like going to safe places with them, my home or their home.”

She said fame was “very stupidly nothing I expected to happen, I just wanted to work”.

She said it can feel “threatening” to lose her anonymity, and that she “can’t cope” with people noticing her out in public, although most people who approach her are “really nice”.

Colman said, however, that she does not regret anything, “because hand-in-hand with that, I’m getting work that I’m loving and always dreamt of.

“As long as I know I can keep my head down, stay at home, it’s not so bad.”

The first episode of David Tennant Does A Podcast With…, starring Olivia Colman, will be available on streaming services including Spotify from January 28.

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