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Sam Mendes says Olivia Colman has the same star power as Dame Judi Dench

Sam Mendes says Olivia Colman has the same star power as Dame Judi Dench


says shares the same star power as Dame Judi Dench.

The ‘Empire of Light’ director – who has worked with both actress – thinks they are alike because they are both “accessible” while being “slightly mysterious”.

The 57-year-old director told Deadline: ”Olivia’s like Judi in that she’s accessible and yet also slightly mysterious. She’s very friendly, always delightful to see her, but there’s something held back, too. A little core is very private. She’s not an extrovert, not an exhibitionist; she’s very guarded actually. Certainly since the Oscar. I think she had to recalibrate her life as people do when they become that level of famous. It’s frightening; I’ve lived through it too, to a degree, but not as a famous face.”

Sam – who directed the now 87-year-old thespian in ‘The Cherry Orchard’ and in his two Bond movies ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre’ – told Olivia, 48, that he wrote his new film with her in mind via Zoom.

Recalling the video call he had with ‘The Favourite’ star, he said: “Look, I’m writing something for you.”

Sam gave Olivia the rundown of what he had in mind for the project – which also stars Roger Deakins, Michael Ward and Tanya Moodie – which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.

He said: “I told her it’s a love story of sorts and I talked about how personal it is, and how much it’s drawn from my own life. The upshot of it is that I got a very powerful sense of her.”

The ‘American Beauty’ director found the chat with the Academy Award winner as what he “needed” to finish the screenplay.

Sam said: “That’s all I needed, I just needed a blast of her really. When I got off the Zoom I knew which way to go with this and so I completed it.”

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