Olivia Colman details ‘slightly embarrassing’ sex scenes with Empire of Light co-star Micheal Ward

New Sam Mendes film is a love story set in 1980s Margate

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 27 December 2022 09:13 GMT
Oscars 2019: Olivia Colman wins actress in leading role

Olivia Colman has reflected on filming sex scenes with co-star Micheal Ward in the new movie Empire of Light.

The romantic drama from 1917 director Sam Mendes is set in Margate in the 1980s, and stars Colman, 48, as a cinema manager, Hilary, who develops a relationship with a ticket-seller, Stephen, played by Ward, 25.

Speaking in a new episode of The Graham Norton Show that will be broadcast on New Year’s Eve, Colman said: “There was one particular moment when I was astride Micheal in a compromising and slightly embarrassing situation and he said, ‘It’s my mum’s birthday today.’ When he said she was 43, I was like, ‘OK, stop talking!’”

Ward, whose break-out role came in the 2018 crime drama Blue Story, said of working with Colman: “It was an amazing experience. It was incredible just to share the same space. I learnt so much about being a real person – everyone had a real sense of humanity.

“If Olivia had been rude I might have thought that’s how I need to be to reach a certain level of success but the fact she is so lovely showed me I can be a good person and still be successful.”

Other employees at the Margate cinema in the film are played by Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tom Brooke and Hannah Onslow.

Colman can next be seen in the BBC TV adaptation of Great Expectations, in which she plays Miss Havisham, alongside Matt Berry and Hayley Squires.

Ward and Colman in ‘Empire of Light’
Ward and Colman in ‘Empire of Light’ (Searchlight)

Ward, meanwhile, will soon star in football film The Beautiful Game alongside Bill Nighy.

The Graham Norton Show will air on BBC One on Saturday 31 December at 10.25pm.

Empire of Light is out in UK cinemas on 9 January 2023.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in