By Charlotte McLaughlin, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
Olivia Colman has revealed an embarrassing moment when she was sitting “astride” a young co-star during a romantic scene in Empire Of Light.
The 48-year-old Oscar-winner, best known for The Crown and The Favourite, stars in the romantic film alongside Jamaican-British actor Micheal Ward, 25.
Set in an old cinema in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, the drama from Bond film director Sir Sam Mendes explores human connection and romance.
Colman told The Graham Norton Show: “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!’”
The star of The Crown, who played The Queen for two seasons until Imelda Staunton took over the role, said Sir Sam thought of her for Empire Of Light while watching the Netflix series.
She added: “We had a Zoom conversation during lockdown and I said ‘OK, yes’ before I even knew what it was.
“It is an incredible accolade for him to write something for me.
“It was an amazing part, thank god. Can you imagine if it had been rubbish?”
Blue Story actor Ward said it was an “incredible” and “amazing” experience to share the “same space” with an actress like Colman, who has also won Emmys, film and TV Baftas and Golden Globes.
He added: “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.”
Norton’s New Year’s Eve show also features House actor Hugh Laurie, presenter and comedian Romesh Ranganathan, Euro 2022-winning England captain Leah Williamson and Cabaret West End revival stars Callum Scott Howells and Madeline Brewer.
Ranganathan told Norton his new Sky Comedy show, Romantic Getaway, which also stars comedian Katherine Ryan, is a “twisty” and “funny” comedy “driven by plot”.
The series, written by Ranganathan, sees him and Ryan robbing their boss to pay for IVF treatment.
Ranganathan, 44, said: “Despite playing a couple, Katherine, who is a really good mate of mine, made it clear from the very beginning that there would be no touching – she was adamant.
“In fact I think it was a deal breaker for her!”
The Graham Norton Show New Year’s Eve special airs on Saturday December 31 at 10.25pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.