Olivia Colman reveals she's had hypnotherapy to conquer stage fright

‘It’s an awful feeling’: Olivia Colman reveals she’s had hypnotherapy to conquer her crippling stage fright after developing a ‘massive fear’ of doing theatre

She may have three Golden Globe Awards, a BFI Fellowship and an Oscar, but Olivia Colman has revealed crippling stage fright has stopped her from doing theatre. 

The actress, 47, who could win her second Oscar this weekend in The Father, has said her fear of being on stage has become so bad, she has had to have hypnotherapy.

Appearing on National Theatres’ Life In Stages YouTube series, Olivia said as her fame increased, the more her ‘massive fear developed’ and she began to imagine embarrassing incidents or the ‘disappointment of the audience if I don’t live up to their expectation’.

Fear: She may have three Golden Globe Awards, a BFI Fellowship and an Oscar, but Olivia Colman has revealed stage fright has stopped her from doing theatre (pictured last montH)

Fear: She may have three Golden Globe Awards, a BFI Fellowship and an Oscar, but Olivia Colman has revealed stage fright has stopped her from doing theatre (pictured last montH)

Olivia last performed on stage in the 2017 production of Mosquitoes at the National Theatre. 

Explaining her stage fright, The Crown star told National Theatre co-director Rufus Norris: ‘The moment just before the lights go down: [I think] “I f***ing hate this job, I f***ing hate myself and I’m going to vomit or wee and suddenly you are on stage. It’s an awful feeling.

‘I worry that as I get older and slightly more recognisable then all these people will watch when you f**k it up and say: “We went to see that person we have seen on the telly; not that good on stage.” 

Stage fright: The actress, 47, has said her fear of being on stage has become so bad, she has had to have hypnotherapy (pictured in Hay Fever in 2012)

Stage fright: The actress, 47, has said her fear of being on stage has become so bad, she has had to have hypnotherapy (pictured in Hay Fever in 2012)








The actress went on to recall an embarrassing incident heightened her stage fright and now has a fear of ‘getting the giggles’ after she accidentally wet herself. 

Discussing the incident, which happened when she was starring in The Miser with David Mitchell a few years ago, Olivia described how she couldn’t stop laughing at her co-star having a wardrobe malfunction with his bow-tie on stage. 

‘I wet myself on stage from laughing. It was a raked stage and my entire bladder emptied and it went towards the audience in the front row. There is a fear at the back of my head that I could laugh so much that I could pee myself.’

Richard went on to ask if the audience realised what had happened and Olivia replied: ‘Yeah’, before miming a horrified reaction. 

After Olivia’s last theatre role in 2017, her career sky rocketed as she starred as Queen Anne in The Favourite, which would see her claim the Best Actress Oscar. 

Award winner: After Olivia's last theatre role in 2017, her career sky rocketed as she starred as Queen Anne in The Favourite, which would see her claim the Best Actress Oscar

Award winner: After Olivia’s last theatre role in 2017, her career sky rocketed as she starred as Queen Anne in The Favourite, which would see her claim the Best Actress Oscar








She then took over the role as Queen Elizabeth II from Claire Foy in Netflix’s critically-acclaimed drama The Crown, and more recently earned an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in The Father alongside Anthony Hopkins. 

But with a glittering Hollywood career, comes pressure and Olivia has said it is this which has only exasperated her fear of being on stage.

She said of her increased fame: ‘That has added to my fear of being on stage. The expectation and then the disappointment that people might feel if I don’t live up to their expectation.’ 

Olivia said while she has built up these self critical thoughts in her head, she needs ‘to get over it’ because she did love starring in plays. 

Nominee: More recently Olivia earned an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in The Father alongside Anthony Hopkins

Nominee: More recently Olivia earned an Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in The Father alongside Anthony Hopkins