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Olivia Coleman reveals how Anthony Hopkins made heartbreaking ‘The Father’ a joyful experience


(LOS ANGELES) — The Oscar nominated film The Father hits on demand streaming Friday, and audiences at home will get a chance to see why it was nominated for Best Picture, with acting noms for stars Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman.

Colman plays the daughter of Hopkins’ character, who is losing his mind to dementia. She tells ABC Audio they had some tough scenes together, but Hopkins was everything she could’ve asked for in an on screen partner, and more.

“When someone’s that good, all you have to do is watch them and just react to what they’re doing.  And he’s so heartbreaking that it makes my job really easy,” she says. “Just a joyful man to spend time with.  He loves work… He’s so happy to meet people and he tells funny stories.  He’s just gorgeous.  Lovely.”

The Crown actress says the script, written from the father’s point of view, blew her away.

“When reading it, I was experiencing what he was experiencing.  I was as confused and ‘Well, who the hell is that that’s just come into the room,"” Coleman explains. “It was totally original to me to experience it through that person’s eyes and from their point of view.  And I just found it gripping and just really emotional.”

And that’s exactly what Florian Zeller, who wrote and directed The Father, wants his audience to feel.

Says Zeller, “I wanted the audience to be in this unique position to try to understand what is going on.  And because you do not understand everything, you have to play with all the pieces of the puzzle.  It becomes like an experience.  Not only a story, an experience of what it means to lose your bearings, and I guess this is something scary.”

By George Costantino & Jason Nathanson
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