Olivia Colman says her ‘The Favourite’ co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz secretly declined being nominated for a Best Actress Oscar because they felt she deserved the trophy.

Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman

The three actresses starred together in the 2018 drama, and although they were all leading ladies, only Olivia received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress – which she won for her role as Queen Anne – whilst both Emma and Rachel, who played Abigail Masham and Lady Sarah Churchill respectively, were put up for Best Supporting Actress.

And now, Olivia has revealed her co-stars – who both lost out in the Best Supporting Actress category – actively chose not to put themselves forward for a Best Actress nomination, because they believed Olivia deserved the gong the most.

She told Total Film magazine: “What I didn't realise for the Oscars was that you are meant to say what category you want to go up for. I went: ‘No, that's rude. I'm not doing that.’

“And also because I felt that we were all three equal people - Emma, me and Rachel were three equals. I said: ‘If they can't change it so that we can all be equals, then I don't want to do it, because it's not right.’

“So I refused to say it. I said: ‘We can either all go up for lead, or all go up for supporting.’”

Explaining the kind deed her co-stars had done in secret, she then explained: “But then what I didn't realise … someone let slip that Emma and Rachel had both decided - which makes me feel quite emotional - that they would go supporting to make me go lead, because they said they'd both had it, so it was my turn.

“Isn't that amazing? That's two incredible friends. I said I was not doing it unless we could all be equal. So they ignored me, and did something selfless and charitable.”

Rachel had previously taken home an Oscar in 2006 for Best Supporting Actress in ‘The Constant Gardener’, while Emma won Best Actress for ‘La La Land’ in 2017.

And this year could see another big win for 47-year-old Olivia, who is up for two Golden Globes and two SAG Awards for her work in Netflix hit ‘The Crown’ – in which she plays Queen Elizabeth II – and ‘The Father’.

The Academy are set to announce the nominees for the 2021 Oscars ceremony on March 15.