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Q: Like a lot of other people, I fell in love with the AMC series "The Night Manager," particularly the Angela character. Who played her, and what else has she done?

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Author: 
Adam Thomlison / TV Media

The very tough and very pregnant Angela Burr was played by Olivia Colman, a big star in Britain with a very low profile over here.

You've got some good company in her fan club: The producers of "The Night Manager" liked her enough to change the character's gender. Her character -- the harried, driven spy master navigating the intelligence bureaucracy to protect her agent -- was a man in the source novel by John le Carré.

Colman currently stars in the hit British drama series "Broadchurch," which is an interesting example of why she's not more famous in North America. The first season was such a hit for the BBC in 2013 that Fox commissioned an American remake right away. That version, "Gracepoint," aired in 2014 and kept the same lead actor (Scotsman David Tennant, doing an American accent), but swapped out Colman for American-born Anna Gunn.

"Gracepoint" was a bomb over here, which, if Colman were inclined to be petty, would probably be quite gratifying. But she doesn't have time for pettiness, because "Broadchurch" is still going strong in Britain, and Colman has a million other things on the go, as usual.

Most exciting, perhaps, is her role in the upcoming big-screen remake of "Murder on the Orient Express," due to hit theaters in November. She plays Hildegarde Schmidt, whose identity I can't explain for fear of spoiling elements of the notoriously twisty plot.

Colman's had loads of long-term supporting roles on British TV, usually in sitcoms, including cult favorite "Peep Show," mid-2000s hospital comedy "Green Wing" and the religious comedy "Rev" (which also starred Tom Hollander, who played Corky in "The Night Manager").

Colman fans have another reason to get cautiously excited: Her name is currently being tossed around as the next Doctor on "Doctor Who." The current star, Peter Capaldi, is retiring after the upcoming season, an event that always triggers lots of speculation about replacements. 

 

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