Ye Olde Troll: Olivia Colman has a laugh with true-story comedy ‘Wicked Little Letters’

Sony Classics

Take a peek back at the trolls of old with Oscar winner Olivia Colman in the new film Wicked Little Letters.

The period comedy is based on the true story of a town in 1920s England that was rocked by scandal when someone started writing vicious letters to various villagers.

Colman plays Edith Swan, one of the women unnerved by the poison pen missives. She explains to ABC Audio they have an all-too-common modern-day equivalent. “Now it’s trolling. Now you can be vicious anonymously online,” she says.

The legendary English actress’s character seems to be a “pious Christian, Goody Two-shoes,” but “behind closed doors, there’s a whole other thing going on,” Colman explains.

She adds, “I mean, all human beings, you know, have lots of different sides to them, but hers was so extreme I just thought it’d be fun to play.”

The letters were so extreme at the time that a criminal investigation was launched — with Edith’s Irish neighbor a likely, but possibly innocent, suspect.

For her part, Colman explains her character’s use of colorful language in the film and why Edith can’t quite get to cursing correctly.

“You know, a kid going abroad learns all the bad words they can think of in their new language and puts them all in one lump,” she expresses. “And I feel a bit like the swearing in this film is a bit like someone who doesn’t actually do it, is imagining what it would be like to say all those words.”

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