Hollywood actress Olivia Colman, who won the Academy Award for Best Actress this year, has an Indian connection. The actress discovered her global geographical footprints last year through a documentary series titled ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’.
Colman travelled to India to find out about her Indian ancestry and discovered that her roots lie in Kishanganj, Bihar. The actress’ great-great-great-great-grandfather from the maternal side, Richard Campbell Bazett, who worked with the East India Company, had lived in London and Kolkata.
On Season 15 of the show, Colman visited India, and with the help of a historian, Anuradha Chatterjee discovered that her great-great-great grandmother, Harriot Bazet, was born in Kishanganj in Bihar in the early 1800s.
Harriot’s father died when she was young, the actress couldn’t find her birth certificate and came to the conclusion that there is a major chance that she was born to a local woman in Kishanganj. She was then sent to England.
However, Harriot, who was married to William Trigg Garrett in 1832, returned to India when she was in her mid-twenties. After her first husband’s death, she got married to Charles Young Bazett.
Olivia Colman later said, “I thought there was nobody exotic in my family. I was so wrong! … I hadn’t got a clue that India played any part of my family. I was very surprised at how much I ended up caring about her [Harriot], someone I’d never heard of before. Then to find out that her mum was a local Kishanganj woman, that’s the most exciting bit.”
Watch a short clip of the episode here:
Olivia Colman won the Oscar for the film The Favorite. The film, helmed by director Yorgos Lanthimos, released on 26 December 2018.