I love the balance of humour and darkness – there are moments which are shocking and brutal
Fresh from playing ‘the other woman’ in hit TV drama Doctor Foster, Jodie Comer lands another killer role – literally
ACTRESS Jodie Comer plays a fearsome Russian assassin in new eight-part spy thriller Killing Eve.
Adapted by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (writer and star of hit BBC3 black comedy Fleabag) from the books by Luke Jennings, Jodie plays a killer codenamed Villanelle, who is being hunted by MI5 agent Eve (Grey’s Anatomy star Sandra Oh).
Here Jodie, 25, tells us what to expect from the BBC1 series which has already been a hit in the States...
What sort of world will the audience be entering with Killing Eve?
THE series follows Villanelle’s assignments, with Eve becoming aware of a possible link between these kills. Eve and Villanelle’s lives are very, very different. I feel like when you’re with Eve, it feels like a totally different world to the one that Villanelle is in.
Villanelle is very high-paced, and energetic, and she’s always in some extravagant place, wearing ridiculously fancy, eccentric clothes. And she’s pretty much always on her own, she’s a bit of a lone wolf.
What drives Villanelle to do what she does?
I THINK what drives Villanelle is her freedom. I feel like she’s had very little freedom in her life before now.
She lives in Paris in this amazing apartment and she gets a kick from doing these kills – it excites her and gives her purpose.
She’s got control. She does her kills, she gets her money, she spends it on what she likes, and she has no one around her to take that from her, or tell her what to do – she has total freedom.
She has very little remorse, and she’s cool with that.
Do you have anything in common with your character?
I’M scared to say yes because she’s so crazy! She likes to spend her money on clothes, and she always seems to be eating, I’m guilty on both counts.
I see her as an actress in many ways because she has so many different personas, so my way into her was to think of it as an act.
She thrives off being an actress. She speaks so many languages, and often has a set costume or hair depending on her mission, just a totally different life that she morphs into.
How important was it to have a strong key team of women behind and in front of the camera?
IT’S always important. I can confirm that writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a total force! I’ve been very lucky in that my past four jobs have all been written by women or the women have been the lead protagonists, like in Doctor Foster.
What’s so amazing with both the lead characters (in Killing Eve) is that they can be weak and they are vulnerable, and I guess in turn that’s what makes them strong.
We have the preconception about assassins on screen, they’re always immaculate, and they do everything with such ease and precision. And what really attracted me to Villanelle was she was a bit messy, a bit slutty, and she had humour.
How has it been working with Kim Bodnia (from Nordic thriller The Bridge), who plays Villanelle’s handler Konstantin?
KIM is amazing, he’s got such energy and charm. It was so important for Villanelle and Konstantin’s relationship to have closeness and warmth, and we’ve definitely found that.
And there’s a real depth. Even though this is a work relationship, you can tell that there’s something more underneath all of that. He cares a lot about her, and she cares a lot about him. I think people will enjoy them together on screen.
Can you tell us anything about the mysterious ‘12’?
VILLANELLE doesn’t really know an awful lot. She knows that Konstantin is the guy who’s in charge of her, and she knows there is something bigger above him that’s telling him what needs to happen.
She becomes more aware of this ‘12’ entity halfway through the series, and asks Konstantin. He tells her she shouldn’t ask anymore, and she should stop there, which she doesn’t because she doesn’t cope very well with being told what to do.
This really begins to test their relationship. If we are fortunate enough to be re-commissioned, then I think that series would definitely explore who or what the ‘12’ is, which would be nice to know.
What makes Killing Eve unique for you?
WHAT I love is the balance of humour and darkness within the series; there is so much humour, but then there are so many moments which are quite shocking and brutal.
That balance is so hard to get right. And I just think there’s something so
What has been your favourite scene to shoot?
THERE’S a great scene when Villanelle and Eve meet for the first time. Villanelle lets herself into Eve’s house, and they have a big confrontation.
That scene was brilliant to film – our characters know so much about each other, and the characters are always talking about each other – so for them to finally meet for the first time was a big, big moment.
Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is a woman with little conscience who delights in her deadly work and enjoys spending on a wild lifestyle and outrageous outfits
Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) with Villanelle in flamboyant mood
On the trail of a killer – Eve, played by Sandra Oh