Killing Eve’s snub to star


Irish Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY JA­NINE YAQOOB

AS telly as­sas­sin Vil­lanelle, Jodie Comer is cun­ning, ruth­less, at­trac­tive and se­duc­tive.

Her meth­ods are chill­ing and Jodie’s per­for­mance – with a ma­tu­rity way be­yond her 25 years – has won global plau­dits.

But it could all have been so dif­fer­ent.

For Jodie wanted a ca­reer in mu­sic and was in a girl band with school pals – un­til they dumped her for miss­ing re­hearsals.

Thank God it was Jodie and not Vil­lanelle – oth­er­wise the first “hit” might not have been of the chart va­ri­ety!

The ac­tress re­veals: “I was el­bowed out of the girl band! That’s when I first got the buzz for per­form­ing in front of other peo­ple.

“We were do­ing a tal­ent show in school. Me and my three friends were do­ing a dance from Chicago.

“We were do­ing the Cell Block Tango at the age of 12 – prob­a­bly a lit­tle in­ap­pro­pri­ate, look­ing back!

“So I was plan­ning on do­ing the tal­ent show and mid­way through re­hearsals I went away on hol­i­day with my fam­ily.


“When I was away I was spend­ing all my time on the com­puter and the girls had been in touch to say I couldn’t be in the dance any more be­cause I wasn’t there to re­hearse.

“You know when you’re a kid and you’re so up­set you lose your breath? I re­mem­ber go­ing up to my mum and be­ing so dis­traught.

“She was like, ‘Why don’t you go back and ask your drama teacher if you can do your mono­logue? Do your own thing’.”

It was wise ad­vice. Jodie won a com­pe­ti­tion at the Liver­pool Drama Fes­ti­val – recit­ing a speech about the Hills­bor­ough soc­cer dis­as­ter.

A cou­ple of months later she au­di­tioned to play a young girl in a Ra­dio 4 drama. And the rest, as they say, is his­tory. Jodie adds: “An ac­tress kindly in­tro­duced me to her agent and now I am here!

“So I’m al­ways like, ‘Mum, imag­ine if they didn’t leave me out of the group. What would I be do­ing’?”

Jodie is now known around the globe off the suc­cess of Killing Eve.

Last week­end she joined cel­e­bra­tions in Los An­ge­les as her co-star San­dra Oh, 47, won a Golden Globe as best TV ac­tress.

Jodie is nom­i­nated for the same gong at the up­com­ing Na­tional Tele­vi­sion Awards.

Her ri­vals in­clude an­other Jodie – Whit­taker, the new Doc­tor Who – and Michelle Kee­gan, star of Our Girl.

Jodie, speak­ing on pod­cast Two Shot, ad­mits that she has been taken aback at the in­ter­na­tional of Killing Eve. She goes on: “If some­one said to me last year that peo­ple would be dress­ing as Vil­lanelle for Hal­loween I would have said, ‘Shut up!’ “It’s been so amaz­ing to be a part of some­thing that has res­onated with peo­ple and peo­ple have en­joyed. “Peo­ple al­ways ask me what the mes­sage is with Killing Eve. “There isn’t one, you just have fun with it. I think that’s what peo­ple have en­joyed so much. I’ve never been part of a show which has had such a huge re­sponse.

“It went out in Amer­ica first and went down re­ally well, then the pes­simist in me was like, ‘Oh the Brits are go­ing to hate it!’ But it was the ex­act same.


“My whole fam­ily are ob­sessed with it, it’s lovely.”

The ac­tress may now be re­ceiv­ing top marks for her act­ing but she ad­mits to fail­ing her drama exam at school.

She adds: “This is re­ally em­bar­rass­ing. For my drama GCSE I got an A* in my prac­ti­cal and I got a U (un­graded) in my writ­ten! I would

have liked to have been more dis­ci­plined, maybe. “I’m dis­ci­plined now but in a dif­fer­ent way.” Jodie spends half of her life in Lon­don but loves go­ing back home to Mersey­side. She says: “I feel lucky in the sense I can come for six months, ex­pe­ri­ence it, then go back to nor­mal­ity, back to my mum’s. “I can imag­ine it’s quite easy to fall out of love with Lon­don, it’s quite in­tense. “I also think it can be quite lonely. I do love my own com­pany, but I get a sense that if you haven’t got your tribe of peo­ple here it’s easy to slip un­der the radar and prob­a­bly spend too much time on your own.”

Jodie ad­mits it has been tough liv­ing with the fame Killing Eve brought her – and that the first big pho­to­shoot had left her “rigid with fear”.

But co-star San­dra Oh and show cre­ator Phoebe Waller-bridge have given her good ad­vice.

She ex­plains: “We went to a TV fes­ti­val in Cannes, we were all hav­ing a lit­tle drink and they were like, ‘Just so you know, when this goes out it might get a bit crazy’. I’m around San­dra a lot, she gets recog­nised ev­ery­where and I can see how in­tense that can be.

“I’m in no way in that kind of bracket but they were like, ‘This is some­thing you need to be more aware of’. They gave me a heads up.” Se­ries two of Killing Eve – set to be on the BBC in late spring – has San­dra’s char­ac­ter Eve Po­las­tri still hunt­ing wounded killer Vil­lanelle.

But Jodie in­sists yet more fame won’t be go­ing to her head, adding: “If I ever did get too big for my boots my mum and dad would tell me straight away... and my brother!”

ja­[email protected]­i­tymir­

My pals told me I was out for miss­ing re­hearsals, so my mum said to try drama



AXED School group ditched Jodie

YOUNG TAL­ENT Jodie and dance pals per­formed Hair­spray

CO STARS Jodie and Killing Eve pal San­dra Oh at the Globes

TV HIT Blood­ied Vil­lanelle in new Eve se­ries

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