A Golden Globe snub, but her deadly tal­ents will out

The Observer - - Comment & Analysis - Jodie Comer

The an­nounce­ment of this year’s Golden Globes nom­i­na­tions marks the ar­rival of awards sea­son in earnest. Lady Gaga earned a best ac­tress nod, though any­one who saw her in the video for Tele­phone (fea­tur­ing Be­y­oncé), to give it its full and proper ti­tle, will know that her un­ri­valled de­liv­ery of lines like “Once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger” meant this was in­evitable.

It is look­ing like a promis­ing few months for Queen Olivia Col­man, too, whose abil­ity to be both grotesque and heart­break­ing in The Favourite surely makes her as much of a dead cert as it’s pos­si­ble to be. But on the sub­ject of the week’s big head­line-mak­ing awards cer­e­mony furore: yes, Jodie Comer was robbed.

Killing Eve picked up muchde­served nom­i­na­tions for best tele­vi­sion se­ries – drama and for San­dra Oh, who will also host, as best ac­tress in a tele­vi­sion se­ries – drama. (I love the cer­e­monies that com­bine film and TV, and di­vide com­edy and drama, be­cause the cat­e­gories are so florid.) Comer, how­ever, was in­ex­pli­ca­bly left out.

There are al­ways snubs, ob­vi­ously, and get­ting fu­ri­ous about what has been passed over is all part of the fun. On the film front, the shun­ning of Wi­d­ows feels like a par­tic­u­larly egre­gious blind spot, and the fact that The Good Fight is nowhere to be seen is a crime. But what more did Comer have to do to get on the list? As Vil­lanelle, she plays a Rus­sian as­sas­sin who climbs up drain­pipes and flips over a child’s ice cream while mas­querad­ing as any given dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­ity of hired killer as and when the job calls for it.

She is dead­pan funny and deadly se­ri­ous. She is a char­ac­ter who is never quite what she seems, there­fore as an ac­tor, she is play­ing an ac­tor so good at act­ing that it’s not sup­posed to be de­tectible. The only way

I can make that fath­omable is to as­sume it’s like work­ing be­hind the bar on New Year’s Eve, and is es­sen­tially a case for dou­ble time.

Also, she makes a psy­chopath sym­pa­thetic, so that de­spite all of her mur­der­ous ten­den­cies, you end up root­ing for her any­way. “How do you make peo­ple care about psy­chopaths is a ques­tion we asked early on. And the an­swer is, cast Jodie Comer,” said showrun­ner Phoebe Waller-Bridge in a 15-minute doc­u­men­tary about the mak­ing of the show.

Still, an­other sea­son of Killing Eve is on its way, so there’s al­ways next year. And if not, per­haps Vil­lanelle can be sent round to do some sub­tle per­suad­ing.

Jodie Comer as the psy­cho­pathic Vil­lanelle. Sid Gen­tle Films/Robert Vi­glasky

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