A New Killer Stroke
Killing Eve has returned for a third season and here’s Jodie Comer, who plays Villainelle, talking about it to the BBC, as the new season kicks off on there this Sunday…
Where do we meet Villanelle at the start of season three?
Season three picks up six months later and it seems that Villanelle is trying to lead a somewhat normal life and move forward. She’s trying to convince herself that she is feeling things that everyday people feel. In the opening of the first episode, she’s at an event and gets an unexpected visit from someone in her past who shakes things up within her world. Dasha trained Villanelle when she was younger but the relationship was left on rocky terms. Villanelle ends up descending on this crazy journey with Dasha. She doesn’t really have a choice, she’s confused.
As usual Killing Eve travels to some beautiful European locations. Could you tell me about some of your favourite moments from this series so far?
In season one, we went to Romania and we went back again this season. Romania was my favourite trip of this season because we were four hours outside of Bucharest in the mountains. We were expecting snow and it was scorching heat. To film in places that you would never usually have the opportunity to film in is incredible. Barcelona was also beautiful. That’s where Villanelle is residing at the minute. She doesn’t have a gorgeous apartment in Paris anymore and Barcelona is where she’s based. It’s a really nice opening to the series because there’s a lot of colour, it’s vibrant and moving really quickly.
From Villanelle’s point of view can you tell me a little bit about the newly introduced character of Dasha and what the dynamic between the two characters is like in this series?
Dasha is a blast from the past that Villanelle is not ready for or expecting. There was a time in Villanelle’s life where she had so much admiration and respect for this woman but something happened between them, and Dasha’s actions ruined that. They’re at loggerheads for a lot of the series but Villanelle always finds herself under the thumb of someone else and this time it’s Dasha. It’s a constant back and forth between the two of them. Villanelle is very reluctant to play ball and do as she’s told because if there’s anything that she wants most in this series, it is her own freedom and control and not to have to play by other people’s rules.
Villanelle’s costumes have always been a fan favourite, but Dasha has got some great ones, too.
Dasha’s got some amazing costumes. They’re loud. A lot of leopard print. Different types of leopard prints as well! She goes all out.
How was it working with Harriet Walter [who plays Dasha] in this series?
Harriet’s incredible. Harriet and Fiona Shaw have such ease within themselves and in their approach to their work. They’re insanely talented but they don’t take themselves seriously at all. To be on set with them is so much fun. I spent a lot of time with Harriet this season and there were a lot of giggles and naughtiness. It was very fun. It was great to have her this season. I found myself being freer within takes and then finding things.
What’s the dynamic like between Konstantin and Villanelle in this series, and how has it been working alongside Kim again?
I love Kim so much. Villanelle doesn’t love Konstantin so much at the minute. In this series we delve into Villanelle’s past, the loneliness she feels and what family actually means to her. Who are her family – blood and not blood? She always finds herself drawn to Konstantin because he is the closest thing that she has to family. There’s a really interesting dynamic between the two of them this series, in a way that we haven’t seen before. And there is the return of Konstantin’s real daughter, who I know fans have been wanting to come back since the first season. She’s back with her own stuff going on. It was really fun to play around with that storyline again.
How have you created the character of Villanelle, and married together the comic with her psychopathic killing tendencies?
I don’t want to give all my secrets away! But the truth is I don’t really have any secrets because I didn’t base her on anyone. I wasn’t influenced by anyone, I just ran with it and tried not to put her in a box. I think what people have enjoyed about her is that they find humanity in her. I’ve always tried to lean into the scenes and the story in a way which feels truthful. I’ve never stuck to any boundaries. There is a lot of myself in her with regards to the comedy and her sense of humour. Probably a little too much actually. But I hope that’s what makes her fun to watch. You will definitely see a different side to her this series.
Each series has had a different screenwriter, and different directors. Does that make your job more difficult?
It’s hard because every screenwriter writes completely differently and they have their own interpretations. The first time you read the script Villanelle is not always on the page and that’s when it’s great because it means there are conversations to be had. I can give my input because at this stage I am the person who knows Villanelle. The person who knows Eve, or Konstantin the most is the actor who is playing them. It’s a real luxury to be able to come forward with your thoughts and ideas and help them in that way. It’s always a process coming back and trying to stay true to the show and carry forward what people love and know about it. Ultimately we have to drive it forward in a new fresh way so that Villanelle doesn’t become predictable with no element of surprise.
What can fans expect from season three?
With Villanelle going into her past it’s like seeing her in a whole different world, with a new insight, which is really exciting. Everyone’s being tested in different ways and it feels like a couple of the characters come to a point of realisation at the end. They’re all on their own trajectories but somehow their worlds collide in this series. To really reel people in – I have a scene with Fiona Shaw! At last! You should stick around for that alone. I’ve been fighting to get a scene with Fiona since day one so it was a glorious day to shoot.
What are your favourite costumes from the show?
My favourite costume in season one was the suit that I wore in Berlin when I killed Bill. It looked badass and I felt really comfortable in it. I had Doc Martins on and I was just weaving around everywhere in that club trying to catch him. Favourite costume from series two is the pyjamas. I hated them at the time because they were very unforgiving and they’d made them super small but in the end that was my favourite episode. When I saw them on camera I realised how brilliant they were. I liked a different pair but actually they were perfect and I was in denial. Favourite costume for series three is hard to choose because I’ve got quite a lot. But there is an epic outfit on a golf course that is very green and looks like something from Sesame Street. I’m going to leave that there.
What has been your favourite or funniest moment on set?
My favourite moment of this whole experience was the week filming with Julian Barrett in the house. That was episode two of season two. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun on a set before. Everyone was going a little bit delirious, we were corpsing and giggling all the time. It was what sets should be like, we’re not rocket scientists, we’re dressing up as other people and running around screaming.