Sandra Oh Talks Killing Eve

Sandra Oh Talks Killing Eve

Playing Eve

♦ The BBC has acquired drama Killing Eve, developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and here’s an interview with one of its cast, Sandra Oh from the BBC themselves…

What sort of world will the audience be entering with Killing Eve?
Killing Eve follows two parallel stories that eventually intersect in numerous places. One follows Eve, who I play, and the other is the world of Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, who is an assassin. Eve’s task is to find this assassin. It’s a unique world of the spy thriller, and a real character story between these two women, and their need to find each other. There is a lot of wit and humour in it. It’s a real kind of a mash up – a new voice and a new genre.

What excited you most about being involved in this project?
It was definitely working with Phoebe, and the part that she wrote which I thought was very fresh, daringly hilarious and extremely dramatic. I really, really like the mix of that, because ultimately it becomes all the more relatable and human. You know things are funny and sad and thrilling and dangerous and absurd, I mean, that’s kind of like life – and actually that is more relatable than straight comedy or just straight drama.

Can you tell us a little bit about Eve?
I feel like my role as Eve is to play it like the eyes of the audience. She’s the normal character who’s sucked into extraordinary circumstances. Hopefully the audience will come into the story relating to Eve, because she’s just the ordinary woman who is slightly dissatisfied with her job and is kind of missing something in her life. She finds her energy through Villanelle, which begins to break her out of her usual mould.

What is Eve’s world like and what is contained in it?
When we first meet Eve, you really see her own life: she has a very, very good relationship with her husband Niko and you see her at her job in MI5. She has a good job, with great co-workers. Everything is fine about her life, right? But there is more and she just happens to be a character who ultimately wants more.

And so her life at the beginning of the series is just set in London, in her home and in her office, but then as Villanelle begins to seep into Eve’s life we go on to have this fantastic international feel to the show, as we follow Eve as she tracks Villanelle.

How did the costume department design Eve’s look?
Let’s just say costume-wise, I’m a little jealous of Jodie’s wardrobe! Villanelle wears these designer things and Eve is a little bit more practical and schlubby. It’s really, really right for Eve. Make-up and hair wise, Villanelle is someone who goes for all these changes, because that’s part of her character. Whereas with Eve there was a certain kind of steadiness, a certain tiredness that I think is just right for her.

What is going through Eve’s head when she decides to go to Russia?
It’s not so much Eve’s head and sound mind that is driving her to Russia, it’s her gut – and that’s pulling her away from her life in London and her husband Niko. Eve’s first real eye-to-eye contact with Villanelle drives her to continue having contact with that entity – it is this that propels Eve to Russia.

What makes Killing Eve unique for you?
The fresh tone. We’re really trying to create a new tone, almost even like a new genre, a really fresh and different way of telling the story in presenting these characters. Phoebe has a tremendous gift for being able to write multiple layers. It’s great to play a role where you can make something both absurd and real.

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