Actress Jodie Comer on how series two of Killing Eve gives us cold-blooded assassin Villanelle as we've NEVER seen before…
Following the runaway success of its first series last year, it seems Killing Eve can do no wrong.
After winning a Golden Globe, the show went on to win three gongs at this year’s BAFTAs, including one for best actress for Jodie Comer, who's back as ruthless assassin Villanelle alongside Sandra Oh’s hapless MI6 agent Eve Polastri as the cat-and-mouse thriller returns for its hotly anticipated second series.
The action picks up 30 seconds on from series one’s shock finale, which saw Eve finally tracking Villanelle down to her Paris apartment and stabbing her – only for Villanelle to disappear without trace!
With blood literally on her hands, Eve makes a hasty return back to London, unaware if Villanelle’s alive or dead. Villanelle, meanwhile, is a shadow of her former self as she stumbles through the streets of Paris clutching her stab wound, desperately in need of urgent medical help.
Series two sees the return of Fiona Shaw as MI6 boss Carolyn Martens and W1A’s Nina Sosanya and Edward Bluemel (A Discovery of Witches) join as Eve’s new colleagues Jess Bello and Hugo Chambers, alongside Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) who plays a mysterious stranger who crosses paths with Villanelle.
TV Times chatted to Killing Eve star Jodie, 26, to find out more about what’s to come…
How did you feel about series two picking up straight after the stabbing at the end of series one? How are both women feeling about the incident?
"The producers just wanted to pick up on that huge energy. A big part of this series is that we see that the stabbing affects these women in completely different ways."
We see a very different Villanelle to the one we’re used to…
"Yes, this is a Villanelle we’ve never seen before. She’s extremely vulnerable and I think she’s genuinely scared for her own life, which is the most important thing to her. She’s really shocked by this situation she’s found herself in. And her physical impairment has really knocked her off her feet!"
And she’s not wearing the nice clothes we normally see her in…
"She’s kind of been stripped of her luxury and she’s forced to wear other people’s clothes, which she definitely would not choose in a million years – there’s even one moment where she’s wearing Crocs! When I first saw the fabric for the superhero pyjamas she has to wear I was like, “No way!” But this woman is in such a dangerous position and somehow the pyjamas just become Villanelle and she ends up working them."
So, do Villanelle and Eve soon cross paths with each other once again?
"They do come into contact with each other a little bit more in series two. Though, under what circumstances, I can’t say…"
The accents you adopt as Villanelle are very convincing. Where does that come from?
"Growing up, if there was an advert on the telly, me and my dad would always impersonate it around the house and I think, through doing that, I’ve now got an ear for it. When I’m doing my own Liverpudlian accent, I find it harder to separate myself from the character. Also, you don’t see a lot of Scousers on the telly – maybe me and [Line of Duty star] Stephen Graham need to change that up a bit!"
Jodie, what do you most enjoy about playing Villanelle? Do you think she should ever be redeemed?
"I love that Villanelle’s so free and has no sense of consequence or fear. Some people are bad and that’s just who they are. I don’t think she should ever be redeemed."
Do you feel under pressure for series two to live up to people’s expectations after winning so many awards for series one?
"I think it would be crazy not to feel pressure. I think it’s normal if something’s gone down so well. But you can’t think about other people’s opinions. You just have to focus on the work and doing the best you can."
Killing Eve starts on Saturday June 8 at 9.15pm on BBC1. All eight episodes of series two will be available as a box set on iPlayer after episode one has aired.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!