We all love a dark comedy filled with complex female characters because…drama! Well, now that the Circuit Breaker has just been extended…here’s a show you should start on: Killing Eve, directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Based off British author Luke Jennings’ novella Villanelle, the television series is a perfect balance of thrill, strange female friendships and a palatable feminist undertone. The show centres around the story of Eve Polastri, a British intelligence investigator who has been assigned to capture psychopathic assassin Villanelle.
If you’re in search of something that keeps you wanting more but still checks all the entertainment boxes, the British Academy Television Awards’ Best Drama Series winner (2019) is the show you’re looking for.
And to all the fans who have been keeping up with this popular award-winning television series, the wait is over…the finale will premiere on BBC First (StarHub Channel 502) and BBC player on June 1. We know you’re dying to find out what happens next (and if there’s even a fourth series).
To get you guys excited for more Villanelle and Eve goodness, here’s an exclusive interview with two of the major players behind this UK production: Sally Woodward Gentle (executive producer) and Suzanne Heathcote (lead writer).
Can you confirm if there will be another season of Killing Eve?
Sally Woodward Gentle (SWG): Yes, we can happily confirm that there’ll be another season of Killing Eve coming up after this. We’re already in the room writing it!
How did the team prepare for production during the lockdown (if you’re not on a break)?
SWG: We’re not filming at the moment so we’re very lucky because of that. We’re not set to start filming until later in the year so we’re not making compromises in terms of the script at all. We’re just monitoring everything as it goes on and as more production starts, we’re trying to work out how we operate without having to compromise. At the moment, we’re not really changing anything. We’re thinking a little bit about how many actors we could bring in from abroad but that’s the only thing we’ve considered so far.
How has the character of Villanelle evolved over the series?
SWG: Suzanne’s absolutely right. Season 3 was a much more emotional season and it was great to see Villanelle challenged in a way. It’s really important for us from season to season that you see the characters grow and you start to understand what that particular relationship stands for.
Suzanne Heathcote (SH): Specifically, for Season 3 Villanelle is about being in control and feeling like she’s in control of her life and everything she does. This season is really about her trying to understand that and regain that control and appreciate that she hasn’t necessarily been in control when she thinks she has. Both emotionally and in terms of her life and her life choices. We also saw in this season, it was about her trying to understand where she came from. There’s the real desire to find that out and the effect that has had on her certainly had a huge emotional impact on her character this season.
Do you both listen to what the fans want or do you just let your creativity flow?
SWG: All the fans are extraordinary and have really sort of built the success of the show but they take very different things from it. I think if you were to spend your entire time listening to everybody, in the end you just have to go dark and do what feels right for those characters.
SH: Obviously going into this role, you’re so aware of the fans. It’s an amazing fan base who are incredibly passionate about the show and you want to honour the world that you’ve been given and do new things with it. You’re obviously hopeful that fans are going to enjoy it but at some point, you have to forget all the outside voices and really just write the story that feels true to you…the characters and what it is you’re trying to create. So a little of both, I would say.
Can you both please share your favourite episode in Series 3?
SWG: It’s a (tight) fight between episode 4 and episode 5. I like episode 4 because I like playing with the structure and I like the fate of Niko. I thought that was good fun and really surprising. I just thought it was playful and all the performances were fantastic. Episode 5 just because it was a tour de force for Jodie but also the other actors around her I thought were completely brilliant. To get a little bit of a glimpse into her backstory when we’ve been holding up for so long felt very rewarding.
SH: It’s so hard because they’re like children. I love them all for different reasons. However, I loved episode 3, I felt that it was real. The bus scene and I loved the baby in the bin. I know, maybe it’s not for everyone but I did love that moment. There was something so exciting for me about that episode and Laura Neal who wrote that episode did such a great job. I loved episode 5 as well. I think it was so fun creating a world that was removed from the world we’ve seen already and just really having an opportunity to do something very different with Villanelle and seeing her in a different environment. As Sally said, the cast, the actors we got for that episode were just amazing. It was just amazing seeing that world come to life.
What is it about complex female characters that intrigues you so much?
SWG: I think it’s quite telling that we’re being asked why it’s fun writing complex characters. It’s just like why haven’t we been? All human beings should be portrayed as complex and as extraordinary as they live and quite often for a very long time, there’s a lot of female characters that have just been characterised as wives, cooks or teachers. It’s great fun writing incredibly naughty women because that’s sort of the reality of most women. It doesn’t feel like we’re doing something ground-breaking, it just feels like we’re doing something truthful.
SH: We’re all complex, we’re all flawed and we’re all contradictions. That’s the pleasure of writing. It’s really picking those and surprising yourself and everyone with those contradictions and complexities. With female characters its simply that we’ve seen far fewer of them over the years on screen and so it just feels very rich and there’s a lot of surprising and unexplored people, characters and women to create. So, it’s just such rich soil. I just really love writing very difficult and unflawed women.
Who is your favourite character? And why?
SWG: How can we possibly choose between our children. I’ll choose a character that is not one of our leads. Frank from Season 1. Frank is brilliant. Crying and running Frank. I loved him.
SH: They’re all so unique and brilliant in their own way. It’s just too difficult to single one out and that’s actually what I think is the joy of the show. It’s that each of the characters have their own brilliance and elements that everyone seems to love in their own way, even the people we’re not supposed to. There’s no one person unfortunately, it’s too tough a question.