Jodie Comer exclusive: the Free Guy actor opens up to Stylist about her year of self-discovery
Article from Stylist.
In the three years since Jodie Comer first appeared on the cover of Stylist magazine – in celebration of her breakout role in everyone’s favourite assassin drama, Killing Eve (written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) – her career has skyrocketed.
Since then, she’s gone on to win both a TV Bafta and Emmy for the role – not forgetting her Remarkable Women Award in 2019, which she celebrated alongside childhood friend and Olympic hero Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
And now that she’s on the verge of true Hollywood superstardom, we’re celebrating her on the cover of Stylist magazine again this week, and you can buy your copy here.
This week, her first major film comes out: the brilliant Free Guy, which she stars in alongside Ryan Reynolds. In the movie, created by Stranger Things’ Shawn Levy, she plays Milly, a video game developer and an avatar called Molotov Girl. It is wonderful: fun, funny, smart and full of heart – if you’re looking for the perfect film to get you back to the cinema after months away, we’ve found it for you.
Later this autumn, she will star in – and exec-produces – Help, a powerful drama about the care home crisis during the Covid pandemic, alongside the brilliant Stephen Graham.
And then – oh, there’s more – in October The Last Duel will arrive in cinemas, which is going to be everything! She stars alongside Adam Driver and Matt Damon in the medieval film that sees her husband (Damon) challenge his squire (Driver) to a duel after Margueritte (Comer) accuses him of rape.
It’s directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Thelma and Louise) and big things are already being predicted for it. Add to that the fact she’s currently filming season four, the final ever, of Killing Eve, and that’s a lot to look forward to for all the millions of Jodie-stans globally.
But while her career is soaring, Comer says one of her proudest achievements is coming to truly know herself, something so many of us are striving for in 2021. She says this was the unexpected silver lining of the pandemic.
“I think having a good six months, when filming paused, of not pretending to be anyone other than myself has been so helpful. Just going: OK, this is just me. Not doing anything other than just being has been a huge factor in helping me know what’s important to me.”
With that in mind, how does the actor from Liverpool, who made her names in TV dramas like My Mad Fat Diary, Thirteen and Doctor Foster feel as she readies herself for life in the Hollywood spotlight, especially after this period of quietness and reflection?
“I feel like I’ve been living in a shoe box. Life has been on pause a little bit” she muses. “And now it feels like everything’s starting again but I imagine, for all of us, it’s going to take a little bit of time. But I want to show up for these things and be myself; I’m so proud of all these projects.”
With all that success though comes the inevitable increase in attention and speculation about your life, particularly on social media. It’s something she has taken a mindful decision to keep a healthy relationship with.
“There’s that dangerous thing of buying into other people’s opinions of you: if you if you read that stuff [comments online] enough, you end up going ‘I am this, I am that person’ And that’s very dangerous, because then the lines are so crossed. I’ve learned not to do that now. And I think that has really helped me.”
Presumably that’s particularly important when you’re, for example, being personally cast by Ridley Scott, one of the most legendary directors of all time.
“It’s very surreal,” she says. “But also, they’re human beings and when you’re in a room with them, they’re no different from anyone else. Which is lovely, especially when you’re coming on set and thinking, ‘Oh, my God, what am I doing here? How did I get here? I always felt that Ridley really, really believed in me. And to have been asked to go and work with him again in Kitbag was pretty cool.”
It’s a very Jodie Comer way of putting it, and one that will serve her career wonderfully…