There’s never been a red-hot TV hitwoman quite like Killing Eve’s Jodie Comer.
The actress has been winning rave reviews for her sizzling portrayal of Villanelle, the sharp-tongued, couture-obsessed Russian assassin caught up in an epic game of cat-and-mouse with intelligence officer Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh.
Thanks to the British spy thriller, the Liverpool native’s career is on fire. (She appears alongside Ryan Reynolds in the August sci-fi film Free Guy and costars with Hollywood heavyweights Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in the upcoming historical drama The Last Duel.)
But it will still be tough for the 28-year-old to part with the beloved villain. “Oh gosh, don’t say that out loud!” Comer says when reminded the series is wrapping up next year. “I’ve just had so much fun.” Here, she talks more about playing TV’s favorite baddie, noting, “It’s trying not to think of the character from the outside in. It’s about being fearless.”
In the last season, Villanelle returns to Russia to find her family. How was it showing a more vulnerable side of her?
Jodie Comer: For me, what becomes more important as this show continues is to move the character forward and put her in unfamiliar situations that we haven’t seen her in before. So the idea of exploring Villanelle’s background, not to necessarily provoke sympathy for her but just try to understand her a little bit better, was really exciting.
The summer blockbuster has already surprised many
The first reactions for Free Guy, the summer blockbuster starring Ryan Reynolds as an NPC who doesn’t realize he’s in a video game, are in.
While most early critical responses generally tend to err on the more positive side of the equation, it’s still maybe a surprise for some to see just how revered Free Guy (which also stars Jodie Comer) is at this moment in time.
Collider’s Steven Weintraub says it “might be the best video game movie ever made.” While the medium has had its fair share of disappointing adaptations, it’s certainly interesting to hear that its best work might be an original movie that only riffs on video games rather than slavishly follows source material.
Critic Scott Menzel continues the praise, saying it’s “the most fun I’ve had watching a movie all year. Wildly entertaining & hilarious from beginning to end,” while adding that “It deserves to be seen on the big screen.”
Writer Kristy Puchko shouts out director Shawn Levy (best known prior to this for his acclaimed work on Stranger Things) for the “hilarious visual comedy” throughout.
ComicBook.com’s Jamie Jirak points out that “gamers will certainly appreciate it the most”, though draws particular attention to both Reynolds and Comer for their lead performances.
The Nerds of Color might present the most compelling argument for watching it, however. Free Guy is described as “the biggest surprise of the summer. Funny, charming, and downright likable… It’s Tron meets Truman Show.”
The hits keep on coming. Actor Wendy Lee Szany says she “can’t wait to see it again”, while Rotten Tomatoes’ Joel Meares is feeling fresh about Free Guy: “One of the freshest-feeling, genuinely funny, and surprisingly moving big-budget adventure movies in years,” he said on Twitter.
Free Guy, starring Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rey Howery, Utkarsh Ambudakar, Joe Keery, and Taika Waititi is set for cinemas on August 13.
For more from the movie, be sure to check out our sister publication Total Film’s blowout feature on the August release. It’s all part of our Back to the Cinema season, which also includes a comprehensive look ahead to No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s swan song as 007.
IT has always broken boundaries and kept viewers hooked with a stream of constant surprises – but the next series of Killing Eve will deliver its biggest shock yet.
Because the fourth and final season of the BBC drama will see its central character, bisexual Villanelle, transform from sick assassin to born-again Christian.
It’s a twist which will ensure the global hit and its central star Jodie Comer go out with a bang, delighting their loyal followers.
A TV insider said: “Villanelle actually turns to God quite early on in the fourth season, which will be a real eye-opener for viewers since she’s spent most of her life murdering people.
“But it’s a characteristic curveball from the makers of Killing Eve, who have always liked to keep fans on their toes with unexpected plots.
“And this ensures the drama, which has been one of the most talked about of the past three years, doesn’t end by simply tapering off.”
Since Killing Eve started in 2018, Jodie has become a household name thanks to playing the unhinged Russian killer obsessed with her pursuer, MI6 agent Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh.
The show, created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, has seen Villanelle stab, poison, shoot and choke her victims.
And after a second and third series aired in 2019 and 2020, it attracted a long line of big-name actors including Fiona Shaw, Dame Harriet Walter and Steve Pemberton.
Filming of the fourth series was held up due to Coronavirus restrictions, but production has just restarted and the resulting episodes are set to air next year. I’d love to see Villanelle go the whole hog and end the show as a nun . . .
Ever since audiences met Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, they wondered who her parents were, only for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to feature Killing Eve star Jodie Comer appear as Rey’s mother, with Comer reflecting on the experience as “spectacular.” Understandably, she had to keep her involvement in the galaxy far, far away a secret for an extended period of time, but given her previous acting experiences, she recalled how impressed she was by the ways in which the film used practical methods to bring fantastical creatures to life, especially given the ways in which many films were quick to utilize green-screen techniques.
“It was spectacular,” Comer detailed to Entertainment Weekly. “But I had to keep that a secret for a long, long, long time.”
She also reflected on her involvement being “the most peculiar, incredible experience.”
Comer wasn’t the only performer to appear in The Rise of Skywalker with little more than an unexplained cameo, as Rey’s father was played by Dunkirk actor Billy Howle. Both The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi featured cameos that were both obscure and overt, with Comer and Howle’s involvement possibly being so perplexing because so few details have emerged in the years since the film’s release about how they secured the roles. Other cameos, for example, have been explained as being favors to friends of the filmmakers, yet the cast and crew of The Rise of Skywalker have kept quiet on how the pair earned the coveted roles.
With her starring role in spy series Killing Eve being Comer’s breakout success, she recalled how impressed she was by the information she learned about how the movie came to life.
“Hearing the detail that goes into the makeup and the costumes, it was so eye-opening,” the actor admitted. “Speaking about green screen and visual effects, when I got Star Wars, I was like, ‘They’ll probably be a lot that I don’t see.’ But these kinds of figures, their mouths move and they were remote-controlled and there was so much there that you didn’t have to imagine.”
Given that Rey’s journey seemingly concluded in the final entry in the Skywalker Saga, we likely shouldn’t count on seeing Comer making any future appearances in the franchise.
Comer can next be seen in Free Guy, which hits theaters on August 13th.
What did you think of Comer’s appearance in the movie? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!
Comer takes her first leading lady role in a major Hollywood production with this summer’s Free Guy. And it’s just the start.
With Killing Eve drawing to a close next year, Jodie Comer, who made a name for herself on the BBC drama, now embarks on a new era as the star of her first Hollywood movie – even though, technically, she already made her mainstream film debut.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams had seen Comer’s work as chic, sharp-tongued assassin Villanelle and had to have her for a small but splashy role in his 2019 film, that of the mysterious mother of rising Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley).
“It was spectacular,” Comer says of the part over the phone. “But I had to keep that a secret for a long, long, long time.”
The 28-year-old Liverpool-born actress admits she hadn’t seen any of the Star Wars films but felt the weight of being involved, even in a small capacity. “That’s a beast of its own,” she remarks. The appearance required just a day’s worth of work as she filmed flashback sequences of Rey’s mother and father, the latter a strand-cast clone of Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid), losing their lives to protect their daughter from her galaxy-conquering grandfather. Comer calls it “the most peculiar, incredible experience.”
“Hearing the detail that goes into the makeup and the costumes, it was so eye-opening,” she elaborates. “Speaking about green screen and visual effects, when I got Star Wars, I was like, ‘They’ll probably be a lot that I don’t see.’ But these kind of figures, their mouths move and they were remote-controlled and there was so much there that you didn’t have to imagine.”
Call it a solid introduction for Comer, who would soon face what she considers a more intimidating experience as the leading lady opposite Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy, another big-budget studio feature.
Comer hails co-star Taika Waititi’s performance as an abusive, greedy video game company mogul.
Director Shawn Levy’s upcoming action-comedy Free Guy revolves around Ryan Reynolds’ bank teller Guy, an NPC in a raucous GTA-style, open-world shooter game called Free City who rebels against his programming. But while Guy is the heart of the movie and the focus of the story, Free Guy doesn’t take place wholly within the realm of a video game. The movie sees “real world” characters, such as Jodie Comer’s Millie Rusk, who wrote the code for Free City, enter the game as avatars.
The introverted Millie is out to determine who stole her code and, as her badass avatar Molotov Girl, she comes into contact with Guy. As Jodie Comer explained to IGN and other press visiting the Boston set back in June 2019: “What’s wonderful is Molotov meets Guy within the video world and he doesn’t realize that he is an algorithm. He thinks his life has this greater meaning, as we all do. And it’s about how these two people who are from completely separate worlds kind of help each other realize a lot of what is inside of them. And they help each other both get to the kind of destination it is that they need to be at.”
Comer believes that Millie’s avatar reveals “a resilience and a determination” within her and that while the video game world may be artificial, she discovers a very real relationship with her creation, Guy.
“The contrast is Molotov is very physically strong and there’s all of these very impressive things and it’s super cool, and Millie’s a little bit more introverted, so that is very different. But I think the resilience is there of Millie and her determination to kind of fight for what is hers. I feel like amongst all the kind of action of it all, there is a very human relationship there. The feelings that Guy and Molotov end up finding are all very real and kind of relate to a relationship in the real world.”
– Jun 06 | The 67th Annual British Academy Television Awards
Their chemistry is sparking on screen and off, too.
Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer has shared how much of her relationship with Sandra Oh remains “unsaid” off screen.
In the thriller produced by BAFTA TV Award winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Academy Award nominee Emerald Fennell, Comer and Oh’s on-screen bond has turned from antagonist to intense fascination over the course of three series.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media ahead of the Virgin Media BAFTA Television Awards, Comer explained how her own real-life relationship with Oh is so unique.
“What’s incredible is sometimes you get to set and you can act with people and it can work well and it can be great and then sometimes, a handful of times, you can meet someone and there is so much that goes unsaid,” she said.
The actress continued: “There’s a really strong connection and I feel like I found that, felt that, with Sandra from the moment I auditioned with her. It was the same with Kim Bodnia, and in this series where we introduced Villanelle’s mother.
“Those relationships where you don’t have to say an awful lot. We don’t actually see each other an awful lot when we’re off set but then when you’re on set and you’re doing the material, it’s all kind of fizzing away. She’s been incredible to me.
“To think of where this show started and I remember her and Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] being like, ‘This show could be kind of a big thing. We’re just warning you so you can prepare yourself.’ So she’s always put her arm around me in that way, so yeah, I’m interested to see where series four goes.”
The cat-and-mouse game between Villanelle and Eve – and those who want them both dead – will come to its conclusion in Killing Eve‘s fourth series, with the BBC promising fans that “anything worth having is worth the wait”.
“He’s such a good fella. I love him.”
Killing Eve‘s Jodie Comer is set to appear in a new Channel 4 film titled Help – and starring alongside Comer is Line of Duty actor Stephen Graham.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media ahead of the Virgin Media BAFTA Television Awards, the actress explained how the upcoming project came ab0ut, adding that she and Graham have been wanting to work together for sometime.
“It was amazing because Stephen introduced me to my agent and ever since then, we’ve been like, ‘Jade, please find something for us to do.’ And she’s like, I am, I am.’ But there’s just not anything out there,” Comer said.
“And then I very embarrassingly slid into Jack Thorne’s DMs when I was on Twitter and I told him that I wanted to work with him, just straight up. He’s incredible. So I did then and simultaneously, without even knowing, around that time Stephen had got in touch with Jack and was like, ‘Will you write something for me and Jodie?'”
Comer revealed that everyone involved got together for a couple of workshops so that they could think “about what this piece could be”.
She added: “And then we found a director in Marc Munden and we filmed it earlier this year in Liverpool. It’s called Help. It’s a film for Channel 4 and it was incredible, getting to work with him again. Just being with him on a set, that was amazing. He’s such a good fella. I love him.”
This weekend, Comer is nominated for a BAFTA award in the leading actress category for her role as Villanelle in Killing Eve.
In her humble way, the actress opens up about the virtues of finding comfort in your own skin.
The pandemic has proved the ultimate test of our comfort zones. And for Jodie Comer, it has been something of a gift, giving the Emmy Award-winning star moments of respite that she’s used to focus on healthy habits and gratitude. Who can blame her for carving out some dedicated moments of self-care and reflection? She’s barely had a moment to catch her breath after a slew of A-list projects. After wrapping up season three playing the stylish yet maniacal Villanelle on Killing Eve, the 28-year-old Liverpudlian segued to director Ridley Scotts’s The Last Duel opposite Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Adam Driver. It must’ve gone well—she’ll once again be under the direction of Scott to play Empress Joséphine opposite Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte in Kitbag.
As if those projects weren’t enough, Comer is also the brand ambassador for Noble Panacea, the revolutionary skincare line famous for their molecular vessel formulations that come in their signature single-dose packaging. Catching up with Comer by phone from her home in England, we journeyed down the wellness path, explored skincare topics and health and wellness—and inevitably, delved into those things that matter far beyond what’s on the surface: gratitude, growing, and leveling up when it comes to assessing one’s self-worth.
Commitment to skincare has become a must for many women during the pandemic. Are you staying diligent when it comes to your skincare routine these days?
I actually think I am more diligent these days in terms of skincare. Honestly, the thought of doing a a full face of makeup terrifies me and I found that with the lockdown and being at home more, there are days when I can make a real habit of actually “doing” things. I used to put on my activewear even though I was never intending to exercise, but now I actually do it. Even with simple things—such as making sure I’m taking care of my skin, whether it’s cleansing or doing a face massage—these are the kind of things I have actually managed to hone in on. Also, now I have a partnership with Noble Panacea it’s made it more worthwhile. The beautiful thing about their products is that they’re super simple, there’s a minimal four-step routine—or I can pick and choose.