‘Fleabag’: Phoebe Waller-Bridge Reveals She Had an ‘Alternate Ending’ to Season 2 For the Hot Priest
British writer/actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge created the Amazon/BBC series Fleabag. While sadly, the critical darling will not return for a season 3, Waller-Bridge recently revealed a great deal of behind-the-scenes detail about Fleabag Season 2. She even admitted in a recent interview that for the show’s now-infamous “hot priest” character, portrayed by actor Andrew Scott, Waller-Bridge initially wrote a different ending.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge discussed the ‘Fleabag’ cast, including the ‘Hot Priest’
Waller-Bridge recently answered questions about her critically-acclaimed dramedy in The Guardian, where she revealed something interesting about Scott’s priest character.
“Did you ever consider an ending where the Priest – I refuse to call him Hot Priest – said yes?” the playwright Jack Thorne wrote to Waller-Bridge.
“May I clarify that I never scripted him as Hot Priest!” she responded. Waller-Bridge said the internet completely blew up in reaction to the season 2 character.
“That was the good work of the internet meeting Andrew Scott’s impossibly intense charisma,” she explained. But Waller-Bridge also admitted that she originally wrote the season 2 finale with a much different ending.
“There was an idea for an alternative ending,” the Fleabag creator said. However, her lips are sealed on what that means.
“I’ll never say what it was,” Waller-Bridge wrote.
The ‘Fleabag’ Season 2 finale episode almost didn’t have this key element
In the final moments of season 2, Fleabag bid adieu to the priest, then, a fox runs past her feet. The priest shares with Fleabag in another episode that he thinks foxes are following him everywhere, so, it’s a perfect full-circle wrap-up. However, the fox appearance almost didn’t happen.
“There was a moment when we thought we couldn’t have the fox in the final scene,” Waller-Bridge wrote in the Guardian. But she eventually pulled it off.
“I fought to the teeth for it so eventually seeing it come to life and the response it had was really satisfying,” Waller-Bridge said.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge also explained why her character speaks into the camera
“I enjoy Fleabag, but worry that it’s largely because I over-identify with the victim stance,” Philippa Perry, a psychotherapist/author penned to the Fleabag creator.
“Was this the plan?” she asked. “To exasperate the victim/blame culture?”
Waller-Bridge said no.
“I didn’t really have a plan,” she responded. “I like stories where you can see the fight in someone.” Waller-Bridge then described the meaning behind her protagonist consistently breaking the fourth wall to talk directly to viewers.
“Fleabag was always performing for the camera to distract both herself and the audience from her misery,” she explained. Although the asides to the audience are often hilarious, their true source is rather dark.
“Her drive was to entertain you, so she could never allow herself to be a victim for fear of boring you,” Waller-Bridge wrote.
Fleabag won several Emmys in 2019, including for Outstanding Comedy Series.