Jodie Comer Thinks Michaela Coel and Phoebe Waller-Bridge Are Leading the Future of Television
Jodie Comer received much acclaim thanks to her role as Villanelle on Killing Eve. Since its premiere in 2018, Comer has risen to be a household name and won her first Emmy last year for playing the Russian assassin so well. It’s no doubt that the show’s first season success was thanks to the writing of Pheobe Waller-Bridge. And to Comer, the future of television is in the hands of Waller-Bridge and Michaela Coel.
Jodie Comer said she’s ‘lucky’ to be an actor at the same time as Coel and Waller-Bridge
On July 27, Comer was a part of a BAFTA interview, alongside Suranne Jones (Gentleman Jack), and Glenda Jackson (Elizabeth is Missing). They talked about their collective experiences as actors. The topic came up about what’s changed in recent years to “allow” for more strong female leads on television. And Comer pointed to her favorite creators right now.
I think I’ve been very lucky in a lot of past work to work with a lot of female writers and directors. And you know I think of very recently watching Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You. And having the likes of Michaela and Phoebe [Waller-Bridge] leading the charge and bringing this real, raw honesty to things and speaking the truth and not thinking of any sort of consequence, just laying it all out on the table, I think I feel very lucky to be in this time where these voices are being heard and people want to hear it.
I May Destroy You is a new HBO comedic-drama series that focuses on Coel’s character Arabella as she tries to piece together what happened to her on an unfortunate night out. And the trauma that goes along with it. Along with Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag and Killing Eve, Comer may be right about their spearheading the future of TV.
Comer has been a major supporter of Waller-Bridge for years
Comer also talked about how their stories take a look at the lives of women in a way that hasn’t been done a lot before.
“We connect to [their work] and it’s so refreshing and we see things on screen that are so present in our every day lives, that people shy away from or don’t want to show,” she said. “I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by these women and to learn from them more than anything. To watch what they’re doing and try and best myself in that way by my own voice.”
This isn’t the first time Comer has sung praises for Waller-Bridge, at least. After she wrote the first season of Killing Eve and Comer read the script, she knew she had to be a part of it.
“I honestly have never ever read a script like this,” she said in 2018 on the Build Series. “[Villanelle] goes against all stereotypes and I thought there was a lot of humanity in Villanelle. I feel like when I watch assassin movies or TV programs, they’re like superhuman. They’re like some sort of mythical creature that you can’t really relate to. Whereas I found a lot of humanity in her, in [her] humor.”
What’s next for Coel and Waller-Bridge?
I May Destroy You is a hit with fans and Esquire deems it necessary viewing for all men, especially because it highlights very grey areas in sexual situations. Or just general situations overall.
In an interview with the Obsessed With… podcast, according to Radio Times, Coel revealed that she wouldn’t do another season of the hit HBO show (probably), but she has something that she’s itching to write next.
“It is in the back of my mind,” she said. “And I keep telling this idea to wait because we’ve got to finish giving birth to I May Destroy You before I start thinking about having other children!”
As for Waller-Bridge, who is now an executive producer on Killing Eve rather than writer or showrunner, she just finished an HBO show Run. She was an actor and executive producer on that, but it was just canceled after one season. She’s also appearing in a voice role on another HBO series, His Dark Materials, where she’ll reunite with “Hot Priest” Andrew Scott.
And as for things in the works, she’s a screenwriter on the upcoming James Bond movie, No Time To Die. It was originally meant to come out in February but was postponed to April, and yet again to the end of this year thanks to COVID-19.
Looking at the work these two women have brought to the industry, it’s easy to agree with Comer on this one.