‘Killing Eve’: Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Former Theater Writer Suzanne Heathcote Plans to ‘Delve Deeper’ Into Villanelle and Eve

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is getting her wish for Killing Eve. She created the show, adapting the Villanelle books, but wanted a different female showrunner to write every season. Emerald Fennell did Season 2 and now Suzanne Heathcote is in charge of Season 3

Killing Eve Season 3: Jodie Comer
Jodie Comer | Laura Radford/BBCA/Sid Gentle

Heathcote spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone about Season 3 of Killing Eve. We’ll have more with Heathcote throughout the season, including some spoilers after each episode airs. Killing Eve returns Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. on BBC America and AMC.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge wasn’t Suzanne Heathcote’s first ‘Killing Eve’ meeting

Waller-Bridge ultimately approved Heathcote for the job, but she wasn’t the first interview. Heathcote met with Killing Eve’s production company and network first.

“I didn’t meet with Phoebe initially,” Heathcote said. “My first meetings were with Sid Gentle, the production company, and BBC America. I met them both a few times but Phoebe and I were in close contact.”

Suzanne Heathcote’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge connection

Waller-Bridge got her start as a playwright. Fleabag began as a one woman show, and now Amazon is going to bring the original production to Prime viewers. When she was the co-artistic director of the DryWhite Theatre Company, Heathcote wrote plays for them. Killing Eve is a DryWhite reunion.

“I actually knew Phoebe,” Heathcote said. “I had written for her theater company many years ago when I was a playwright in London.”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge | Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Once Sid Gentle Films and BBC America signed off on Heathcote, Waller-Bridge consulted with her frequently during Killing Eve Season 3. 

“We spoke regularly,” Heathcote said. “We met up and she read the script and have remained in close contact throughout. She’s been an amazing resource through this.”

By Season 3, ‘Killing Eve’ needed to take a leap

Season 3 of Killing Eve picks up months after the Season 2 cliffhanger. Yes, Eve (Sandra Oh) survived her gunshot wound. Where has Villanelle (Jodie Comer) moved onto? You’ll have to tune in and see.

“I felt that having seen so much that happened to the characters in the first two seasons in a short space of time that those seasons take place over, we really needed to honor the consequences of what had happened,” Heathcote said. “Not just professionally but personally and emotionally what that meant for the characters, really take stock.”

Heathcote’s pitch also involved digging deeper into the characters her Killing Eve predecessors established.

Killing Eve Season 3: Sandra Oh
Sandra Oh | Des Willie/BBCA

“Then I just felt that this season, by the third season I really think you’ve earned the right to delve deeper into the characters and go deeper with them emotionally,” Heathcote said. “As well as introducing some new characters and creating some new dynamics for them to challenge them as well.”

‘Killing Eve’ Ain’t Broke so Suzanne Heathcote won’t fix it

Heathcote may have some big ideas for Season 3, but she still wants to make Killing Eve. There are some things that are just intrinsically part of the show no matter where the story goes.

“You have to remain true to the world and honor the truth of the characters,” Heathcote said. “Those actors are so amazing and have been playing these characters now for several seasons so they’re also a great resource in terms of the stories.”

L-R: Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jodie Comer | Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Heathcote relied on all of her resources to steer Killing Eve in new directions.

“We would all speak at great lengths about the stories and what was happening to the characters emotionally,” Heathcote said. “So I just think you really have to honor the emotional truths and who these people are and the worlds they’re in, the rules of the world that have been set up prior while obviously pushing them to new places.”