Killing Eve: ‘It’s the change we’re talking about’
Sandra Oh returns to TV in female-led spy thriller
Sandra Oh is no stranger to playing strong female characters. She played the determined and often abrupt Dr Christina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy for almost 10 years.
But her latest TV starring role takes female empowerment to another level, both on and off the screen.
The series follows two fiercely intelligent women – one a bored MI5 security officer called Eve, played by Oh, and the other a psychopathic killer for hire called Villanelle, played by Doctor Foster’s Jodie Comer.
Eve becomes obsessed with hunting the assassin down in a thrilling cat-and-mouse chase that is part psychological thriller, part dark comedy.
Killing Eve is based on the Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings. But the TV adaptation has been written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, a British actress and writer best known for her comedy series Fleabag.
She was given the job by executive producer Sally Woodward Gentle before Fleabag had even made it to the screen.
“We’ve seen the TV and film ‘idea’ of these women before – the cold-blooded assassin, the brow beaten cop,” Waller-Bridge says.
“So much so that I was desperate to get my hands on them and make them proper, rounded heroines for the modern man and woman.”
At the recent Television Critics Association press tour, the Killing Eve panel was entirely female – including Woodward Gentle, Waller-Bridge, Oh, Comer and the show’s other female stars Fiona Shaw (from the Harry Potter films) and Kirby Howell-Babtiste.
In fact, Killing Eve could be television’s response to the Time’s Up movement.
“This is the change that we’re talking about,” Oh said at the panel discussion, adding that she is “ecstatic” to be a part of it.
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