The Passion List Podcast | Shaina Coster on Killing Eve (Episode 3)
We interrupt the spooky month briefly to bring you episode Three of 'The Passion List Podcast'! This time featuring a chat with avid TV-watcher, old friend from school and media graduate Shaina Coster about her favourite show - Killing Eve - a show packed with sexual tension and murders in equal measure.
The show’s logo and primary image were created by the wonderful Molly Massey, whose work and contact details can be found here.
The smooth, jazz-infused piece is again by the talented Kristen Kenyon, whose music can be found here.
*Please be aware that of course there are spoilers for the first three seasons of Killing Eve from the start of the episode*
Now I know what you're thinking. "George, I'm hard of hearing and/or prefer to read words than listen to them. How can I, just a regular joe tap into the wealth of exciting conversation and information your podcast provides? Will I have to wait until aliens come down to Earth and translate everything into a psychic-like mind language that everyone can understand?' Well you're in luck, bucko! I just so happen to transcribe each episode before release so just in case that very-specific circumstance sounds like yours I've got you covered!
Hope you Enjoy!
GM: Don’t be nervous!
SC: I can’t help it!
GM: Hi Shaina.
GM: How are you?
SC: I’m good, thanks.
GM: Would you like to tell us your chosen topic for the passion list project?
SC: Yeah, I’m going to be talking about my favourite TV show – Killing Eve.
GM: Killing Eve…so go on then, for those of us who are unfamiliar, can you give us an elevator pitch on what the show is about?
SC: Okay, so…it’s female assassins, Russian spies, MI6, chase and romance but sort sort-of-weird romance so like personal ups, downs and…I don’t know it’s hard to fit it into a nutshell really. But basically if you like anything that’s sort of…crime or thriller, cat and mouse stuff, it’s going to be up your street.
GM: It’s based on a book isn’t it. Or there’s three books I think, now. ]
SC: Yeah three books.
GM: Have you read any of the books?
SC: I read the first book…
SC: But I actually don’t like Luke Jennings as a writer.
GM: Oh okay. Is that his writing style or…
SC: Yeah, it’s a bit of both really. I don’t like his writing style particularly. I think he’s good at creating scenarios – the originality of it I like because it’s a female chase and that isn’t usual. It’s usually the man is the MI6 investigator going after some big drug thing or whatever.
SC: But I like the originality and the differences of a female assassin and a female MI6 agent. But other than that, he doesn’t write female characters very well.
GM: Really? That’s interesting. Obviously I’ve not read the book but to find that maybe it’s not written so well is weird because the show is lauded for great female characters.
SC: Well that’s Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I think that the goodness of Killing Eve came from her making it what it is. I don’t think if Phoebe Waller-Bridge hadn’t have read that and liked that idea and fleshed it out like she did, I don’t think it would have really gone anywhere. Which is great. She’s done an amazing job but the books are…they’re not that great.
GM: When did you start watching the show? Did you watch it when it first aired? Over here it’s on BBC One and it’s a BBC America thing elsewhere.
SC: I was a little bit late to the party. I started watching it when season two was on TV and I wanted to watch it so I went back and watched season one and finished that in like, a day and it was so compelling so then I watched season two week by week. And now season three has just finished so yeah. Binge-watched the first season and then watched it as it came from then.
GM: I was the same. I didn’t watch the first season because I kind of get lost in all of the BBC’s crime dramas, a little bit.
SC: Yeah, there’s quite a few isn’t there.
GM: I hear from people ‘oh this one’s really good’ or ‘that one’s really good’ and I’m just like ‘yeah but they’re all crime dramas on at nine o’clock on a weeknight’ and then I watched Fleabag and I was like ‘oh okay, maybe I should watch Killing Eve now…’
SC: Oh, Fleabag is brilliant. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is amazing.
SC: She’s everything that I think we needed in terms of like these TV shows, these new comedies or crime dramas that are all very samey-samey at this point. I think she did a really good job at making something, with Fleabag, incredibly real but so funny.
GM: Yeah. She focuses more on the characters and that’s why the show works. Like you said there’s a lot of stuff with the cat-and-mouse dynamic, but the show rests on the shoulders of Eve and Villanelle, Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer.
SC: But I think that’s why I love it so much. Unlike a lot of other cat-and-mouse crime drama shows, this is the characters. That’s all it really is about – these two characters and their journey. I think that is what’s so good about her writing and I think Laura Neal and some of the other writers that took over after the first season have done quite a good job at keeping up with that – fleshing out the characters in the same way that Phoebe Waller-Bridge does. I think that’s why it is so successful, it’s new in the sense that these are two women chasing each other in the powerful roles – the MI6 agent, the assassin – and she’s untouchable and that is new in itself and I think the fact that it rests solely on their shoulders is something different and fresh that we needed from something like this.
GM: Why is it your favourite TV show?
GM: I know that’s a big question…
SC: It is because of that, it’s because it was different and it caught my attention. I watch a lot of TV. I studied media myself so I’m a proper TV nerd, film nerd, whatever and I will often watch something new and know what’s going on from the word ‘go’ and I watched Killing Eve and for the first time watching something I was genuinely hook, line and sinker into the flesh of it and didn’t know what was going on. I really wanted to find out more about these characters, because, as an audience member I haven’t figured it out yet. Usually when I’m watching something it’s pretty easy to figure the characters out from the first couple of episodes.
SC: That and the love dance they’ve got going on with each other, that sort of lesbian undertone to the whole thing that straight people seem to just skim over.
GM: Yeah I was going to ask you about your thoughts on that. Obviously you’re a big fan because I’ve seen your tweets about the show…
*Shaina laughs as if a treasure chest containing a laughing gas has been opened*
GM: I’ve seen you retweet scene after scene as they were airing in season three-
SC: To my embarrassment, yes. Everybody told me off for that.
GM: The bus scene in particular, I remember.
SC: I know, I just love it. But even that in itself is BBC One showing that…
GM: Yeah, prime-time as well.
SC: Exactly, that in itself is a really big thing. It was both very encompassing of the characters and really propelled the idea that this wasn’t just an MI6 agent searching for an assassin.
GM: The cat-and-mouse stuff is quite an old story. But even within it there’s the sexual tension between the killer or the person they’re going after and them. If you think of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice there’s kind of that tit-for-tat, quid pro quo thing…and then, like you said they’re both women and it’s on a prime-time show. That says it all really. I don’t think any other show has done it to that extent like that. The sexual tension is the show, isn’t it?
SC: Yeah, I think that’s what I love about it because there is so much sexual tension and because it’s women it’s not just tension it’s…there’s sort of something about it, that I love. They both grow from each other and I don’t think you necessarily get that from like, a heterosexual point of view when it comes from, like you said, Hannibal and Clarice or Luther, y’know? That’s a good example. I don’t think they learn from each other or get anything really from each other, other than sexual tension. Whereas with Killing Eve, there’s an evolution of the characters whilst they know each other. They learn more about themselves by learning about the other person. That, with the sexual tension, is what makes it such a cult thing for lots of LGBT fans because it’s representative of what it’s genuinely like to be in love or to have a crush on someone or whatever…
GM: They’ve become an ultimate shipping couple in a way, haven’t they? Online especially…
SC: Yeah yeah. Totally, yeah.
GM: If we take it back to the first season…we meet Eve and she’s in a ‘happy relationship’ with Niko and that whole first season you’re introduced to Eve as this person who’s just really into tracking this particular serial killer down. Then slowly you realise there’s something else going on…
SC: I think that’s good as well. In watching that character development and her love story development by no means are they together, it’s not like a fully-fledged relationship, but from the very first time they met there’s always been a weird relationship intertwining the two of them that I certainly questioned the first time I watched it. But then, watching it with a wink-wink nudge-nudge approach and a kind of notion that…this is going to get juicy between the two of them-
GM: This is going to get gay any time now…
SC: Yeah exactly, this is gonna get gay any time soon and I’m here for it. But season one also did a really good job of building Eve up to be a victim when she wasn’t at all.
SC: She loved it.
GM: I don’t know what goes on in the books, I haven’t read them, but do you think that’s maybe something that they had planned? Or do you think it’s a change of direction with the change of writers between seasons?
SC: I think Phoebe Waller-Bridge knew entirely what she was doing by introducing the characters in that way. In the books they’re a bit more like that. It’s evident from the beginning of the book that Eve is a bit…messed up but I think Waller-Bridge did it in a more subtle, realistic way.
SC: To the point where you could say ‘oh I feel like I know that character’ and that comes from good writing, and good acting – Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer do an amazing job at bringing those words to life. But I think it started off trying to make Eve seem like a victim caught up in this drama and then, by the end of season one she stabs Villanelle and we see this obsession has grown. That it isn’t at all as simple as Eve just trying to catch this villain, somebody who’s wronged her. That monologue in the last episode when she’s like ‘I think about you all the time, I think about what shampoo you’re using…’ it’s romantic. It sounds like a love letter.
GM: It’s a giant love letter. Especially considering they’re next to each other on the bed…
SC: Yeah. It’s just…filled with that sexual romantic energy. And I love it. I think as well we need only look back to one of the early episodes of season one when Eve is trying to figure out a kill that Villanelle’s done and she actually stabs her own thigh to work out where her arteries are. We often in the fandom talk about ‘dark Eve’ because throughout the season she’s slowly accepting that side of herself that she used to hide.
GM: Yes. And obviously she stabs Villanelle at the end of season one but then at the end of season two chops someone up with an axe!
SC: Yeah, well…
GM: Then season three she steps on Dasha’s neck…
SC: Like I said about the characters, I think in order for them to work they evolve each other. By the end of season three we see that Eve has embraced and accepted her darkness in the same way that Villanelle has accepted her light. This opposite side of herself with fears and wants to, be a normal human being. I think a really good quote for that is when Eve says to Villanelle ‘you’ve got no idea how much harder it is to be nice and normal like everybody else’ and Villanelle says ‘like us you mean…’ She recognises the darkness that Eve is so desperately trying to conceal. Eve also sees the light in Villanelle that she’s been trying to conceal. So they both evolve each other in that way.
GM: Do you think it’s more of a character study of Eve or Villanelle? Or do you think different seasons focus on different characters?
SC: I don’t know, actually. That’s hard to say. Throughout the whole three seasons there are separate incidents that project different characters forward. Season three we had that whole episode dedicated to Villanelle and her family, and I think that did such an amazing job at making us feel for her and understand her more. The conflict with her family may have ended with her killing them but she saved her brother, so… it just shows the audience how there are two sides to Villanelle and she’s not just a cold-blooded killer. She only ever really wanted to be loved. Yet…at the same time we didn’t get an episode just for Eve.
SC: I do feel like, by season three, they’re just running with the fact that Villanelle is this glamorous assassin and that she’s sassy. I do feel like we lost it a bit in season three with Eve, but by the end I think they pulled it back.
GM: If you go back to when you started watching the show, would you have wanted to know about Villanelle’s backstory? Because I know a lot of the appeal with these kinds of shows is that the villain or sociopath is mysterious, and you don’t know why they are like they are. I remember when they revealed that they were doing that, I was a bit worried. What do you think?
SC: Yeah I get that. Especially because we didn’t get background from Eve and she’s just as interesting a character to understand. She also has that darkness in her that she kept concealed. But I did really appreciate the episode itself. By this point Villanelle is facing the fact that she doesn’t want to be this person anymore and she’s trying to face who she actually is rather than the character that they created for her. I think it’s a good insight into the fact that she’s not evil. Throughout season three Dasha calls her a monster, konstantin says she’s not capable of love etc. and so I think it did a really good job of showing us that she is. There’s this bit where’s she’s in the kitchen and her mum says to her ‘you’re not a child’ and she says ‘well I want to feel like one’.
GM: Because she never got the chance.
SC: Because she never got the chance to. I think that gave us good insight because Villanelle throughout the show doesn’t really talk about herself. She always says she doesn’t feel anything. But season three she spoke about wanting to feel things a lot more than she had in any other season. So I think that episode did a good job at giving us the other side of Villanelle and allowing her to grow into the person that we have in the last episode. The one who has grown enough to let Eve go.
GM: Do you think they’re actually in love? The two of them? Or do you think it’s equal?
SC: I don’t think it will ever be a straightforward relationship between the two of them. I do think they love each other. There’s love there. They understand each other at their truest form. They have an unspoken understanding and that can only come with love and acceptance. And there’s definitely been sexual tension and moments between them where you see that they only really connect with each other. We spend a lot of the seasons talking about how Villanelle is a psychopath or a sociopath, but Eve is not very different in the way that she behaves.
GM: Could she be worse, do you think?
SC: In some respects, yeah. She doesn’t really connect with anybody unless it’s for gain. On the bridge she says ‘I used to have a house, I used to have a husband, I had a chicken and I don’t want that anymore’ because it was never for her.
GM: It’s not exciting enough. At the end of season two too when Villanelle is like ‘you’re mine’ that was almost Eve walking away as if to say ‘if anyone’s going to be the dominant one here it’s going to be me’ and now that season three Villanelle is more subdued, Eve can almost take over the role from her in their relationship. It’s an interesting way to move forward.
SC: Yeah, and I totally see that as well. Throughout the seasons it’s been Eve trying really hard to get through to Villanelle and I think that’s why the romantic dynamic is so strong. Villanelle obviously had an attraction to her from the word go whereas Eve had an obsession. She wanted to know everything about her, wanted to know how she ticked. And that’s just because she was interested in her work. She was envious. Eve wanted to understand her more to know how she could step out of that comfort zone.
GM: When you were saying that we don’t know how Eve got the way she is, do you think that’ll be explored in the future of the show? Maybe a flashback episode or something?
SC: I don’t know. I feel like if that was gonna happen it should’ve happened by now.
GM: If we had a little bit of a flashback episode they could also bring Bill back too and I love Bill.
SC: Oh yes, I’d love to see Bill again.
GM: His death for me, was the moment where I was like ‘oh okay, this is really good’-
SC: Yes, yes!
GM: It came out of nowhere.
SC: And it was so shocking and so gut-wrenching because that was Eve’s best friend but still…I feel like audiences caught on a bit late that Eve was a bit mental because like you said her best friend got killed and she still pursued her in that way.
GM: She left him in the club…
SC: Yeah she left him. She started off with wanting to get revenge, she wanted to find what Villanelle loves and kill it but…she never does. I would like to see a bit of backstory to Eve and find out why she is the way that she is, I think it’s important for an audience to see where that dark side of her came from and where she got those interests. Then we could understand how Villaneve, Villaneve? Villanelle got groomed into it too…
GM: Is ‘Villaneve’ the shipping name?
SC: Yeah. It is, yeah.
GM: In preparation for this I re-watched some of season one and it’s almost a different show, isn’t it? It hadn’t become this global hit yet so it’s a lot more British, I think.
SC: It is, yeah!
GM: And there’s Eve’s struggle against her boss, is it Frank?
SC: Yeah, yeah Frank.
GM: And now it’s this globe-trotting, spy thriller where everybody’s pointing at the dresses they’re wearing and asking what it means. Obviously I know nothing about fashion, but as one of the mega fans do you look into the dresses that Villanelle wears and things like that?
SC: Erm…not in a sense where they mean anything specific. Although there is a theme with season three with the red rope – there’s an old saying that the red rope conjoins two people forever and the season three photoshoot and trailer references that heavily. I think it’s mostly just there to show what kind of character Villanelle is. If you look at seasons one and two they’re very extravagant. Big pink frilly dresses and the like, but season three is suits and combat boots but she still looks fabulous. It’s these more sort of structured…
GM: Stereotypical power clothing, isn’t it?
SC: Yes, yeah definitely.
GM: Which is weird because at the same time her character is becoming, not weaker but, more fragile.
SC: Yeah I think that’s interesting though. She seems more comfortable in season three wearing that stuff. I think she finds it empowering who she actually is rather than just this extravagant killer.
GM: Let’s talk about the performers a little bit then, so you have Sandra Oh as Eve…
GM: Of course yeah, everyone is-
SC: Everyone is yeah.
GM: Her biggest thing beforehand of course was Grey’s Anatomy and I had never seen that but I’d seen her in films like Sideways and Catfight-
SC: The Princess Diaries…
GM: Yes The Princess Diaries too. I hadn’t really paid attention to her as an actor, to be honest but I was watching an interview with her and she said she didn’t know which role she was supposed to be auditioning for in Killing Eve. She said she couldn’t see herself as the young sociopath and didn’t see herself as a lead, which is weird because she’s such a natural lead.
SC: She is, isn’t she? She has this aura about her. There’s so much about her that I love: she’s funny, she’s sassy, she knows what she wants and doesn’t stop until she gets it yet she’s made incredibly uncomfortable by this chase with Villanelle. You get the impression that she’s not usually this type of person, too. But what I love is that Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote the character for Sandra Oh and I just think that’s amazing because I couldn’t see anyone else playing her. I must’ve watched that same interview because Sandra Oh was asking which character she was supposed to be and that she’d taken a sabbatical from acting until something came along which she actually wanted to do. She’s spoken a lot about how the only reason she wanted to do it was because Eve was a character that spoke to her and was somebody that she felt she could relate to. I just think she’s so amazing and I love the chemistry that her and Jodie Comer have together. They’ve both commented on that quite a lot. Jodie came in to do a chemistry reading because they knew that they wanted her but they hadn’t tested her yet and they both said that from the start the vibe between them couldn’t be any better. It couldn’t be any other two people.
GM: Phoebe Waller-Bridge was the glue for that wasn’t she. I read that Jodie Comer initially turned it down because she was just told about the role and if you hear ‘you’re gonna be this sexy, stylish assassin’ you think that kind of character is basic as fuck. Then it was Phoebe Waller-Bridge who piped up about her involvement and she realised the show was actually going to have substance to it.
SC: I love that story. I think they went to an awards show and got really drunk and Phoebe just said ‘you’re playing Villanelle’ and Jodie was unsure but she just said ‘no…you are’-
GM: With the drunk self-assured confidence.
SC: Yeah, I just love Phoebe Waller-Bridge so much because I know whatever vision she has is going to be amazing. She’s that type of artist that will only put her heart and soul into a project. She won’t write waffle just to put on the BBC for ratings or whatever. If she has a vision, that vision will be more often that not, amazing for other people to watch as well.
GM: She’s one of the writers of the new James Bond film too…so that’ll be interesting to see how that works out.
SC: Oh wow, yeah. I didn’t know that!
GM: Yeah, she was brought in to ‘spruce up’ the script apparently, which is basically Hollywood speak for ‘oh fuck. Oh shit. What have we done? We need someone to fix this’-
SC: That’s so interesting though because she only ever brings spunk to a script. She’s not afraid of talking about like, how horny women are or how much of a psychopath you can be. She’s not afraid of writing about the tough, dirty stuff that people don’t want to write about, especially when it comes to women.
GM: It’s not even so much equality it’s just the case of people all being the same so of course women are just as complex and damaged and gross as men. There’s been a lot of shows recently that have proven that. Saying it’s good isn’t great because it should have always been a thing, but you have shows like I May Destroy You and show that-
SC: I love that. Oh my god I love that.
GM: There’s a huge sense of ‘oh, women are fucking great aye?’ on TV and films at the moment which is great.
SC: At the moment. But it’s like…yeah, we know. It’s good though because it’s allowed this wave of new content to come out and for these women to write these scripts and share these stories when…maybe like, ten, fifteen years ago nobody would have been interested in watching a TV show about a woman who has a crush on a priest or a woman who has been sexually assaulted. Nobody would want to watch that.
GM: No, not unless it was from a male director or member of Hollywood or whatever.
SC: 100% 100% I think the very fact that these programs have been written, directed and produced by women gives those characters the reality we needed for feminine characters. It makes a huge difference for a female role to actually be written by a female.
SC: It just feels more real.
GM: Yeah, there’s an old quote, I don’t remember where it’s from, that says ‘any male writers who say they don’t like female characters have only read or seen female characters in films and TV shows written by men who hate women’.
SC: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
GM: Do you think that’s a worry? Even with Killing Eve. I don’t know any people who have reacted this way to it but in my head I’m a little bit worried that some people – idiots, mostly – would see the show as an allegory of women going insane, killing people and becoming lesbians with one another.
*Shaina laughs like she definitely knows the type of people who would think that*
GM: Do you know what I mean? They could very easily have arguments after thinking that lesbians are crazy because they’ve seen Killing Eve.
SC: This is what it’s come to, yeah.
GM: Lesbians just go off killing each other.
SC: Yeah, if that’s what homosexuality is then I don’t want anything to do with it.
GM: ‘Not in my country…’
SC: I mean, this is the perspective of a woman and as you say there’s always going to be idiots who think that regardless of what I say. But I just think the two are different in the sense that there is a storyline about an MI6 agent trying to catch an assassin and then…Eve Polastri trying to catch Oksana. I’ve read loads of tweets condemning the romance and people saying it’s not normal but I’m just like ‘well…you know what? It’s a TV show…it’s not real life’ and everybody lives vicariously through really shitty things. In the same way we’ll go and play a videogame and shoot up a bunch of people, everybody has that dark interest and Killing Eve takes full advantage of that and shows it on its most deep level. That’s real for a lot of people.
GM: You want to escape. You want to not be the normal boring version of you and be this exciting, sexy seductress or whatever.
SC: I think even if you stripped all that away in the way the two have interacted with each other, there’s just a base line of romance. It’s two people who you can tell actually care about each other. They seem to be the only people who understand each other completely.
GM: I’m surprised it’s taken us this long to mention her but…Fiona Shaw.
SC: Oh! Queen! Absolute queen!
GM: She’s the best character.
SC: I love that character so much. I think she’s amazing. I genuinely think that, again, I can’t see anybody else playing her.
GM: Definitely. Jodie and Sandra have both said that in season four they think Phoebe Waller-Bridge herself would be the perfect guest star. There seems to be a theme, even though the show is a global phenomenon, the supporting cast has remained mostly British comedians. If you had to pick a British comedian or TV celebrity, who do think would be a good addition to the supporting cast?
SC: Other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge?
GM: Yeah because we all know she’d fit in anyway. Could you imagine her as Carolyn’s boss?
SC: Yes! But I’ve also seen loads of people saying that it would be amazing if she ended up being the head of the twelve.
GM: That would be cool. But how would she play it?
SC: I know, I know but…it’s just a full circle thing isn’t it? Hold on let me think…
GM: It’s difficult, isn’t it?
SC: Yeah. I’m just trying to think of someone who would fit into that world. The good thing about it is that it’s really funny at the same time, I love the humour of it. It’s quintessentially British in one sense, really dark in another. Sometimes it’s absurd too, like I love the bit where Carolyn is like ‘I saw a rat drink a can of coke there once. Both hands. Quite extraordinary’ and it’s bizarre but it made me laugh so much. Have you got any ideas on who would be good?
GM: I’ve fucked myself over with this question haven’t I? Now I’ve actually got to have an answer too. I can think of people…but they’re not ‘actors’ like…y’know?
SC: Who are they?
GM: Well I immediately thought about Noel Fielding and then immediately knew he wouldn’t fit in with Killing Eve…
SC: I thought that! I did but I don’t know…I think he’s too obscure, maybe.
GM: What about Robert Webb? As a suit…
SC: Yeah, yeah I can see that. And I can see him having a funny, awkward exchange with Eve. But then, my head also went to Peter Kay but that would be absolutely ridiculous.
GM: You wouldn’t be able to take that seriously.
SC: No no exactly. I think it’s just because I like him. I think I would stop watching if they ever got him on, because it would just not be going the way I wanted it to.
GM: Yeah, yeah…
GM: Jodie Comer’s been the breakout star of the whole show, hasn’t she? She’s now off doing films with Ryan Reynolds in Hollywood and whatnot. It almost feels a little bit unfair on Sandra Oh and Fiona Shaw…
SC: Yeah, but I think that’s because she’s very beautiful, very young, and very white.
GM: Oh, yeah.
SC: In a sense – but she’s also an incredibly talented actress and Sandra Oh spoke about this recently, about how much harder it was for her to break out because she’s Canadian/Asian and a woman. I love that in the episode where they’re talking about the Ghost, Eve is doing a presentation and she says ‘this assassin is a woman, likely mid-to-late 30s and probably an ethnic minority’ and Hugo says ‘what makes you think that?’ and she says ‘the fact that you’ve just interrupted me, makes me think that’-
GM: Yeah that’s a cool line.
SC: It’s very derivative of what Sandra Oh actually experienced in her industry. I think Fiona Shaw’s already got that level, she’s iconic.
GM: Especially over here in the UK.
SC: Yeah. I think with Killing Eve she’s become a lot more of a household name over here rather than with something like Grey’s Anatomy. But Jodie Comer’s rise to fame is just very…usual with something like this. Friends, Jennifer Anniston was the one who probably made the most money because she’s skinny, white, and beautiful. You know?
GM: Yep, yep.
SC: I think that’s just the way the industry is.
GM: As well as that, do you think some of it is how much attention is paid to the person playing the killer or the sociopath?
SC: Yeah, despite the fact that the show is called Killing Eve. That’s true though. She’s got the standout character for sure. And Jodie Comer deserves it, as well. There’s no other actor of her age that I could say…confidently, could do all of these voices and accents, languages and still be graceful and-
GM: Hollywood beautiful at the same time.
SC: Hollywood beautiful, yeah. We talked earlier about episode five, season three where she goes to see her parents and she’s on that train home going over the past couple of hours and that stare just gives me goosebumps.
GM: Have you seen the interview she’s done recently where she’s revealed what song Villanelle’s listening to during that moment? Crocodile Rock!
SC: Crocodile Rock! That makes it even better. She was listening to such a ridiculous song and still managed to portray a thousand emotions on her face. I do sometimes wish the show gave Eve some more of that substance. Because Sandra Oh is also an amazing actress, and I think there needs to be a bit more effort to give her more.
GM: It’s a little bit of a Sarah Paulson scenario, isn’t it?
SC: I know yeah…I love Sarah Paulson.
GM: Or even Evan Peters, when everyone was obsessing over him and then it only translated across a little bit. But again that’s the psychopath effect. You have Tate Langdon, people care more about the Joker than they do Batman, it’s normal…
SC: I think that’s why season three was such a good season because we got that side of Eve as well. We know now she’s not the same person she once was. I’m hoping with season four, now that we’re fully aware of that, we can have more of that focus on Eve and Villanelle as equals, in that sense.
GM: Do you have a favourite Villanelle alter-ego?
SC: Oh yeah. I love the posh British girl.
GM: Oh yeah, I love her. ‘Oh my God, it’s so lovely to see you’
SC: ‘This is me and my friend – Fanny’ – I love that scene. I also love it when she does Scottish because I think it’s hilarious.
GM: I like the American girl as well.
SC: Billie! Yeah. That was such a good accent. Yeah I like the Scottish because it’s just funny and bizarre. Like she’s wearing this big green coat and she’s speaking in a Scottish accent and hitting Dasha over the head with the golf club. Just bizarre.
GM: Dasha is a very strange character though. She was the one who trained Villanelle and she’s very much the hardy Russian mum character.
SC: Like the mafia mother, yeah. I did like that dynamic. She was the only person who Villanelle would sort of listen to, in a sense. But…she was obviously just using her in the end.
GM: We’ve talken about…pfft, ‘talken’ we’ve spoken about-
*A good laugh is had over this poor execution of the English language*
GM: ‘Talken’ – that’s weird I’ve never said that.
GM: We’ve TALKEN!
SC: This is a man with a degree and a masters.
GM: Yeah, in what could be counted as an English subject…
SC: In creative writing!
GM: Well it’s just writing and I’m speaking now so, it’s different things. My hands are smarter than my mouth. So…Phoebe Waller-Bridge left after season one, then in season two the reviews shot down. It was almost like they were Phoebe Waller-Bridge fans rather than Killing Eve fans. People were saying it was a completely different show. Where is your sense of scale in regards to quality across the three seasons?
SC: That’s really difficult because I get very defensive, it’s my favourite show and I love the characters so much.
GM: Sure, yeah.
SC: There’s a bit of me that says it doesn’t matter who writes it, but it does. There are moments in season three that felt…a little bit off-rails from the track that Phoebe Waller-Bridge created. You can always tell when a new writer comes in no matter what because there’s a difference. No matter how much they try to emulate what the previous writers have done. Season one was amazing, season two was a shock to the system but, it represents what the show has fully become now. It carried on from season two with that same tempo.
SC: It’s interesting but I think the show may have had a different turn if Phoebe Waller-Bridge had stayed on. I know she’s a great lover of making amazing content and then leaving the fans to die and cry. So I’m sort of glad she didn’t carry it on because I think we would’ve got one more season and that’s that. But I know she still works closely with the writers and everything-
GM: Yeah she’s still an executive producer.
SC: So is Sandra Oh, too, which is amazing.
GM: Yes, she did the interview a little while back commenting on her disappointment with the lack of diversity in the cast and crew too…which is unfortunate for sure.
SC: Yes she did. That was brave.
GM: Oh definitely. There were a lot of black actors across the whole industry who were like ‘we could lose our jobs talking about this type of thing’-
SC: But I suppose Sandra Oh at that point was just like ‘I’m a producer, I’m also the main character, what are they gonna do? Fire me?’ And she’s not wrong. By the sounds of it, that cast and crew do their hardest to try and make it a progressive show, an equal show, one of the main characters is bisexual or, at least bisexual anyway so she must have felt comfortable enough to say that publicly. But it’s still a big risk and I’m glad she did.
GM: And it takes talking out about it to change or positively change the season four crew.
SC: Yeah, and I hope so too. Sandra Oh’s done a lot for the show and for acting community’s in general. She’s a name and she’s not nearly recognised enough as she should be because we’re used to seeing white faces all the time.
GM: It’s something that’s changing slowly but it should have changed a while ago.
SC: Yeah, in the same way the show is amazing for its writing of women and portraying women, that should have been ages ago as well.
GM: Going forward with Killing Eve season four then…how long do you think the show can feasibly go on for before people start to lose interest, or the story runs its course?
SC: It depends on what way they want to take it. They’ve not stuck religiously to the books anyway, but there’s only three of them at the moment. I think the majority of the fans just want to see where Eve and Villanelle go on their journey, and personally I think we’re only going to get one more season. With Killing Eve it feels so final at the end of every season.
SC: And I think that cast, that team, would want to stop it before it ran out of steam because they have a great appreciation for the show, and they really love it, and I’ve watched interviews with Sandra and Jodie about how they don’t want to push this amazing chemistry too far because it might get lost. I’d love to see where Eve and Villanelle end up in one more season I think. Whether that’s together or not. Their characters this previous season definitely have more of a future than any other. I think the acceptance they’ve reached, that they both don’t want to be about each other, is something the audience has never got before. Eve literally says ‘when I think about my future I just see your face over and over again’ if that’s not love, I don’t know what is. So I just want a love story out of season four but anything else is an added bonus.
GM: Do you think Konstantin will be there? Or do you think he’s got away?
SC: Yeah I think he’ll come back. I hope he comes back! I love Konstantin, I think he’s fucking hilarious.
GM: I really love the running joke of people waiting for him in the dark. Towards the end of season three where he’s just had enough and freaks out about it every single time.
SC: God yeah I love that too. Also, love the fact that he’s Kenny’s dad.
GM: Yeah! We haven’t spoken about Kenny at all…poor Kenny.
SC: Poor Kenny.
GM: Poor poor Kenny.
SC: I miss him.
GM: A little bit of me feels like his death was just a hook for season three.
SC: Yeah. Yeah. That’s true, I was a little bit disappointed about that. Especially with it being the first episode.
GM: Carolyn, what do you think Carolyn’s gonna do in season four?
SC: I think she’s gonna go bad.
SC: I think she’s a double agent anyway. Like I said earlier, you don’t really know if you can trust her or not. Then she shot Paul in the head too. Even Konstantin knew her very well, enough to have a baby with her, and still didn’t know if she knew how to use a gun – and she did. So there are a lot of sides to her I think. So she’ll either go bad or there’s gonna be an entanglement between her and the opposing side.
GM: Yes, the twelve. No matter what the outcome for the twelve is I think people are going to be disappointed. It’s just one of those things.
SC: Yeah, I would not be surprised if it turned out Carolyn was the head of the twelve. And I think that’s how they could reveal it whilst still remaining interesting.
GM: That’s the problem with thrillers and whodunnits, if the reveal isn’t great then it dampens the whole experience. You won’t want to re-watch it just because of the ending. Is there anything you definitely don’t want to see for the show in the future?
SC: Yes, I really don’t want it to become ‘Eve and Villanelle team up to help solve crime’ I’d hate that. I don’t want them to go good. And I definitely don’t want them to be mentoring new assassins or anything. Like how Villanelle did for that guy in season three, I didn’t like that at all. I thought it was pointless. No more of that please, that’s boring.
GM: What if it’s for Konstantin’s daughter?
SC: Ooh maybe, that would be good but only because we know Irina. They’re definitely going to go somewhere with that because now we know she’s crazy, and that’s good. But I think I just want more love.
GM: You want the love to get bigger as the show goes on.
SC: I do, but I also-
GM: Do you want them to do a Romeo & Juliet and die together?
SC: Everybody keeps saying that! I think that’s, probably, the only real way you could end it. But I don’t know.
GM: I don’t think Eve would sacrifice herself for Villanelle, weirdly. Imagine if season four was five years later or something? But if she’s achieved Villanelle maybe she’s like ‘oh I’ve got this now, I’m bored of it’ kind of thing.
SC: Yeah, that’s interesting. Villanelle’s monster encouraged Eve’s monster and Eve wanted it to. It’s very much been a battle of spirits between the two of them. Eve wanted all of it but denied it to everyone. Everybody around her could see it, the darkness and the obsession but she denied it to herself in the same way Villanelle denied feeling normal emotions to herself. Then I think they came together to learn that in season three.
SC: In an ideal world I would love for it to continue for ages but it’s not that show. It’ll be four seasons, done, exquisite piece of TV. You know what I mean? And I think it needs to…
GM: Yeah, hopefully anyway. Maybe a special to end it off or something.
SC: Oh yeah it all depends how season four goes because if it’s lacklustre I’m gonna want another season.
SC: I’ve not had a TV show that has made me so excited to watch something, and I’m a massive TV nerd. I’ve got a new favourite TV show every month. But this has been consistent, and it continues to surprise me. So I don’t know. Hopefully when this ends I might find something new but…not at the moment and in fact I’m really bored at the moment I’ve got nothing else to watch.
GM: Just rewatch Killing Eve again…
SC: Yeah I probably will.
GM: I think that’s a good point to end it on.
SC: Yeah, cool.
GM: Shaina do you want to promote any of your socials or anything on here? To the one or two people? My mum’s listening, she doesn’t have twitter but she might try…
SC: Yeah so George’s mum follow me @ShabeyDoo, I tweet about Killing Eve, Beyonce and gay shit and I interact with George sometimes and rant sometimes…but there you go, that’s about it. I’m not interesting other than that.
GM: That’s not true we’ve spoken for an hour and a half.
SC: Yeah, about a TV show…
GM: I mean you know who you’re talking to don’t you?
SC: Yeah, I do.
GM: The person who, when I get offers to come on this people ask ‘what TV show could I talk about?’ and I say ‘it doesn’t have to be a TV show guys!’
SC: I know! That was my first thought. I said ‘I’ve got to talk to George about Killing Eve’ and then you were like ‘you don’t have to talk about a TV show’ and I was like ‘yeah but there’s nothing else I wanna talk to you about for an hour and half’-
GM: Yeah, yeah.
SC: When I actually started watching Killing Eve I thought ‘George Morris better have watched this because I need to talk to him about it’.
GM: Well when I messaged you on Facebook the other day, the last messages we had which were god-knows how long ago, were about Doctor Who.
SC: Yeah exactly! Exactly! We just have that same…deranged wavelength.
GM: We’re just very boring.
SC: Yeah, yeah…and get emotional support from TV shows.
GM: But y’know, it makes a very good podcast everyone, don’t you agree?
SC: Oh yeah.
GM: So thank you Shaina for coming on.
SC: You’re welcome, thanks for having me.
GM: It’s been great and…uh…BYE!
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And now for some real world messages once again.
If I'm sounding like a broken record it's only because it's important. Keep up to date with the world around you. We live in an age surrounded by news and technology that allows us to find anything in mere moments, and yet we don't utilise it when finding out the truth. Even something as short as 10 minutes a day could make a difference and educate you on deeply affecting issues that so many right now spread lies and inconsistencies about. You could pass the truth along.
And think about the amount of injustices going on in the world right now. Ones that aren't played daily on the news headlines despite hundreds and thousands of people dying. It's difficult sometimes to know where to look, even when websites and various carrds stop being updated. But it's at least important to look. Whether it's the continuing deaths of black people across America, many of whom were black trans people over the past couple of weeks. Just because the #BlackLivesMatter movement isn't in the news anymore doesn't mean it's not still fighting.
The burning of California, the ongoing genocide of races and cultures that the west just aren't commenting on, when was the last time we heard about the devastating explosion in Beirut that left hundreds of thousands without food or shelter? The hundreds of thousands of people without food or shelter?
Usually I post a couple of carrd links but the ones I do seem to be falling to the wayside, so I'm going to try a new one that's seemingly dedicated with keeping people up to date with what's happening in different areas and for different causes.
This isn't to be confrontational or judgemental, it's just a way that more people can call out lies or assumptions in public and promote the spread of what's actually happening. With everyone on the internet we all have a voice now, and unfortunately the majority seem to be using it to spread falsities. So go on. 10 minutes. Learn something new. I know it seems depressing but you'll be surprised at some of the positivity happening out there too. Whether it's the almost obliteration of homelessness in Helsinki, Finland or even the fact that the EU is set to surpass its renewable energy targets for this year. It's not all bad and there is hope. So go find out about it.
Thank you for reading/listening.
Stay Safe Everyone.
See You Next Week.