Killing Eve is the kind of show that demands you discuss its finer details. Sandra Oh plays the Eve of the title, a dishevelled MI5 employee who ends up hunting a brutally efficient assassin. Oh humours me as I pick apart the show’s symbolic wardrobe choices, including Eve Polastri’s dowdy anorak. “A couple of things,” she begins, kindly. “That anorak is actually mine … ”
Whoops. “I was like: I’m just going to bring my clothes that have real holes in them, that thing that I bought for that trip to Peru, many years ago. It is a pretty sad raincoat,” she agrees. Oh is a producer on the show, which aired in the US on BBC America in April and earned two Emmy award nominations. It represents Oh’s first substantial TV role since she left Grey’s Anatomy in 2014, having played fan favourite Cristina Yang for almost a decade. It’s easy to see why the part appealed. The opening scene lays out the wickedly funny tone, as Villanelle, the assassin in Eve’s sights, watches a little girl eating ice-cream, playfully copying her facial expressions. Villanelle looks down to see a spot of blood on her watch. It’s time to go. As she leaves, she locks eyes with the kid, and knocks the ice-cream all over her. On purpose.
Episode - Ways - Villanelle - Introduction - Ice-cream
“That first episode was so cracking, in such special ways, from Villanelle’s introduction of the ice-cream, and then you see Eve bumbling along,” says Oh, who spent six months in London filming the first season, and seems to have picked up a few of her character’s British-isms along the way. “Immediately I felt connected to Phoebe’s writing and I could recognise that the tone was special and new and tricky. I was like: ‘Whoa, what was that?’”
Phoebe is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Killing Eve...
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