After a thrilling first season, Killing Eve has become one of the BBC’s best programs, not least because of Fiona Shaw’s (Petunia Dursley) hilarious performance as M15 boss Carolyn Martens. Shaw’s work as the dry-witted British intelligence officer garnered high praise from critics and fans, cementing her place as one of the funniest characters on a truly wonderful show. Since the finale has passed and left us all wanting to see more, Shaw hinted at Carolyn’s development in the next season in a recent interview:
Part of the show’s pleasure is that it’s so generous in the human detail. And the plot is part of its importance, but not its only importance, by any means…I think the contradiction of a person is what’s being celebrated in Carolyn already. And I just hope that contradiction will continue. That you think you know somebody, and you don’t know them at all. And it’s a celebration of humans, and our potential, and as actors our potential, and I hope that’s just as much a challenge in the next season as it was in the last. I hope there are more surprises about Carolyn around the corner, because I think people are always intrigued by the mysteriousness of somebody, particularly somebody in that role.
Shaw also gave us a look at the creation of the show, from its beginnings as the brainchild of Phoebe Waller-Bridge to her own casting:
I was sent the first script, and I don’t think I’d read anything as exciting in the previous year. It was immediately brilliant. It was so unexpected. The language in it—these incongruous, amazing sentences. Just phenomenal. And I went and had lunch with Phoebe [Waller-Bridge], because I wanted to ask her why she wanted me. As it turns out, she had seen Medea on the West End when she was very young and really liked it. And I thought, ‘My god, what’s the connection between Medea and Carolyn?’ When you see Phoebe, you see that you’re meeting the very edge of now. Her mind thinks in the most wonderful ways. She’s sort of the Dorothy Parker of the 21st century.
No show is complete without an incredible cast, and Shaw assures us that Killing Eve is no exception, highlighting Kim Bodnia and Sandra Oh as particularly close friends on set. These offscreen friendships are certainly a stark contrast to the intimate relationships shown in the show, especially between the leading women, as Shaw described:
I just loved that it was … pansexual, as it were. That it wasn’t trapped by any version of unifying forces. I think it’s wonderful. I mean, the obsession that Eve has with Villanelle, of course, has a sort of sexual overtone. But it also has a sort of Jungian undertone, doesn’t it? It’s as if they are not complete without the other. So there’s quite a unity at play in it, in a really good—I mean, I don’t want to be technical about it, but in a really good classical sense. There’s a real yin and a yang, or a yang and a yang, or a yin and a yin. They are two sides of something, and in some way, they are incomplete without the other. And that’s a really big theme that allows the series to be so free in the interim. But you never know in those scenes with the two of them, whether it is passion or hatred. You just don’t. It’s a roller coaster of feeling.
Of course, now all fans want is an update for Season 2! Shaw remained tight-lipped about any plot details, but we’re sure it will be as mysterious and intriguing as the first:
It would ruin it if I told you! Don’t you find that the pleasure of it is in the watching? Even I loved to see it all unfold.
No word yet on when Killing Eve will return, but we’ll certainly be clearing our schedules once it does to watch Fiona Shaw’s absolutely delightful performance!