Killing Eve’s Villanelle Was Inspired By This Real-Life Female Killer

Photo: Courtesy of BBC America.
Not unlike Eve (Sandra Oh), I can't tell if I'm terrified or charmed by Killing Eve's Villanelle (Jodie Comer). One minute she's smiling at a young child in an ice cream shop, the next she's smashing their sundae on the floor. Whether it's love or hate, I'm hypnotized, and it's not just because of the incredible acting by Comer, but also the research done by creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge ahead of the first season.
Season 2 of the BBC America hit drops this Sunday, so Waller-Bridge spoke about how the 14-time BAFTA-nominated show came together — and it starts with something to which all true-crime fans can relate.
“I fell into a Google hole around female assassins,” she told the New York Times, pointing specifically to an interview with convicted killer Angela Simpson. In March of 2012, Simpson was sentenced after her guilty plea for (warning, this gets graphic) stabbing, strangling, beating, dismembering, and setting pieces of a man on fire.
Simpson said as much in a video that ended up providing significant inspiration for Villanelle, in which the 36-year-old frankly answers questions about the killing in a way so calm and clear that it defies all conceptions of how a murderer behaves.
"She sounds more like a psycho than anyone has ever sounded," Waller-Bridge said of the interview.
There were other pieces to the puzzle that is Killing Eve: a 2016 perfume ad, the My Favorite Murder podcast, and the specific cinematography in No Country For Old Men, the NYT reports.
It's the perfect potion, mixed just right, that ended up making this:
Understandably, we're all thirsty for more. Killing Eve returns for season 2 this Sunday, April 7.

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