Phoebe Waller-Bridge covers the December 2019 cover of American Vogue. Ethan James Green is behind the lens with styling by Tonne Goodman. Lauren Collins conducts the interview.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a high roller right now. Season two of ‘Killing Eve’, which she developed and serves as executive producer is winning rave reviews on BBC America. Season two of her risqué British sitcom ‘Fleabag’ is on Amazon PRIME just won three Emmys including Best Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy Series, and Best Writing for a Comedy Series.
Amazon Prime Video locked down an exclusive overall deal reportedly for three years and valued in the “mid-eight-figure range.” The Vogue article pegs it at $20 million, lower than other estimates. Whatever the number, Waller-Bridge is one of the most sought-after creators alive right now.
‘Fleabag’ began in 2013 as a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A BBC Executive saw the play and called Waller-Bridge’s agent the next day, signing her to adapt it for television.
The stage version of ‘Fleabag’ is “starker and darker than the television one”, writes Collins.
Last spring in New York, Hillary Clinton attended a performance and joined Waller-Bridge for a meal and a glass of wine afterward. “She was fantastic. I asked her if she could relate to the character,” Waller-Bridge recalled. “She said she didn’t personally, but she was very interested in the origins of the play and my perception of how women my age were feeling at the time I was writing it. I was hyperaware that she was in the audience, principally because the guinea pig in the play is called Hilary, which obviously gave the whole performance a gripping frisson.”
“Phoebe celebrates women and writes them in their entirety,” said Jodie Comer, who won lead actress in a drama series for her role as Villanelle, ‘Killing Eve’s’ remote and indifferent assassin. “I think she is telling us that there are no rules, or at least not to play by them.”
Collins digs deeply into Waller-Bridge’s creative process, as the two walk through Central Park heading for the Boathouse. Preoccupied with their conversation, the duo ends up in front of a dumpster, having lost their way.
Eventually the two women do find the boathouse and have a tranquil row-about. Waller-Bridge reflects on her recent Saturday Night gig — including what she left out — and why seeing the brilliant movie ‘The Joker’ was so unsettling right now, during these global Trumplandia times.
Finding themselves in the middle of the lake, the super-talent concludes her interview thoughts about what’s next.
“I feel like I might scale up a bit,” she said a few seconds later. “I’ll scale up in terms of gradually getting bigger with my themes and stuff, and I feel maybe I want to start thinking more politically, more globally. I don’t know, but I can feel something bubbling.