She not only killed, she thrilled. As petulant-but-gifted assassin Villanelle on BBC America spy thriller Killing Eve, Jodie Comer cycled through accents, outfits, and human targets, winning over critics and fans early on. Now you can add the TV Academy to that list: Comer received her first Emmy nomination on Tuesday, in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. Killing Eve received nine nominations overall, including a nod for costar Sandra Oh, as well as an Outstanding Drama Series nod. Let’s call Comer from an untraceable phone line and see how she’s feeling on Emmy Nominations Day.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats on your first Emmy nomination. Where were you when you found out and how loudly did you cheer?
JODIE COMER: I actually had just left the gym, and took my bag out of the locker, and there was a load of messages from friends and family saying congratulations. So that is actually how I found out. I completely was unaware that it was happening this morning, so I think it was kind of a nice surprise. [Laughs]
Last year, fans and critics were surprised and even outraged when you weren’t nominated. Did that impact your optimism for a nomination this season in that you didn’t want to get your hopes up? What were you thinking going into this year?
It’s something that I don’t expect — ever — so I was kind of flattered by outcry of support and people questioning why I hadn’t. But these kind of things, these awards, if they come off, they’re great, but it’s definitely not the sole reason or as to why I do what I do. So it’s always like the cherry on the cake if it does happen and if it doesn’t, then you still produced the work that you’ve done and made the impact that you have. But of course, it’s so wonderful when people do feel that they want to recognize you for what you do. Like I say, it was a lovely surprise; I just kind of shoved it to the back of my head because there were so many incredible dramas and actresses out there and, you just never know.
What was the scene or a moment from season 2 that stands out as a highlight for you, one that you’re particularly proud of?
I think my proudest moment from season 2 was episode 2, the episode where she’s trapped in the house with Julian [Barratt]. I had the most fun shooting I episode. The whole experience with Damon [Thomas], the director, Julian, the crew. It was so playful and, honestly, I just had so much fun. My highlight of the whole experience of last year was these two crazy weeks, locked in this house with all of these wonderful people, just playing around and being silly and finding really outrageous kind of magical moments that I really enjoyed watching.
Not only was the show nominated, Sandra was nominated too [for the second time as Eve]. How validating was it that both of you ended up being recognized in that category? And what was the first thing that you said to each other this morning?
I think it’s so wonderful. I think it’s such a special position to be in — the fact that we have these two female lead characters, and we’re given the opportunity to lead this show. Yes, we are in the same category, and I see a lot of people saying, “Oh, Sandra and Jodie battle it out!” But it’s actually such a celebration. It’s such a wonderful position to be in — for ourselves and for the show — to celebrate women. We texted this morning, congratulatory texts, which was lovely.
Actually, my question was: Have you two hatched a plan to take out all the other nominees one by one until it’s just you two and then you figure it out from there?
Ohhhhhhh! I see where you’re going with this! It’s not a bad idea. We should get Villanelle on the case. She’s probably the girl to go to for this.
• Killing Eve: Watch the Villanelle scene that almost killed Jodie Comer
• Killing Eve stars, producer on that last-second twist
• Killing Eve star Sandra Oh on the shocking final moment of the season