Glamour– Jodie Comer is the most talented actress of her generation and she has the receipts – or rather the accolades – to prove it. An Emmy award and a BAFTA award (she’s been nominated three times) are perhaps her most notable pieces of hardware, but her greatest achievement of all is that in a world where artifice rules, Jodie is a real queen of authenticity. That’s right, Jodie is even better in real life.
As Jodie prepares to star in Talking Heads – a new BBC reimagining of Alan Bennett’s monologues – where she plays an ambitious 1980s actress by the name of Lesley, she joins Josh Smith for the latest episode of GLAMOUR UNFILTERED, our bi-weekly chat show. Here Jodie talks about dealing with classist feedback in auditions because of her strong Liverpool accent, audition fails, building her self-esteem and putting her, “big girl pants on,” and why she never wants to be anyone’s milky cup of tea. Well Jodie, you are exactly our cup of tea…
Your episode of Talking Heads is a 45 minutes tour de force in acting from you…
It was so hard! I remember finishing the day and being like, “That is without a doubt the most difficult thing I’ve ever done,” so it’s something I definitely feel proud of.
So, murdering multiple people on screen and learning hundreds of accents for Killing Eve isn’t challenging enough for you, babe?
You know what it was? It was the concentration. I think there was 20 pages of dialogue. Obviously, we shot it within the lockdown with new rules and regulations, less people on set and there was one other person on set with me at any given time. The set was deadly, deadly silent and usually sets are so chaotic. Everyone’s just running around, trying to do what they need to do last minute before the camera turns over. This time it was like tumbleweed. Then obviously you’re looking down the barrel of the lens, which you’re also told, “Pretend the cameras not there.” To get a bit loosey-goosey, it just took a little bit of time.
God, do you know what? I don’t think I have. I think for me what I always realised was with each role that I did, I always learned something new. I feel like they all mount up together. I feel like they all make up to that big, big break. Obviously, Killing Eve was huge. I think I’m more of the pessimist. I’m always a bit like, “No one’s going to like it! Oh God!” You worry more, I think, than going, “Well, this is it, guys. I’ve made it!” It’s more like, “Oh my God. Everyone’s going to hate it. Then I’m never going to work again,” which always, of course, is silly.
Of course, you do things, and you put so much into them. Not everything lands well, it’s not like everything you do is a roaring success and that’s okay. But I think as long as you go into something with integrity and you know the reasons you’re doing it and why you believe in it, it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit of a flop because you have stuck by your convictions. Whereas I think if you get into something for the wrong reasons, and then it doesn’t go well, then you’ve got to answer to yourself. I think actually that’s the hardest part, if you don’t kind of stay true to you and what you believe in.
What is your relationship with your self-critic like?
Oh my God! Well, up and down. It’s funny, and I think with myself critic with work, I’m better with dealing with that kind of critique of myself because I feel confident in what I do, I believe in what I do and I trust my strengths. Whereas if it’s something more personable, like your self-esteem or what people think of you or reading things online that aren’t true or those kinds of things, it’s harder for me to kind of put my big girl pants on and be like, “No, that isn’t right,” or, “That doesn’t make sense.” It just depends. It also depends on the time of the month, Josh, to be quite honest with you!