Posted by admin on November 16, 2023
Proud Northerner Jodie Comer is the most radiant – and relatable – young star in Britain’s acting firmament. Photographed by Tim Walker, styled by Edward Enninful
Jodie Comer has an Emmy, a Tony, and the sort of incandescent beauty that prompts skincare brands to start writing huge cheques. She also used to work on the checkout at Tesco, loves a roast dinner and – despite being halfway to EGOT status and fully a household name – lived at home with her mum and dad in Liverpool until earlier this year. White hot Hollywood property she may be, but Jodie, 30, remains undeniably, delightfully British.

Just take her reflections on teenage nights out (“six-inch heels, dress, no coat”), her WhatsApp group with her closest mates (“fire, 24 hours a day, seven days a week”), and her early attempts at a beauty routine (“I used to wash my face with a baby wipe!”) All of which will be deeply familiar to millennial women in the UK, most of whom also had Saturday jobs and frequented suburban nightclubs and slept in their make-up. Perhaps it’s part of the reason why the nation has taken this particular homegrown talent so firmly to its heart – Jodie, we imagine, is just like us.


It’s still rare to see a British actor make the leap to the big screen when their career began with bit parts in Holby City rather than a BA from RADA – much less one with a Scouse accent. It makes witnessing Comer’s extraordinary and entirely justified success on both sides of the pond that much more enjoyable: it’s like seeing it happen for someone who lives on your road, or that nice girl from the year below you at school.

If Jodie’s personal brand is “normal”, her performances are anything but. She stood out a mile playing the other woman to Suranne Jones’s scorned wife in Doctor Foster in 2015, a glossy BBC drama that became one of the last examples of traditional water cooler television before streaming truly took hold. By 2018, she was the leading lady, having slipped on that indelible pink Molly Goddard dress to star in Killing Eve as Villanelle, a deadly assassin with a taste for Dries van Noten suiting and psychosexual mind games. The star’s charisma, comic timing and ability to adopt a flawless Russian accent brought her to the attention of Hollywood, where she was cast in a Star Wars prequel and Disney’s Free Guy in quick succession.


At this point, emerging from a pandemic, many in her shoes would have decamped to LA altogether for a life of sunshine and studio blockbusters. Not Jodie, who opted to join her acting mentor (and another gifted Scouser) Stephen Graham in Maghull, Merseyside to film Help, a harrowing Channel 4 drama about the Covid care home scandal. She followed that up with another curveball, signing up to play defence barrister Tessa in Suzie Miller’s Prima Facie in the West End. When shifting schedules meant her commitments at the Harold Pinter Theatre clashed with Ridley Scott’s historical epic Napoleon, in which she had been cast as Josephine, Jodie bowed out of the film.

It was a surprising and, as it turned out, smart decision. Comer’s formidable performance in the one-woman play – an excoriating, near two-hour examination of the inadequate laws around sexual assault that rests entirely on her shoulders – landed her a Broadway run, an Olivier Award and a Tony. But one senses she would have had no regrets regardless. “I never got into this for the pay cheque,” she said of choosing Prima Facie – even though, with no theatre training to speak of, she confessed to being daunted at the prospect. “If I said no to this because I was scared and then they announced another actress, I’d want to punch myself in the face.” For Comer it’s about the work, not the money, not the adulation, and not – comfortable though she may look on the Burberry front row – the red-carpet gowns.

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Still, Theatreland’s new queen looked fittingly regal in scarlet Alexander McQueen at the 2023 Oliviers, which she attended with her parents. But there was more than a hint of the frazzled Englishwoman to her endearing acceptance speech, during which a visibly overwhelmed Comer cried, wished her granddad a happy 82nd birthday and accidentally said the word “fart”. The scene was Jodie’s appeal in microcosm: sweet, funny, a bit embarrassed – a Northern homebird with Hollywood at her feet.

Further proof, if it were needed, that Comer will always be a girl after our own hearts can be found in a rare Instagram snap of her raising a toast with the crew backstage on a film set. Just visible on her dressing table: an empty bottle of Whispering Angel rosé and a tray of what hun culture – that celebration of the most brilliantly ordinary aspects of contemporary British culture – has officially christened “picky bits”. It’s like her friend Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, said the last time Jodie appeared on the cover of British Vogue: “She’s relatable.”

The December 2023 issue of British Vogue is on newsstands from Tuesday 21 November

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