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Harvey Weinstein was an ‘inspiration’ for Killing Eve’s Villanelle

Nick Duffy June 25, 2019
Killing Eve star Jodie Comer as Villanelle, and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer as Villanelle, and disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein (Getty)

Killing Eve antagonist Villanelle has a surprising inspiration in disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The relationship between serial killer assassin Villanelle and intelligence officer Eve, played by Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, has garnered much attention from queer fans.

However, Villanelle’s sexual fixation with her nemesis can be seen in a new light after a revelation from two of the show’s writers.

Harvey Weinstein partly inspired Killing Eve’s Villanelle

In an interview with The Sunday Times, scriptwriters Henrietta Ashworth and Jessie Ashworth explained how the sexual assault allegations that brought down Harvey Weinstein helped the writers’ room understanding Villanelle as a character.

Henrietta Ashworth said the show was “informed a little bit by talking about what makes people do extreme things,” adding: “It was one of the conversations we were having because [#MeToo] was happening at the time.”

She continued: “There were great conversations going on about psychopaths and Harvey Weinstein.

“People were sharing their experiences, not from a place of victimhood, but saying, ‘Yeah, shit happens, doesn’t it!’

“There was a mutual understanding, so we could be quite flippant.”

Killing Eve star Jodie Comer as Villanelle
Killing Eve star Jodie Comer as Villanelle (BBC America)

Her twin sister and co-writer Jessie Ashworth added: “In the Killing Eve writing room it felt like you could just say anything, and that fed into the boldness of the show.

“When more women come to the top of the pile, it doesn’t mean the quality dips, it means we are finally getting a piece of the pie.”

The relationship between the two women definitely doesn’t always abide by the rules of consent, with Villanelle breaking into Eve’s home to “have dinner” with her at knifepoint in the show’s first season.

Although the series is yet to show any direct sexual contact between the two characters, there has been plenty of suggestion that Eve reciprocates her feelings.

Killing Eve has been accused of queerbaiting

It’s unclear whether the show ever plans to deliver on the hints of sexual attraction, however.

Sandra Oh called queer fans’ hopes into question in an interview with Gay Times, when she said: “You guys are tricky because you want to make it into something… but it just isn’t.”

She added: “That’s also why I think sexuality and discovery of the wider reaches of sexuality is the theme of the show – why it’s interesting to people. It’s not one thing or another.”

Oh added: “The fluidity, even in the questioning that I know Eve really really carries, is what I think people can truly relate to. We are not saying one thing or another because people are not one thing or another.

“I’m only going to focus in on the truth of what we are doing.”

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