HomeNewsWhy Villanelle Played By Jodie Comer Does Not Speak Russian In 'Killing...

    Why Villanelle Played By Jodie Comer Does Not Speak Russian In ‘Killing Eve’?

    In 2022, Phoebe Waller Bridgers’ spy thriller ‘Killing Eve’ came to an end. Both ventures of Phoebe (‘Fleabag’ and ‘Killing Eve’) have female protagonists who are eccentric, but they come across normal beings. In the latter series, she takes on a journey with the two protagonists, Eve Polastri and Villanelle, and explores lust, psychology, and love through them. Eve is a clumsy, yet an intelligent MI6 officer, who is after an assassin, the ever effervescent and lethal Jodie Comer as Villanelle.

    There are many layers of powers, politics, and gender that Phoebe explores in this adaptation of the Luke Jennings novel. These layers amalgamate and seep into these women almost blurring the lines. One of the most striking features of Villanelle, apart from her confidence, substance, style, is her linguistic prowess. In the first season itself, we see her speak different languages including Italian and Spanish, and do different accents including Scottish, Irish, and Polish. But, despite her Russian origins, why does she not speak Russian?

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    Villanelle Refuses To Speak Russian

    Villanelle and Irina in the season one finale of 'Killing Eve'
    Villanelle and Irina in the season one finale of ‘Killing Eve’

    The women in Bridgers’ world have certain ease in their style and wit. Like Villanelle played by Jodie Comer has style when she kills, guts when she speaks, and an orderly mind when she executes the kills. These qualities blanket the mistakes, She made her look fashionable.

    The entry shot of the character itself speaks volume even when she did not utter a word. An endearing, high-society woman is eating ice-cream while grinning at a little girl across. But, when she gets up to leave, she drops the ice cream on her dress setting the tone of the incoming ruthlessness.

    She wears her mind on her face. The expressions convey her thoughts, a guide in the mind of an assassin. As the drama progresses, we come to know of her Russian roots. She is a former inmate Oksana, who gets rescued from Russia to work for an organization ‘The Twelve’ under her keeper Konstantin. Villanelle never speaks Russian. Even when someone strikes a conversation with her in Russian, she sticks to lingua franca.

    The assassin always loved and admired French, which makes sense because of her residence in Paris. Throughout season one , we never get to know why she hesitates from speaking the language.

    However, during the last episode of season one titled ‘God, I’m Tired’ we see the seeped rage towards the language, which is actually the seething anger towards her roots. In the episode, Villanelle kidnaps Konstantin’s daughter Irina. The girl is fearless, smart, and annoying for the killer. The two match each other’s energy, annoyed, but enjoy one another’s company. After abducting her, they get into a squabble.

    Irina shouts in Russian, but she responds in English. The give and take leads them on a public bench in Moscow. Konstantin’s daughter asks her “Are you a bad person?”. Villanelle agrees. She asks, “Have you kidnapped me?”. Jodie’s character says, “Yes”. Then, she asks, “Are you a pedophile?” Villanelle answers, “No”. Then Irina asks, “Why don’t you speak Russian?”. The assassin plainly responds, “I don’t like it” with a frown grown on her face.

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    How Did The Actress Manage To Do Various Accents?

    Jodie Comer
    Jodie Comer

    It is not the hate for the language, but her origin. Konstantin teaches her that “language is information, and information is everything”. So, why the reluctance towards her mother tongue. Maybe it is fear that there is hidden information about her past that hinders her or the fear of reconnecting with it. The immersion is so much that she becomes breathless, and she gets the air and life knowing about her past. She goes to Russia to meet her past family, but nothing fruitful comes out of it. It is the trauma and charred home and bodies that gets left in Russia.

    However, Jodie Comer nails every other accent that she speaks in the series. The performance of the merciless and not bonded to morals won her an Emmy award in 2019. During the premiere of the second season of ‘Killing Eve’, she talked about her vocal and accent prowess.

    Jodie said, “Me and my dad, if there was an advert with a silly voice on, we’d always impersonate it around the house just joking around. When I’m doing my own accent, I find it harder to separate myself from the character; I don’t know why.You also don’t see many Scousers on the telly so maybe we need to change that up a bit!”

    Talking about her different accents on ‘Killing Eve’, she said, “It’s something I really enjoy doing, [but] I remember when I auditioned and they told me about the languages. You always get told [that] if, in an audition ,you get asked if you can ride a horse you say yes, even when you can’t, so that’s what I did with the languages. But that was equally terrifying, but the exciting part of playing her”.

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    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise
    Nishant Bhise is a Sub-Editor at FirstCuriosity. He has more than 2 years of experience in Entertainment content writing with the organization. Besides being a journalist and humanist, he loves cinema and intersectionality, basically everything that screams love, hope, and of course, Lady Gaga. Nishant loves and breathes popular culture, music, especially hip-hop and pop, and the royal family drama. Along with that, he takes great interest in the happenings in the technology world and politics. He is an LGBTQIA+ ally. Approach him with an apple juice to discuss Modern Family, Pose, and Schitt’s Creek.

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