From “Fleabag” to the new James Bond: how Phoebe Waller-Bridge conquered Hollywood and why she is so cool
Phoebe Waller Bridge
34-year-old British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge is far from new to the film industry, but her name became known to the general public relatively recently, after the TV series Fleabag was released in 2016. However, it is possible that she would not have received such popularity if the show had not been so successful, and largely thanks to her. Film critics highly appreciated the series, for which he has already received several prestigious awards. Waller-Bridge herself won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series last year, and this year received two awards in the same nominations at the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Awards. With her talent, she conquered not only British, but also Hollywood cinema, so much so that she was invited to work on the latest James Bond film No Time to Die.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the TV series Fleabag
Biography and education
Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge was born on 14 July 1985 in West London to Michael and Theresa Waller-Bridge. Her mother worked for a furniture hardware company, and her father founded the online trading platform Tradepoint. Phoebe has an older sister, Isabelle, who is a composer and wrote the music for the TV series Fleabag, and a younger brother, Jasper, is a music manager. Phoebe’s parents divorced when she was a teenager.
Together with her sister, Phoebe studied at the Catholic School for Girls at St. Augustine’s Monastery, and then continued her studies at DLD College London in Marylebone.
Phoebe has always been attracted to acting. Recalling her childhood, she describes herself as "a noisy and loud prankster and outgoing child". She loved to make people laugh, although she was rather shy.
After graduating from college, Phoebe decided to enter the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Dreaming of becoming an actress and playwright, she expected to start learning this from the first day, but the first two courses of study had nothing to do with her idea of u200bu200bit. Her inner voice literally screamed: "Give me the script, give me the script!". But instead, the girl had to do “stupid", according to her, acting exercises: for example, somehow it was necessary to break into pairs and pretend to be animals for several months. Phoebe wanted to be a bat, but couldn’t find anyone to match her, so she was forced to join a pair of panthers.
When Phoebe graduated from the academy in 2006, she thought that just being a gorgeous girl with curly hair was enough to make a successful career in acting, but in reality she spent two years trying to get at least some work.
But then she found her partner – the very "bat" she was looking for at the theater academy. Vicki Jones directed the play, which featured Phoebe’s then-boyfriend. After one of the performances, Jones approached Waller Bridge and said that she was amazed by her beauty. So they started working together. However, Jones was soon fired, and Waller-Bridge, in protest, followed her colleague, who became her real friend. It can be said that Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s acting career began with this acquaintance.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Vicki Jones and Tuppence Middleton
Together with Jones, she created the theater company DryWrite, in which aspiring playwrights wrote scripts on various topics, often of a provocative nature. It was necessary to do so in order to bring the audience to emotions: to make the audience fall in love with the performances or rebel.
In 2009, at the age of 24, Phoebe made her debut at London’s Soho Theater in the play Roaring Trade. In 2011, she starred in a supporting role in The Iron Lady starring Meryl Streep, and then worked in such series as Bad Education, Broadchurch) and others.
She conceived the series Crashing when she was in her early 20s. But he came out on the screens only after she turned 30. It was a wonderful television debut: Phoebe acted as a screenwriter for the series and played a major role in it. The series is about a group of teenagers who live in an abandoned hospital. The heroine Phoebe Lilu in many ways resembles her character in the TV series "Fleabag": she has no complexes, she is relaxed and not without self-irony.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the TV series Roommates
Another of her successful projects is the series Killing Eve, on which she worked with Vicki Jones. Waller-Bridge did not appear in the frame, but she wrote the script for it. The series, starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer, follows a detective and a psychopathic killer who end up obsessing over each other.
Waller-Bridge herself did not want to star in the series – she explained that she felt that she did not see herself in the show. But Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s roles in it brought victories at prestigious film awards: the first won the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the second won the Emmy Award in the Best Actress in a Drama Series nomination.
Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in Killing Eve
The series "Fleabag"
But the real success and recognition was brought to her by the series "Fleabag", in which she played the main role and for which she wrote the script. The show was based on the Waller-Bridge play of the same name, which she wrote in 2013. The production was then directed by Vicki Jones, and Phoebe played the main and only role in it. After Phoebe performed a one-man show at the Edinburgh Festival, she was invited to the BBC to create a series.
"Fleabag" is a comedy that is actually full of tragedies. The main character, the owner of the cafe, the same Rubbish, is trying to find her place in the world. Ironic and funny scenes of family reunions and unbridled one-night-stand sex replace Waller-Bridge’s character, filled with drama and loneliness, about her best friend who committed suicide through her fault. The main character constantly provokes her father’s (Olivia Colman) narcissistic new wife, as well as her brother-in-law Martin (Brett Gelman). Her only close person is her own sister (Sian Clifford), who herself is rather unhappy in her personal life.
the main character thinks.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the TV series Fleabag
Phoebe Waller-Bridge didn’t just change the idea of what women in comedy should say and how they should act, she made a series with absurdist humor about women. When watching the show, laughter replaces amazement, and then complete devastation sets in, and this can happen to viewers in just one minute.
More importantly, the characters she creates feel real, flawed in many ways, but still appealing to the audience. They are emotionally honest and sexually liberated without feeling the need to apologize for it, which is rare in female characters.
Sian Clifford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag
"Rubbish" is like a challenge to society. This is not a story about how it’s time for a thirty-year-old woman to settle down, have children and build a family, but about finding a way to please herself and stop sleeping with idiots. It’s no surprise that Phoebe has become top of the femdom agenda in British and Hollywood cinema. At the same time, according to her confession, she was afraid that she would be considered a "bad feminist." When her character was asked if she would trade five years of her life for a "perfect body", she agreed.
This is one of the many reasons why Waller Bridge is so popular. All of Hollywood has a strange fear of portraying women in light of their imperfections. The actress is actively trying to change the mindset of the industry by showing how exciting the portrayal of women in their daily lives can be. And the huge success of "Fleabag" and "Killing Eve" is proof of that.
Waller-Bridge herself admitted that she would like to learn something from her character – for example, to say what she thinks at the moment, as her heroine does.
The series, which had two seasons (with three years between the first and second), won two Emmy and Golden Globe awards and one Screen Actors Guild award. Waller-Bridge said that the second season was the last. However, its finale remained open, so, who knows, perhaps the fans of the show will also see its continuation.
Personal life and hobbies
Phoebe Waller-Bridge married director Conor Woodman in 2014, but the couple separated in 2017.
For more than a year now, Waller-Bridge has been dating playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Martin McDonagh, who has directed such acclaimed films as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Seven Psychopaths, and "Lie low in Bruges" (In Bruges).
Martin McDonagh and Phoebe Waller-Bridge
The actress does not advertise her personal life and rarely goes out with her 49-year-old lover. She also avoids personal questions in interviews.
she once answered a question about her past and current relationships. They were first spotted together at a screening of his film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a few months after Waller Bridge separated from her husband.
Phoebe once said that she was really delighted with McDonagh’s play The Pillowman – then the couple had not yet been in a relationship.
she admitted. Apparently, then Phoebe for the first time and drew attention to Martin.
The play, which gained worldwide popularity (the play staged by Kirill Serebrennikov can also be seen at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater), tells about a science fiction writer. He is interrogated about the macabre content of his stories and their similarities to a series of horrific child murders taking place in his town. In 2004, the play won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best New Foreign Play, and two Tony Awards.
McDonagh, like his beloved, was marked by a large number of film awards. In 2006, he received an Oscar in the nomination "Best Featured Short Film" for the film "Six Shooter" (Six Shooter), and also repeatedly became the winner of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, won the San Sebastian and Venice Film Festivals and at the Golden Globes.
In the film industry, the couple is considered incredibly talented and very influential, and various companies, from Netflix to larger studios, are literally pursuing both of them. They say that when they arrived at the Amazon party after the Emmy Awards, they were greeted with loud applause.
1 Phoebe Waller-Bridge comes from a rather noble family. Her maternal grandfather, Sir John Edward of Longueville Clerk, was a baronet and the twelfth Baronet of Hitcham. On her paternal side, she is a descendant of Sir Egerton Lee, who for several years was an MP for Mid-Cheshire during the Victorian era.
2 She auditioned for a role on Downton Abbey but didn’t get it.
3 Olivia Colman gave her a real slap in the face during the filming of one of the scenes of the series "Fleabag".
Waller Bridge admitted.
Olivia Coleman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge
4 She didn’t know what a droid was until she auditioned for the role of a droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Stories" (Solo: A Star Wars Story). She hadn’t actually seen a Star Wars movie either.
5 The actress has no social media accounts, at least not public ones. Explaining the reason for her absence from social media, Phoebe says that she would be constantly under pressure due to the fact that she always needs to make someone laugh. In addition, she admitted that she did not feel confident enough not to take all the negativity from netizens to heart.
6 She is familiar with the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla. They met at a public event, and the actress then told the duchess, who had no idea who Waller-Bridge was, about working on Killing Eve, with all the "dirty" details she said about the two girls’ relationship. She became a little flustered until the duchess returned to her with the words "We all like it a little, don’t we?".
7 Daniel Craig is a big fan of Waller Bridge, so the actor insisted that she take part in writing the script for the latest James Bond film No Time To Die, in which he starred. Thus, the British star became the second woman in the 57-year history of the franchise, who had a hand in the script of the film. (there were even rumors that a woman could play the famous agent), and Waller-Bridge, with her feminist agenda, should do just fine with this. Waller-Bridge herself insists that she was not invited to the picture because of her views or because she is a woman.
8 Amazon has awarded Phoebe Waller-Bridge a contract to produce television content. According to the contract, the actress’s annual salary will be $20 million.
9 According to Waller-Bridge, she was inspired to write the role of the character Andrew Scott in the TV series Fleabag by Jennifer Lopez and her song Jenny From The Block. Phoebe and Jennifer met at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards and clearly hit it off.
10.Now Phoebe is working with Vicki Jones on a new project – the series "Run" (Run), which is filmed by the HBO channel. It features Waller-Bridge as both an actress and an executive producer. Its release is scheduled for this year.