Jodie Comer ‘s portrayal of psychopathic Russian assassin Villanelle in Killing Eve has catapulted her to global fame and brought her to the attention of Hollywood’s biggest directors.
The Liverpudlian actor – who turns 28 today – now counts the likes of Matt Damon and Ryan Reynolds among her A-list costars. But away from the cameras, she insists on leading an extremely low-key life.
For starters, the former Tesco employee still lives with her parents Jimmy and Donna and brother Charlie in the house she grew up in in Childwall, Liverpool.
Dad Jimmy works as a physiotherapist for Everton FC, and Jodie has admitted she’d stay living “with my mum and dad till I was old and grey if I could.”
She started singing, dancing and acting classes when she was 11 and landed her first TV role at 15. But even as her profile rose, she held on to her part-time job in Tesco and worked nights in a bar collecting glasses.
It was her role as twenty-something mistress Kate Parks in the BBC’s Doctor Foster that put her on the map before she landed the part of Villanelle.
And Jodie believes that her working-class roots meant she had to fight a lot harder to get her career off the ground.
“For me personally, self-belief counts for a lot, and perseverance,” she previously said.
“Especially coming from a working-class background, there is the notion that you are going to have to work much harder to be successful.”
One of the key components of Killing Eve is Villanelle’s sexual chemistry with MI5 agent Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh.
In real life, the two stars are extremely close, and Sandra, 49, even took Jodie as her date to the 2019 Golden Globes.
“Jodie and I have a profound relationship,” she previously told The Sun.
“At this point, having done three seasons, we trust each other when the magic is happening. That’s how we work it.”
And from the second they met, Sandra recognised their sizzling connection.
“When we first met and had our first read together, I knew we had good chemistry,” she told The Graham Norton Show last year.
“I could just tell because of the way we were listening together and I could actually feel the way we were reacting to each other.”
Little is known about Jodie’s life away from the spotlight, and that’s just the way she likes it.
Her best friends all live in her hometown, she has joked that she’s ‘allergic to L.A’ and has shunned the bright lights of London for a blissful existence of Sunday dinners and trips to the pub with her mum and dad, and locals describe her as a ‘lovely girl’.
However, last year Jodie uncharacteristically wore her heart on her sleeve when she revealed she’d fallen head-over-heels in love for the first time with American lacrosse player, James Burke.
The pair are believed to have met in Boston while she was filming new movie, Free Guy, with Ryan Reynolds, and last summer she brought him home to meet the parents.
“You know, I would never want to speak badly about people in my past,” she told Sunday Times Style Magazine,” but yes, this relationship feels very different.
“This feels like nothing else. When you actually feel it, you’re like, ‘Ahhh, so this is what it feels like!’ And it was special.
“I was away, it was the height of summer, I was doing this incredible job that was so much fun, it was my first time working in the States. So it was a lot of firsts.”
Sadly, their happiness was almost derailed by a vicious campaign to get Jodie ‘cancelled’ after it emerged that James is a Republican and outraged trolls shared tweets alleging he supported Donald Trump.
The issue, they claimed, was that Jodie’s public support for the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBT rights and her character Villanelle’s bisexuality were at odds with Trump’s beliefs – although not all Republicans agree with everything the ex-president says.
For Jodie, the controversy was both alarming and terrifying. Branding the information ‘false’, she told InStyle: “It was really shocking; it was the first time I had ever been dragged into something like that. And it wasn’t just me; it was my family.
“I had seen the absurdity of what I was being accused of, and what my partner was being accused of.
“I decided for my own health that I was not going to try and convince these people otherwise. I just wasn’t going to do it.”