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Liverpool: The Factory for Stars?
Move aside John, Paul, George, and Ringo, there’s a new star in town. Jodie Comer, the incredible English Actress shares not only a birthplace with The Beatles but the same meteoric rise to stardom she has experienced in the swift past few years that has seen her rise to amazing heights in her craft.
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Born in the English city in 1993, Comer grew up a bonafide theater and dance kid, learning her acting chops at a local drama school on the weekends. She received her first true notoriety by coming in first place in her category after performing a monologue at the Liverpool Performing Arts Center in 2006 at the age of 11. Off the success of her performance with the monologue, she brought it to her school’s talent show while in high school. The powerful monologue and Comer’s performance caught the eye of her school’s drama teacher who sent her to audition for a BBC Radio play. After nailing the audition, Comer was offered her first true acting gig in the play.
Comer earned the admiration and praise of her co-stars who encouraged her that she could make a career out of acting. Inspired by their approval, she hired an agent and set out to make a living of it. As with pretty much all actors trying to make a name for themselves in the incredibly difficult world of show business, Comer spent a few years taking on any and every part she could get to put her skills on display. She secured a number of roles in a vast array of UK series, including parts in ‘Waterloo Road’, ‘Holby City’, ‘Doctors’, and ‘Law and Order: UK’ to name a few. Her performances in these series helped her nail down leading parts in the drama series ‘Justice’, a supernatural series called ‘Remember Me’, and a dramedy series named ‘My Mad Fat Diary.’
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While not uncharismatic for someone just starting out to find themselves playing roles all across the map as they try to break into the industry, Comer’s signature skill set was formulated and perfected during this time. Her immense talent as a performer comes through in the moments when she has the opportunity to balance the dramatic with the funny, which will definitely come into play later on in her career-defining role. Comer’s first starring role came in the miniseries ‘Thirteen’ and her performance on the show lead to her being nominated for a 2016 BAFTA award for Best Actress. Off the back of this real mainstream recognition, Comer caught fire in 2016 and 2017 with the BFI London Film Festival naming her one of Screen International’s “Stars of Tomorrow.”
The Role of a Lifetime
While being recognized certainly has its perks, it’s what you do next that really matters. In the case of Jodie Comer, she certainly took her opportunity and ran with it. Cast as Villanelle in the series ‘Killing Eve’, which made its debut in 2018, Comer found herself right at home with the most amazing role she could ever imagine. The show follows an incredibly complicated yet masterfully written dynamic between Comer as Villanelle and Sandra Oh as Eve, the MI6 agent tasked with stopping her.
Playing the psychopathic, yet loveable assassin Comer is able to bring every bit of her immense acting abilities to the screen. The part requires an insane amount of charisma and talent for her to be able to vacillate between ruthless killer and lost real self as she tries to piece together the forgotten memories of her life. Her performance as Villanelle immediately raised attention to the show and brought with it significant acclaim for both the series as a whole and most specifically for her performance.
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Comer has such an impressive mastery of the character that like all great iconic roles, it is hard to separate the actress from the character. Her grip of the character is profound and the different energies and abilities she brings to it allow the show to shine. As Villanelle, Comer is required to display a wide array of different accents and disguises to fit with where the character is at any given time in the story and she does it perfectly. Villanelle’s intense but at times light-hearted personality is able to channel through Comer with ease. She is able to jump in tone right alongside the reaching storylines and bring the required intensity to each scene she is in.
For her brilliant performance as Villanelle, Comer has received widespread recognition from both the UK and America. She has been nominated for two Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and three BAFTA awards for Best Actress, winning each in 2019. Her reputation and body of work as Villanelle has helped to launch her into the next phase of her career.
Jodie Comer – To The Big Screen and Beyond
Well, sort of the big screen. As ‘Killing Eve’ continued to gain praise for its storytelling, so did Jodie Comer in the form of new projects. Comer was offered and starred in the 20th Century Studios film ‘Free Guy’ alongside Ryan Reynolds. After beginning filming in 2019, the film’s release was delayed in large part to the Covid-19 Pandemic with audiences having to wait almost two years for its release, which eventually went to Disney+. Comer is very enjoyable in her role as both the real-life gamer, Millie, and as her video game avatar “Molotov Girl.”
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In her roles in the film, Comer is able to bring that same signature charismatic charm she has in ‘Killing Eve’ to the forefront of the film. She is able to endear herself with ease to the audience in both the action sequences and tough girl energy of Molotov Girl and also as the more meek and guarded Millie. Comer, again, garnered widespread praise for her work in the film, with critics appreciating her work and chemistry with Reynolds. With the success of the film, a sequel has been planned for development.
Comer’s next crack at the big screen came with the highly anticipated film ‘The Last Duel’, where she starred in the critical role of Marguerite de Carrouges. A hot package when it was announced, the film was directed by Ridley Scott and Written by Nicole Holofcener, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck, who also star alongside Adam Driver. With such a prolific acting and production team, the film received critical acclaim albeit unfortunately being a disappointment at the box office. Comer was specifically highlighted for her powerful performance as Marguerite, whose events are ultimately the driver for the story of revenge with an unfortunate amount of toxic misogyny mixed in. That stuff aside, Comer is great in the part and carries the narrative of how a woman’s voice has continued to persist throughout the course of time.
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An Open Runway For the Future
After an incredibly prolific and productive past few years, Comer has her eyes squarely set on continuing to do meaningful work with her talents. Next on her list is another season of Killing Eve, which after a long hiatus due to the Pandemic has been long-awaited by fans. We will also be able to see her in the hot new series adaptation of ‘Big Swiss’ for HBO Max with A24 and Adam McKay producing. She will also lend her talents to the environmental thriller ‘The End We Start From’, an adaptation of Megan Hunter’s debut novel scheduled to begin filming this August.
Jodie Comer has had an incredibly rapid and well-deserved rise to the top in the past few years. I am incredibly excited to have such an amazing young actress in our lives, who I optimistically believe will only continue to take on and crush the meaningful projects she will have the opportunity to share her talents in.
By Mark Raymond
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”
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Mark Raymond is a writer and screenwriter who believes himself to be the only person desiring to work in film who originated in New York and currently resides in Los Angeles. Mark was inspired to write from a young age and has always desired to connect and uplift others through his work, as those that motivated him did for him. Mark feels very strongly that the world could use a lot more positivity and optimism, and is therefore very aligned to the mission of The Hollywood Insider to not spread hate or gossip, but instead to build each other up and shine a positive light on anyone bold enough to put their heart and soul into a piece of art. In his writing, Mark aims to use his signature wit to highlight the severity of the more serious and pressing issues of our time, to shine a beacon of light through the darkness. A devoted ally to all, he seeks to inspire and use his platform to give a voice to the voiceless and let his readers know that while everything may not be great right now, one day it can and will be.