You may already know Phoebe Waller-Bridge from her one-woman stage show Fleabag, which she turned into an Amazon original TV series. Or from the the medical comedy Crashing, which you can find over at Netflix. If those two slipped past you, then perhaps you caught her on BBC America’s Broadchurch as Abby Thompson, opposite fan favorites David Tennant and Olivia Colman.
The cool thing is, she’s just getting started. There’s more to come from this talented writer and actress. In 2018 we can look forward to her taking on the role of showrunner and executive producer for Killing Eve, premiering on BBC America. The series, based on Luke Jennings‘ novella, is a cat-and-mouse female-led thriller about a psychopathic assassin and the woman who tries to hunt her down.
To tide you over till its arrival, here are 10 reasons we love Phoebe — and why you might too:
1. She owns it.
Phoebe named a character, who she also plays, Fleabag. It’s a bold move. Don’t get us wrong, people aren’t like, “Hey, Fleabag, what are you up to tonight?” But it’s the persona she’s given herself. Phoebe talked to Decider about her character, saying, “She’s unashamed and unapologetic. She wants you to know what’s inside her head.”
If you’re not familiar with Fleabag, here’s a taster:
2. She’s daring.
It’s one thing to have an idea, write it down, but then to get up on stage and act it out in front of… people. Imagine, actual humans staring back at you, judging, while you basically expose your deepest, darkest thoughts. Okay, we may be projecting our own bit of anxiety with that last part. But good on the woman for writing these sexually-driven storylines and putting herself out there.
Here’s a look at Phoebe as Fleabag, which she performed at the Soho Theatre in London:
3. She’s ambitious.
Can we get away with calling her the British Tina Fey? Most certainly. Both women created their own shows, Fleabag and 30 Rock, respectively, got them produced and on television, as well as taking on the lead role. And, to boot, neither writer penned the most flattering character for herself because, frankly, it’s funnier that way.
Both Phoebe and Tina created real, raw women, who struggle through the daily grind, but at the end of the day, just keep fighting the good fight:
4. She’s an adorable geek.
Stop the presses. Phoebe writes quizzes! The Guardian recently commissioned her to put together this superbly pithy end-of-year quiz. We can absolutely hear her unique voice in her introduction: “Wahey! It’s almost over! In many ways, 2016 has been a year to drink through and forget.”
Here’s a sample of her wit in quiz form:
5. She turns classics into modern-day magic.
The holidaze can bring on a wave of emotions. Phoebe has funneled her romantic angst into a project, using her experiences to transform the English Christmas carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” into a hilariously dark ode to an old boyfriend. Why? Well, why not? You can watch her unique adaptation over at Vimeo.
6. She talks to the camera.
Sometimes when an actor breaks the fourth wall it can be a little jarring, like, “Wait, what? Focus on what’s at hand, not us viewers.” But in Phoebe’s case, when she speaks to us in Fleabag, we don’t mind at all. Actually, we rather enjoy it. In fact, the first line of the first episode is Fleabag talking into the camera, out of breath, saying, “You know that feeling when a guy you like sends you a text at 2 o’clock on a Tuesday night asking if he can come and find you. And you’ve accidentally made it out like you’ve just got in yourself, so you have to get out of bed, drink a half bottle of wine, get in the shower, shave everything, dig out some adult provocateur business, spin about the whole bit and wait by the door until the buzzer goes?” Not exactly, Phoebe, but we’re intrigued to see what happens when you open that door.
7. She starred on Broadchurch.
‘Nuff said. We mentioned this above, but we wanted to put a spotlight on it. Like, she worked with, hung out with, “our” David Tennant and Olivia Colman, not to mention the other greats who appeared Broadchurch. We don’t necessarily agree with the expression, “Guilty based on association,” but can you just be truly wonderful based on association? Yep, we think so. Of course, her performance speaks for itself. You can see her in the below clip playing a barrister. She’s the one in the white wig:
8. She gives good poker face.
If this scene from Fleabag isn’t deemed iconic yet, it will be soon enough. The part we’re referring to pretty much kicks off the whole kit and caboodle of stories that make up the series. It’s probably best if you watch it for yourself, but let’s just say it involves a certain American President, who Fleabag is a little smitten with, and her boyfriend walking in on her getting cosy under the comforter, if you know what we mean, while watching said American President giving a speech.
Thing is, she doesn’t even flinch when in the line of fire (even though she is totally caught):
9. She also gives good interview.
We love watching Phoebe in character, doing her thing on-screen, but it’s also fun to see her being her quirky self… Like when she played the game Would You Rather with Jimmy Fallon. She’s definitely a good sport and goes into detail when answering the question, “Would you rather fight 100 duck-size horses or one horse-sized duck?” Oof. That’s a tricky one. But her answer is whip-smart and she doesn’t miss a beat, as you can see here:
10. She is joining BBCA in 2018.
We mentioned this already, but we’d like to say it again: Phoebe Waller-Bridge (that’s right, we’re using her full name for the full impact) is going to be running the show for Killing Eve. Yep, she’s the showrunner. It really just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? We can just picture her at cocktail parties being all faux modest like, “Oh, pish posh, showrunner, who me? No big whoop.”
But it IS a big whoop. And if she’s going to be all coy and humble about it (well, we’re guessing she is), then we’ll just have to sing her praises even louder: Congratulations Phoebe on the new gig and your much-deserved spot in the BBCA lineup. We look forward to more great things from you. No pressure.
Are you fanning over Phoebe now? We don’t blame you.