The writer, actress and comedian has a wealth of must-watch film and television on her CV.
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: Phoebe Waller-Bridge has got to be the hardest working woman in Hollywood.
On top of writing and starring in the final episodes of her filthy millennial manifesto Fleabag, Waller-Bridge has also performed a one-woman version of the series as a play on Broadway, overseen the new season of Killing Eve, penned a new comedy series for HBO called Run and has been drafted in to polish the new James Bond script, at the personal request of star Daniel Craig.
Phew! Does Waller-Bridge ever sleep?
If you’re on the lookout for more Waller-Bridge content to consume, now that Fleabag has finished in the UK (the second and final series will start on Amazon Prime in the US on 17 May), here are a few of her best roles to add to your must-watch list.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Even if you’re not a huge Star Wars fan – for which I will endeavour to forgive you – you probably heard about this movie. The much-anticipated Han Solo prequel starred Alden Ehrenreich as a young Harrison Ford and followed our charming hero as he acquired his beloved ship the Millenium Falcon, buddied up with Chewbacca and made the Kesel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
All of the funniest scenes in the movie involve a young Lando Calrissian, played with cape-wearing swagger by Donald Glover, and his droid L3-37, voiced by Waller-Bridge. A fiercely funny robot, L3-37 was committed to droid rights and freeing her fellow electronic peers from a life of servitude. She was also in love with Lando and he with her, which made for a few hilariously flirtatious moments.
Glover and Waller-Bridge were fans of each other before they joined the film as co-stars, with Glover admitting in interviews that the writing staff on his show Atlanta watch Fleabag and take copious notes.
Waller-Bridge also revealed that many of her best lines in the movie were adlibbed on set. “We were allowed to go off-beat,” she said. “We did get to do that a few times. And then if anything good came out of it, then they would do a take of that. It was really fun.”
Thank goodness for that. Because of Waller-Bridge, the Star Wars brand was injected with a little touch of her trademark knowing humour, and we shall be forever grateful.
Where can I watch Solo: A Star Wars Story? You can watch Solo: A Star Wars Story on Netflix in the US and iTunes in the UK. When Disney+ launches in late 2019, you will be able to watch Solo: A Star Wars story on that platform exclusively.
If your favourite part of a crime thriller is the inevitable battle of the wits in court, then the second season of Broadchurch is most definitely for you.
Waller-Bridge joined the principal cast of the insanely popular mystery television series in its second season as Abby Thompson, the smart barrister representing the murderer Joe Miller in the case against him.
Though she only stayed for a single season, Waller-Bridge made a huge impression on audiences and her colleagues, in particular Olivia Colman, whom she first met when they co-starred in The Iron Lady. The pair went on to work together on Broadchurch and, later, in a stage version of Noel Coward’s Hay Fever, before Waller-Bridge expanded the part of Fleabag’s awful godmother specifically for Colman.
“Olivia had said to Phoebe, ‘If you ever write anything please tell me, I’d love to be in it,’” Fleabag producer Lydia Hampson said in 2017. “So Phoebe kind of wrote up this idea of a godmother character that has a much larger role and Olivia, I believe, had said ‘I’d love to play a real bitch.’ And so Phoebe was like, ‘I’ve got it!’”
No, we’re not talking about the HBO series about comedy starring Pete Holmes and produced by Judd Apatow called Crashing. We’re talking about Waller-Bridge’s short but sweet 2016 miniseries of the same name about a group of friends living together in an unused hospital.
There are only six episodes of this witty television show, which is at its heart about the antics of 20-somethings as they try to untangle the mess of their lives. Like Fleabag, Crashing is lousy with both sex and jokes in a way that feels modern and honest.
As well as starring as Crashing’s depraved heroine Lulu, Waller-Bridge wrote each of the six episodes. The series was almost universally well-received, though Waller-Bridge has admitted that some of the more critical reviews cut extra-deep.
“There were a couple of reviews that really slated it, and that really, really hurt,” Waller-Bridge told the Guardian. “I felt a lot of shame about putting myself out there, like I’d humiliated myself and wasn’t worthy of writing stuff. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t slate each other’s work if it’s shit, but I did think: fuck, how has this happened?”
OK, so this one is slightly a cheat. Technically speaking Waller-Bridge doesn’t star in Killing Eve. But it was she who created the enormously popular psychological thriller for BBC America, and every scene is coloured with her particular brand of wit and humour.
What other writer would have created a show about an assassin who wears frou-frou Molly Goddard gowns to her psychiatrist appointment? What other writer would have given so many biting lines to Fiona Shaw’s Carolyn, the chief of MI6’s assassin unit. (Our favourite: “It is disappointing that the mole is the one who looks the most like a rodent.”)
Waller-Bridge, that’s who. The creator has stepped away from the second season of the show, handing over writing credits to her friend Emerald Fennell, who has proven more than worthy of Waller-Bridge’s crown. But we’ll always have a soft spot for the first season of this drama, unlike any other spy drama on television, and completely, deliciously addictive.
And, just to pile-on with this love-fest, let us remind you that it was Waller-Bridge who fought for every single major role in the series to be played by a woman. “There was a meeting at one point where someone actually said, ‘We can’t have too many women,’ meaning it will look unbelievable,” she told Variety. “I was like, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ Not if it’s written well and shot well.”
Where can I watch Killing Eve? You can watch Killing Eve season one and two in the US now on BBC America, and season one in the UK on BBC iPlayer with season two to air later this year. A third season has already been commissioned.
Images: BBC, Getty