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SAG Awards 2020: Sian Clifford had the perfect response to someone calling Fleabag’s Claire unlikeable

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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On the red carpet at the 2020 SAG Awards, the Fleabag star was asked how it felt to play such an “unlikeable” character, and her reaction was epic. 

The Fleabag cast are sure to be celebrating big tonight.

The 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards represents the last awards ceremony feting the second season of the show. Creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge picked up the award for Best Actress, with her castmates Andrew Scott and Sian Clifford by her side. In her moving acceptance speech, Waller-Bridge thanked her fellow actors in the room for welcome the “Fleabag gang” into their club with open arms.

“This whole thing really has been a dream, and if I wake up tomorrow and discover it was just that, thank you. It’s been the most beautiful dream,” Waller-Bridge said

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Clifford, who played Fleabag’s sister Claire on the series, is part of the gang experiencing that “beautiful dream”. As part of the series’ ensemble cast, Clifford was nominated for a SAG Award alongside Scott and Waller-Bridge, and she walked the red carpet at the awards ceremony in a Zuhair Murad RTW tuxedo.

Golden Globes 2020: Sian Clifford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott on the red carpet.

There, she was interviewed by journalists on the red carpet, one of whom asked her how it felt to play an “unlikeable” character such as Claire.

“I beg to differ!” Clifford responded. She went on to correct the journalist, explaining that “I’ve been playing this part for 10 years, but you’ve only known her for four.”

She added: “The first time I met Claire… I kind of loved her because just like all of us she’s sensitive and she’s human. We’re all flawed, but perfectly human. And someone like Claire and all the characters on Fleabag embody that so beautifully. Which is why, maybe… it has resonated with so many people.” 

Fleabag: Sian Clifford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the series.

Clifford added that Waller-Bridge, who she met at drama school 16 years ago, wrote the part of Claire specifically for her.

“We are very close collaborators,” she said. “We have a trust and a dialogue with each other and we definitely discuss things and we really value each other’s opinion… What she did in season two was… write to our strengths.”

When asked to account for the popularity of Fleabag, Clifford echoed Waller-Bridge’s comments, stating that the show’s success had been “a wild ride”.

“It was almost like there was a void that we didn’t know existed that Fleabag needed to fill in,” Clifford said. “It’s been crazy. We’re so happy to be here. This is our last awards ceremony… We’re just here to party and celebrity. It’s just been such a wild ride. We’re so happy.”

And as for that partying? Can you guess who might lead the Fleabag ’gang’ onto the dance floor? “Phoebe,” Clifford exclaimed. “Phoebe is the party starter.” 

Images: Getty, BBC

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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