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BAFTA TV Sessions 2021: Leading Actress

4 June 2021

Rhianna Dhillon: Hello I'm Rhianna Dhillon and welcome to the BAFTA Television Sessions: Leading Actress supported by TCL Mobile who are for the second year supporting the TV sessions and we're very grateful to TCL Mobile for their continued support. Joining us we have Jodie Comer, Hayley Squires and Letitia Wright. Hello all of you lovely to see you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jodie Comer: Hello.

Hayley Squires: Hello.

RD: Unfortunately, Billie Piper, Michaela Coel and Daisy Edgar Jones aren't able to make it today due to work schedules. We will miss them, but we are going to have a great, great chat. Congratulations to all of you. Jodie, I want to start with you: After series two of Killing Eve, what were you excited to learn about Villanelle in Series 3? 

JC:  Oh, what was I excited about? I think for me what becomes more important as this show continues is to to move the character forward. you know 'cause I think there's a tendency to want to keep the things that everybody loves and has been a huge success and and repeat them because they're working but you know that the more you do that the kind of more predictable it becomes and more mundane. 

So to me, this idea of exploring her background not to necessarily give sympathy, you know, provoke sympathy towards her, but just to try and understand how a little bit better was was really exciting to me. I like it when they put her in a situation she's never been in before, and that situation was very unfamiliar. So uhm, yeah, that was that was exciting. 

RD: And then having played the role for so long, do you feel a bit more empowered now to collaborate with the writers from the early stage of production because, you know, you almost know better than anyone? 

JC: Definitely. I mean I think that's what I'm most grateful for. This show and this production for is like they've really enabled me to find my voice in that way by, you know, inviting me into that space and sitting at a table with the writers and and explaining to them what I don't think is necessarily working or what I really like and being able to throw my ideas about in that space and realize that they're not all bad. You know, like, sometimes I kind of know what I'm talking about, and sometimes I don't, but that's OK. Like it's a safe space. So I definitely you know, I have definitely picked that up and I’ve definitely taken that on to future projects for sure.  

RD: And Hayley, once you'd accepted the role of Jolene in Adult Material, which elements of the character and the show were you like really, really keen to start researching? And where on Earth did you begin? 

HS: Well, we began--there were there were a number of different elements when it came to research or prep. There was the research that we did myself, Siena, Kelly, Dawn who directed it, Lucy the writer. We did a kind of collaborative research into the world of porn. We were able to work with an advisor, a lady called Rebecca Moore, who's been in the industry for a long time. She was amazing; she did some workshops with myself and Siena--everything from kind of body language to telling us various different stories or the sort of logistics of how things work. We visited a porn set one Saturday morning, we went along and we spoke to the men that worked there and the performers. So there was that side of it, which I kind of got stuck into, particularly with Rebecca because I was very aware of people watching it who work in that industry and it not being inaccurate. I mean Lucy had written an accurate portrayal but to be able to transfer that in the performance was very important and then just separate to that did my own prep that I would do on any job which is back story and history and where have they been and just going back into Lucy's scripts over and over and over and over again because they were so complex and layered and just pulling out as much information as I could to feed what I was trying to create with Jolene. 

RD: What did you uncover that maybe surprised you the most that you maybe weren't expecting in the research process? 

HS: Specifically about the industry?

RD: Not even the industry, but about the role just about the project in general, because presumably you know you go into a project with preconceptions and then you know through your research something comes out. 

HS: Yeah, well, I think in in research and in prep the the main thing that I came to understand was just how complex the system is when it comes to the porn industry and how it is big, big business in the same way that anything on the Internet is, be it Google or YouTube or anything else. The sort of layers to that were quite mind-blowing and that led me to them be able to understand--because she's an expert Jolene isan expert within her field. Yeah, and that allowed me to then play that with confidence because I knew that I knew what I was talking about, because we've done that research. 

RD: That makes sense. Right, Letitia, speaking of confidence, you know your confidence as Altheia is just mind-blowing. Tell us about how you became to be involved in Small Axe. What a role!

Letitia Wright: Bless you, bless you, Rhianna. I literally, I saw in 2015 I saw an IMDb article, you know, like when they announce a new show that's about to come on board and saw that Steve was collaborating with BBC to look at the lives of people within the West Indian community. And immediately I wanted to be a part of it, because you know, my culture as a Guyanese woman, I really relate to the Caribbean and I was just so interested in how that was going to be made and I remember just really telling my agent at the time, Icky, still my agent, of course, and I was just like, hey, can you please search for this for me and find out, you know what's going on? I was willing to take, you know, I was willing to play like a tree, like this is Steve McQueen, this is top level. And you know she went to work herself and Femi went to work and they got the casting director to come and watch on my plays at the time that I was doing at The Gate and it just started to just continue from there, and I think the way that you know God would have it is just like it all just aligned and I finished promoting a film and I went to Trinidad and Tobago and I literally landed in Tobago and I got this email saying that Steve wanted me to meet him about this role about this beautiful woman called Altheia Jones-LeCointe who was born in Trinidad and I just thought that all the stars were like just aligning and it was beautiful. 

RD: Incredible

LW: And then, yeah, just met with Steve, you know. And I really was ready to audition and really, you know, put the work in and prove myself in a sense. And he was like, hey man, like I've been watching your work and I really respect you and I would love you to come on board and that's a big thing for us. You know, we work really hard in this industry so to have someone say come on board is, it's just a beautiful honor so I just dived into it right away, but that's kind of like the back story. I basically chased the part since 2015. 

JC: Good for you, yes, make it happen.

LW: Thank you yeah. Just be brave and put your hands up and be like hey, I'm interested.

HS: I want it. 

LW: Yeah!

RD: So then it must have been incredibly gratifying when you were on set with Steve McQueen. What did you learn from him that you want to take forward to your next roles? 

LW: I learned so much. What I learned from him is that you're not too big in a sense of where your position and your career is to just see yourself as an artist and be appreciated as such, and I learned that from him doing that to us, and I learned that no matter how, no matter where this career can take you and no matter the heights that you can reach it's always OK to literally reach down to someone’s level and say, hey, I see you and I appreciate you and you taught me so much and he taught me about integrity and he taught me about trust because sometimes you know how it is, Hayley and Jodie, you know, sometimes you go on set and you're like I don't know why I'm saying this and I don't know if I'm doing the right thing and you know, you think you're a bit crazy. And I had a couple of moments with Steve where I was like are you sure Altheia would say this and he's like trust me, and I'm like I know that you're like an amazing artist but I struggled to trust and he really taught me about that. He really taught me that when someone really cares and someone spent years dissecting, you know a world and characters and stories and just really just putting things together for like five years, like you could really trust them, so he just he just empowered me as an artist and I will forever be grateful to him for that. 

RD: I think trust is a really good place to then talk about Jodie your relationship with having Sandra Oh like by your side throughout the whole journey of Killing Eve. How did that elevate the experience for you? How does it still? 

JC: Well, it's incredible, it's like--and I I feel like you guys will know what I'm saying is like so like sometimes you get to set and you can act with people and it can work well and and it can be great and then sometimes like a handful of times you can meet someone and there is so much that goes unsaid like there's just like a really strong connection and I feel like I found that, felt that the moment that I auditioned with her. It was the same with Kim Bodnia, you know, and in this series where we introduced Villanelle’s mother like those relationships where you don't have to say an awful lot, you know we don't actually see each other an awful lot when we're off set, but then when you're on set and you're doing the material, it's all kind of fizzing away but she's been incredible to me. You know, to think of where this show started, you know, I remember her and Phoebe being like this show could be kind of a big thing, like, you know we’re just warning you so you can like prepare yourself. And so she's always kind of put her arm around me in that way. So yeah, I'm interested to see where where series four goes.

RD: Do you have like a sort of shorthand with the way you work together now? Does that sort of make any like--I mean there are so many intense scenes in Killing Eve, but is that just so much easier when you know how someone works? Or does it not make a difference? You approach every scene with a fresh--

JC: No, it it definitely does like and it makes me think of the the ballroom scene in season three you know that was a kind of huge moment for them. And when we were figuring out the dance and the physicality, and it all kind of just fell together like a puzzle. You know, it was also probably the closest--you have the the bus scene but that was the most physical they'd been with each other, which was really beautiful and it wasn't like we had to really think about it, it all just kind of, it just was. I think you just do, you feel it, but I'm very much like that. Like I don't know about you guys and how you prepare and stuff, but I'd like to know what I'm doing. Like you know, my lines and etc., but then I'd very much like to just surrender on the day and see what the other person is giving me. 

LW: Yeah, yeah, those tend to be like super fun experiences too, like, I love yeah, just the the opportunity for it to be like a live space 'cause so much of set life is like it has to be this and then we're getting this shot, so I I love hearing that process and that you like that as well, knowing the foundation and then just adding a little bit of flavour to it. That's cool. I like that. 

HS: And that feeling of what you both said about Steve and about Sandra is just that feeling of, it's an easy word to use, but collaboration so that you, you can do jobs where everybody is very nice, everybody doing their bit, but you can come away feeling I don't know slightly cold, like it's worked but it's only gone to a certain level, but when you meet those people that either it's because you have trust them or because you've worked with them for so long and you have that shorthand, when you get to share that with somebody and make something together I think it's my favorite feeling when that happens and you get to do that. 

JC: I think as well that that's like as I've recently done something that's kind of very relevant to today's world that it kind of has like a really important message, which I feel like both of your pieces have, and I have to say, like being a part of that, that has a big message and it's really important and there's a lot of heart, it's like a whole other quality to the experience, but also to the way in which I feel people come at it. You know, there's like no ego. It's like this thing is bigger than us, all you know? And I I thought when I watched both of your pieces, I really, really, I really felt that. 

RD: Jodie was saying how she was in tears watching Hayley's one of Hayley's final sex scenes, which is... 

JC: I mean-- 

HS: That’s what I was aiming for, I was aiming to make Jodie Comer cry!

JC: I was like I'm crying, I mean, this is the first time I've ever cried at a sex scene, but let's be honest, that is because of the full circle arc that your character does like, it was so beautiful to see where she started like the you know, all the kind of hurdles throughout the way, especially with her relationship and then that moment—I could cry now—that moment at the end, it was so beautiful, but that was because of your, you know she did the whole whole full circle. 

HS: Thank you. 

RD: Yeah, I mean also what's so brilliant Hayley about the role of Jolene is just how fallible she is. And we can't always trust her. Why do you think it's important that she's not a hero and she's you know not perfect? 

HS: Well, 'cause nobody is are they? Nobody is perfect and there is never only one thing going on inside a person and  just thinking back to what you said before Rhianna about what I discovered in the research, what I discovered in the process of playing her was it seemed that the more we shot, the more it felt like there was another direction that she was being pulled in, so I I think that she's a character who at any one time has got fourteen different hooks stuck inside her being pulled in fourteen different ways and I think that she is a version of a hero, because I think that she comes at life, she makes questionable choices, sometimes bad choices, destructive choices but she has a heart that is insistent on doing what she believes is the right thing, and of course, there's so many moral questions that come along with that. There's never just one thing going on with her, yeah. 

RD: Letitia, I wanted to just pick up on Jodie’s point, that scene where Altheia sort of defends herself in court is incredible, and it's so satisfying because she's holding her own amongst these men who think they're superior. How important is the show in terms of empowering the next generation through education and process, that message?

LW: It's so important. I remember when we started to go through like the promotional stage of it last year, earlier last year, and then we were just submitting to film festivals and getting the feedback and then and just speaking to Steve quite briefly and he said 'cause this is around the time that the tragic event and the tragic passing of George Floyd. And he literally said, it feels like life is imitating art and art is imitating life and we didn't plan for our project to be out during that time. We were just trying to look back at what happened, the events of the 1970s and how we can learn from it to be able to have change to move forward and it was just a poignant time. It was just so important for us to have that project out at that time. So I feel in a nutshell it's like Jodie said, you know my fellow—I was about to say cast members, maybe that's going to happen!

JC: We need you to speak it into existence. 

LW: Rhianna come up with the idea. 

RD: I'm there, I'm all over this. 

LW: BAFTA, let's get some finance behind this. But yes, just like my fellow cast members, right here with me, you know, we believe that you know everything has its moment and it's time in creation, do you know what I mean? Everything is created for a purpose and we did it from our hearts. Jodie did her project and the story and dedication from her heart and it just happens that this is the time where everybody is resonating with it. Same with Hayley. So it's like Small Axe is just a beautiful, a beautiful love letter to our ancestors, to our elders, everybody who has gone before us and done it and everybody who has done it prior, and for the generation now. It's for everybody past, present, future. It's just important to make projects like this from the heart and just hope that it will resonate and touch the generation and touch the people and it just has and we're so grateful for that. That's a long answer. 

JC: Beautiful. 

RD: That was a great answer! Hayley, I wanted to talk to you about getting into the character of Jolene because there are so many elements of hair and makeup and accessories, you’ve got the eye patch, wigs, tattoos. What really made you feel complete as Jolene, you know, what was your finishing touch? 

HS: Uh, we had--I mean all of that. The crew on Adult Material were extraordinary. They worked so, so hard and there was such a level of of respect that was shown to what we were trying to do, and Karen Hartley Thomas who was the hair and makeup designer, she was somebody who from the minute I met her, we kind of had an affinity with each other and and she kind of saw me through really. She was really fantastic to me. We had a little transfer tattoo of a dollar sign that we would put on last on Jolene’s middle finger everyday. 

But the wig was, the wig was the one when the wig went on I would say that I felt like 50% of the job was done. It was like, it was sort of like putting on a suit of armor, putting on Jolene's tattoos and fake tan and her makeup and and the wig, and that's what the lot of the women that work in the industry are like. You know, there's a reason that they have breast implants or the different things to do with their hair and their makeup, it's because to them it feels like a suit of armor for their job. 

RD: Yeah, that makes sense. 

HS: It was very, very helpful. 

RD:  I think what's so appealing about Killing Eve and Adult Material is that neither really fits that perfectly into a neat genre. But how difficult is that for you in the moment striking that balance between comedy and drama, Jodie?

JC: Yeah, well I was going to say 'cause I wanted to ask Hayley, what I thought was genius about your performance was like there were so many lines that you delivered that were hilarious but then so devastating because of the like juxtaposition of where she was in her life at the time, it was like she kind of used her--like she was always self deprecating all she used humor as a defense, like there was a line where you were outside the school and you were like where's my hot stone massage? You know as she’s knows she's driving off and-- 

HS: My favourite that one! 

JC: Then she's like, yeah, and then she’s like violently sick. I was like wow, a lot of the time I was I was like laughing but then kind of feeling guilty about it because of the place that she was in and I just thought like I don't know how you did that, I imagine it's purely because you would just delivering it from a very honest place but like it was really interesting. Yeah I loved it, thought it was amazing. 

HS: Thank you. I find that a lot of it comes from the writing, doesn’t it? So much of it comes from the writing but I think it comes back to the same thing 'cause I was going to say the same to you about Killing Eve because one thing that I've always been jealous of watching it, truly, is that you know, there's a freedom. There's a freedom about your movement and about your face and the way you play with the language and that often oftentimes goes into a very, very funny place, but there's a kind of bravery and a confidence about it that sort of every day I'm on a job, not to be funny, but every day I'm on a job to play to be able to play and I've watched you do that in in Killing Eve, but for me, so much of it was in the writing and coming at it from a point of view of a character who just has to kind of thunder through because if she stops, then she's she's done for, yeah. 

JC: Yeah, I think as well, like I think what I've learned the hard way is the moment you try and play comedy it's not funny.

HS: Yeah yeah. 

JC: You know what I mean? It's trying to not think of it from the outside in and just like you say, think of the character, I think of the uh of the dialogue. I think it's probably, I guess if there was a rule that would be it, but you're right, it's just I guess it's about being a little bit fearless with it. 

RD: And before we go over to audience questions, Letitia, I just wanted to ask you, we haven’t really touched on this, it must have been so important to you for Altheia to be proud of your performance and to see her story on screen. So tell me about the process of meeting her beforehand and then have you been in touch since? 

LW: Oh yes, so, I was really adamant that I needed the chance to meet her. Playing, representing someone’s life, there's a lot of pressure, so not only were we focused on the script or just like you know, bringing the pieces together with costume and hair, but it was about representing the essence of who she was. I wasn't trying to mimic her in any way or be a replica of her 'cause I cannot be her, so I was really adamant to meet her and when I did it was it was a little bit scary because you know you want her to be able to trust you and to know that you're taking this seriously. But I did promise her that I would represent her the best way I could, and she gave me a lot of advice. She enabled me to fall in love with different aspects of myself that due to Western society I've, you know, my minds been shaped in a different way of how I saw my hair, how I saw my skin, how I saw myself as a black woman and she really said a couple of lines that just really made me go on a discovery of loving myself. And when I came away from that again, I came away feeling really, really empowered. And I walked on set every day, just remembering that conversation that I had with her and knowing that the things that I have now in Britain as a black woman is partially because of what they did back then, and to honour her and respect her with my lines and how I represented myself on set and how I would give in every single take, in every single scene, and we were shooting on film, so that's added pressure. 

RD: Oh my God, that really is.

LW: So it was like every nuance, every part of it just had to be in sync. You don't want to waste a bit of that film and it just reminded me of time and opportunity that you want. You don't want to waste a bit of it, so all in all I got to meet her, her daughter and her sister, who expressed their their gratitude and how proud they were. But I have not spoken to Altheia since, so  I will contact her to see how she's taking it. But thus far I hear good things. 

RD: Good, I mean it's an exquisite performance. It really is. 

LW: Thank you, yeah, thank you. 

JC: Letitia, you know the  scene where you're being told, you're in the room and you're being told to plead guilty and you stand up and you speak up was that all one shot?

LW: It was. Me and Jodie go way back. We go all the way back to coming up in Channel 4 and I remember being such a fan, such a supporter of Jodie. Like literally just watching her takes and just being like, how do you do that? So for you to ask me this question and to be impressed, I am so grateful. Yeah it was one. It was one take and it was especially because yeah, we're shooting on film and it was just the movement Shabier as a cinematographer was amazing, and it's a movement thing. 

It's catching all of those moments, it’s catching the shoes, it's catching everybody’s face as she's speaking. But what fueled me was just  our history and the conversations with Altheia, and literally Steve going we're not going to do this many times, I don't want to overdo it, I don't want to overcook it, but when you're ready you go. And your heart is beating man 'cause you really you have that moment to just say something that’s of meaning, do you know what I mean? So I got the chance to do that. But yeah couple takes. 

JC: It was incredible. I was like is that one take?!

LW: One take yeah, one take, the whole thing. And when we were done I was like are you sure he's like trust me. 

RD: Goes back to the trust.

LW: Thanks so much Jodie, bless you, bless you. I'm so honored. 

RD: I have to go to questions but I just have got to ask one more really quickly, Jodie, because I think you, you know, you did a shout out in one of your BAFTA thank you speeches to Stephen Graham, and then you finally get to collaborate with him on Channel 4's Help.

JC: Yes! Speak it into inexistence. 

RD: Exactly! Tell us about that experience, that collaboration, it is so cool. 

JC: Yeah, it was amazing because. 

Stephen introduced me to my agent and then ever since then we've been like Jade please find something for us to do and she's like I am, I am, but you know there's just not anything out there. And then I very embarrassingly slid into Jack Thorne's DMs when I was on Twitter and I told him that I wanted to work with them like just straight off was like. 

RD: He's a good man. He's so prolific he's a good man to know, isn't he? 

JC: He's great, yeah, he's incredible. So I did that and then simultaneously without me even knowing like must have been like around that time Steven had got in touch with Jack and was like Jack, will you write something for me and Jodie? And then it just became this thing and we got together and we we did a couple of workshops about what this piece could be. And you know then we found a director in Marc Munden and yeah, we filmed it earlier this year in Liverpool. It's called Help, and it's a film for Channel 4 and it was incredible. You know getting to work with him again. I worked with him one day originally and then just being with him on a set like that was, it was amazing he's such a good fella.

RD: That's incredible. Right, I've got some questions, there is one for all of you. Is there one scene from your show that was cut that you wish people could see? Hayley? 

HS: I'm trying to think really quickly. 

RD: Or if anyone else has one. 

JC: I don't think I do. Not that I can think of anyway. 

HS: I don't think so.

RD: Letitia’s still thinking.

LW: It’s just one scene that was, uh, it's quite romantic and it was like, and then I was so nervous because it was just like spontaneous and then I remember Steve going like you know, she's like he's just like telling the guy Gershwin, a beautiful, beautiful actor. He's like she's beautiful man, come on, just kiss  her. I was so nervous! But then I was just like it's not in the film, so it's OK. We were so shy that day so that, I think, I think that happened to us. Yeah, that was the only scene. 

RD: There's another question for all of you: What is your dream role? 

JC: Oh God, I I don't know about you guys, I feel like I don't necessarily have a dream role. I feel like maybe what I'd like to continue is like trust in my instincts. Like I, I don't know how you guys feel, but I feel like you know when you find yourself in a good position and things are going well and you know you're considered successful there are so many opportunities that can come your way that may not necessarily ring true to you, but could bring you whatever it may be. So I think for me it's actually just to continue like working with people who I truly like, admire and want to learn from. And I think it's all right independent, right girls? It's like, yeah, you read something you're like I've got to do it, yeah, like I think that rather than one particular character. 

HS: Yeah, I think that’s true.

RD: Charlotte Rogers has asked what advice would you give to young female actors who started pursuing a career in acting during the pandemic? 

HS: I suppose patience? But patience is kind of an overreaching piece of advice I would give to anybody pursuing this career whether you went to drama school or or you didn't, or you went in through via a different route. I think patience, being able to have as much calm and clarity with yourself as you can because it can begin to feel like a madness when you're trying to work. And I think the world is such that so often it's easy to go online and see what other people are doing and pending like a lot of time being like, you know, why aren't I doing that? 

So I think patience and calm and just having a concentration on your work and what you're heading towards, but just know that it doesn't all need to happen overnight or or happen immediately. It's about the long game and and you'll keep your head about you better that way I think. 

RD: Makes sense. Jodie, Letitia you got anything to add? 

JC: I mean, I think Hayley called with all grounds. Seriously, I think it's so true like keep your head down, focus on on what you're doing and exactly don't expect it to all be here tomorrow. 

LW: I guess also to add to that would be knowing who you are as a person. It's a great opportunity for self-discovery. I feel like a lot of the times you know some, sometimes people don't really know who they are. And maybe we've been in that in that place. Maybe we are in that place. You just have to really know yourself and like know your nos and your yes and what you're willing to do and who you are as an artist. Figure that out and I think that's most important 'cause that will help you to have longevity as much as this career can offer you, but knowing who you are, so if you do get a disappointing, no, it doesn't knock you, it doesn't take you out, it just helps you to build.

HS: Yeah, that's important. 

LW: That's what keeps us here, man, that's what keeps us here. So yeah, that's what I can add. 

RD: Uhm question for Jodie. What will you miss the most about playing Villanelle once you've finished filming the final season of Killing Eve

JC: Gosh, oh God I’m like don’t say that out loud! Oh God, I just had so much fun. And I think to speak to what Hayley kindly said before was like I learnt on this job that like there are so--as long as there is truth in what you are saying, acting can be big and it can be bold and it can be in your face and it can be a bit ugly and it can be all of these different things like not everything has to be super subtle and you know and I don't know another word that I can think of, but you know what I mean?  I guess just to be a little bit more daring, you know don't. There's no need to feel silly about what it is that you may want to do. I've just had so much fun. I've been in such strange you know, funny situations and met some amazing, amazing people so yeah, I think that's what I'll miss the most. 

RD: Uhm, one for Hayley, you started writing during lockdown, so how have your past roles influence the kinds of characters that you want to create? 

HS: That big breath in is because I've been writing since 2014 and it's still going--

RD: Well lockdown is part of that! Patience, right, patience? 

HS: Exactly, exactly lots of patience. What I did start, I went back to a film that I've been writing during lockdown and it was very, very helpful to me because the the noise of

daily life had stopped, had been forced to stop, so there was sort of no hiding from it and it was a time when everything was just a bit calmer in my head and so I was able to go back into the script. And we're moving along with it, and hopefully it's going to go into production next year. Fingers crossed.

JC: That’s amazing. 

HS: But I I think that I don't think I ever come at writing from a point of view of this is missing on the screen and it's my job to put it on there because if I'm honest, I don't think I'm a good enough writer to come at it with an agenda rather than a story. So everything is always story led or begins with a a character that talks and I can't get them out of my head, but I I do think that naturally I go towards looking at stories of men that have been on screen and asking the question in my head of what's the female version of that? Is there a female version of that? What would that look like if it was exactly the same but it was women on screen and and again, like I say, not from a political place necessarily, but more just from I suppose a natural thing of being a woman and being an actress, and to make stuff. 

RD: Yeah, seeing those opportunities and wanting to create some for yourself, that makes sense. 

HS: Yeah and for the other women here I can also write into things so that I get to work with them!

RD: Please yeah I'm so excited for this. This is a question for Letitia: Was there a particular wow moment during the filming of Small Axe that stands out in your memory? I mean there must be so many, but can you remember one in particular? 

LW: I think one in particular would be the scene where we are are playing steel pan and preparing for the carnival. We actually did play the steel pan. I did actually play the steel pan and were we having carnival vibes and the reason why it was a wild moment, it was just that oh man, like to be able to see your culture represented on screen like this in its entirety was beautiful. 

And to know that these are the type of music and rhythms that flow through you and your household as a child and in your childhood and seeing that on screen and knowing that they're recording it and it's going to last forever, that was a wild moment. And then obviously the classic of bringing Steve in the middle to just, you know, it was  a wild moment that we had that opportunity to do that and I love that. Hayley, I love what you just said about not doing it for a particular agenda of like this is missing so I want to fill that gap and that's majority of what we do and what's being made and why we make it. But just to remember that it's a story just like anybody else’s. And I feel like Small Axe is like that where it's like OK, this hasn't been seen before on this scale but we're bringing you into the lives of stories and people’s cultures and our culture that has always been around, you just haven't seen it and we're not trying to bombard you with it or try to fill the gap, we're just trying to introduce you to this story that has been around for a long time and and  yeah, that was a wild moment for us.

HS: And that's why it felt--sorry to jump in but Letitia what you said about it feeling like a love letter, that's why it feels like that when you watch it, well when I watch it, that's how it feels, because it it feels like of course, it’s political, and of course it’s about major historical problems that are still happening today but it comes from a place of such heart and such truth which is why it translates to screen in the way that for me watching it, that it that it did. Because there's such heart in it. 

LW: Yeah, yeah.

RD: And so much joy. 

LW: Yeah yeah yeah yeah. So much joy. Even between things where we had the court cases and those are really excruciating--It was really hard. It's really difficult and just like the excruciating like pain of it all, and in the midst of that we still had joy, we still paused and just laughed and we would literally have to pinch ourselves at the fact that no matter what, we're doing and fighting and how hard we're working to put this on screen like we had so much joy. So yeah, there was so much joy in it and we laughed every day. Believe it or not, we just laughed so much. It was great, but then it fueled the work.

RD: Yeah, yeah. Obviously TV has really got us through this past year, you know, everyone has been agreeing on that. So what have your thoughts been on TV this year? What have you watched? What have you loved? Jodie?

JC: Oh, I mean, I mean, I mean Normal People, I May Destroy You, I Hate Suzie… Let’s be real.

RD: Sounds like the BAFTAs got it right.

JC: Seriously, and every show in this category was like got me through. I'm also obsessed now with come Call My Agent on Netflix. 

RD: Oh my God, I've just started, yeah. 

JC: Yeah yeah, yeah that's something that I'm enjoying as well. But no, it wasn't incredible year for television.

RD: Yeah, has been. Hayley. Have you kind of sat down and enjoyed anything? 

HS: Yeah, my reaction is kind of the same as Jodie's, which is why when these nominations were announced I felt so honoured to be amongst you ladies because it was your shows that I watched and they were the ones for me, the stand out and the ones that mean something. 

Less, less so, but something my boyfriend introduced me to which I completely fell in love with is Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse Gone Fishing

JC: I need to watch this. It's supposed to be amazing. 

HS: So good. It's like the nicest, most gentle, funny TV and kind of light relief from from the heavier and very important stuff, but that yeah Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing, my favourite. 

RD: Letitia?

LW: Oh man, I've been super boring, and so spoilt for choice as well but the things that I've been watching a lot has been like documentaries. And, you know, it's the time where, like you're really gullible and like 

affectionate and very like more chilled, so you're really listening to your friends and my friends are like Tish you need to like stop eating meat and I'm like why? Why would I ever do such a thing? And they're like, OK, watch these documentaries and I always had this argument about protein being needed from meat and stuff like that. 

And and then I watched this thing called Game Changers on Netflix. It's been out for like a while and then I've been just watching documentaries about how meat is being used in the industry and stuff like that and also you know just what it does to our bodies. Sorry, I'm not preaching! You asked what I’m watching! And then I saw like weight lifters and athletes on plant based diets and how much energy they had and I was like dang like this is amazing and then they mentioned how food breaks down in the body and they mentioned like colon cancer and my brother cast member died of that. So it's just kind of like, I was just like man like let me just actually see what this is about. So I started just to change my diet through these documentaries and I actually have more energy on set. 

RD: That’s so incredible.

LW: I really do miss like you know, a good steak but it’s cool. So that's what I've been watching and it's really had a huge influence on me. But I need to check out the shows that you guys have been talking about. 

RD: I've got a question for Jodie. Seeing as Phoebe wrote Killing Eve and has worked on Bond, don't you think that Villanelle would make a good Bond villain? Could it ever happen? Wow, what a crossover that would be. 

JC: Oh, that would be a crossover. I don't know if Villanelle would allow it. I think she'd want her own. She’s be like I’m not being a Bond villain.

RD: How generic!

JC: If Phoebe Waller Bridge is doing another film and wants to write that in, be my guest. I will do anything that woman does like hands down. But yeah, I'm actually excited to see that I feel like. 

RD: I don't think it's going to come out!

JC: Yeah, I guess there's like a backlog of a million films issue. Yeah, would be spoiled for choice and. 

RD: And final question. I mean it's the obvious one, but are you all looking forward to the BAFTA Television Awards? 

HS: Yeah, course. Letitia, are you going to be there?

LW: Yes I would like to be. Are you guys going to be there? 

HS: Yes yeah.

LW: I think so. This is my first time being nominated in this category. I'm so honored that yeah, I want to come through. 

JC: It's nice to be all there and have a little celebration of whatever that may be, but just be there in person and say hello. I'll be behind a screen. 

RD: That'll be lovely. Oh we're going to be rooting for all of you. Thank you so, so much. It's been really, really lovely to talk to you all and also thank you so much for everybody watching and our audience. Thank you to our supporters TCL Mobile and yeah final thank you Jodie, Hayley, Letitia. It's always a pleasure to talk to you, honestly a real honour.

HS: Thank you girls. Nice to talk to you.

JC: Thank you

LW: Real honor thank you. So inspired again. 

JC: Bye!

RD: Bye.