Jodie Comer
Comer at the 76th Tony Awards in 2023
Born (1993-03-11) 11 March 1993 (age 30)
Liverpool, England
OccupationActress
Years active2007–present
AwardsFull list
Signature

Jodie Comer (/ˈkmər/ KOH-mər; born 11 March 1993) is an English actress. Born and raised in Liverpool, Comer began her career in an episode of The Royal Today in 2008. She gained recognition for appearing in the series My Mad Fat Diary (2013–2015) and Doctor Foster (2015–2017), and earned acclaim for starring in the drama miniseries Thirteen (2016).

From 2018 to 2022, Comer starred as sociopathic assassin Villanelle in the BBC America spy thriller series Killing Eve, winning a British Academy Television Award and a Primetime Emmy Award. For starring as a healthcare assistant in the television film Help (2021), she won another British Academy Television Award. Comer expanded to films with starring roles in the action film Free Guy and period drama The Last Duel (both 2021). Comer made her West End theatre debut in Suzie Miller's one-woman play Prima Facie in 2022, which earned her an Evening Standard Theatre Award and a Laurence Olivier Award. Following its transfer to Broadway theatre in 2023, she won a Tony Award.

Early life

Jodie Comer was born on 11 March 1993 in Liverpool,[1] the daughter of Merseyrail employee Donna Comer and Everton FC physiotherapist James Comer. She grew up in Liverpool's Childwall suburb.[2][3] She has a younger brother named Charlie (born in 1995).[4] She attended St Julie's Catholic High School in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton, where she became close friends with future Olympic athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson.[5][6] She started acting at a local weekend drama school called CALS in the Belle Vale area of Liverpool when she was 11 years old, and it was through this school that she entered the Liverpool Performing Arts Festival in 2006 at St George's Hall and came first in her category after performing a monologue about the Hillsborough Disaster.[7][8][9]

Comer's friends kicked her out of their high school dance group because a holiday with her family clashed with rehearsals for the school's talent show, and she instead decided to perform the monologue for the show.[10] Although she did not win, her performance prompted the school's drama teacher to call in a favour from friends in the entertainment industry that would allow her to audition for a BBC Radio 4 play.[11] This would become her first acting job, with her co-stars in the play advising her to get an agent and telling her that she could have a successful acting career.[12][13]

Career

Career beginnings (2008–2017)

Comer's career began in 2008 with a guest role on an episode of The Royal Today, a spin-off series of the medical drama series The Royal. She then made appearances in series such as Waterloo Road, Holby City, Doctors, Silent Witness, Casualty, Law & Order: UK, Vera, and Inspector George Gently. She was cast in leading roles in the five-episode drama series Justice, the supernatural miniseries Remember Me, and as Chloe Gemell in the E4 comedy-drama series My Mad Fat Diary. Comer appeared in the 2015 adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover, a television film broadcast on BBC One. In the same year, Comer appeared as Kate Parks in the BBC One drama series Doctor Foster.

Comer was cast in her first starring role as Ivy Moxam in the BBC Three miniseries Thirteen, which premiered in February 2016 and earned her a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress. In December 2016, she appeared in the BBC miniseries Rillington Place as Beryl Evans, one of serial killer John Christie's victims.[10] In 2016, Comer was listed as one of Screen International's "Stars of Tomorrow" in association with the BFI London Film Festival. In 2017, she starred as a young Elizabeth of York in The White Princess on Starz,[14] a sequel to the BBC miniseries The White Queen.[15] In 2017, she also made her feature film debut, as Christine in the Morrissey biopic England Is Mine.

Killing Eve and worldwide recognition (2018–2021)

Comer in 2021

In April 2018, Comer began starring in the BBC spy thriller series Killing Eve as Villanelle, a sociopathic Russian assassin who develops a mutual obsession with Eve Polastri (played by Sandra Oh), the MI6 agent tasked with pursuing her.[16] Comer garnered universal critical acclaim for her performance on the series, with Jia Tolentino of The New Yorker stating that, in the context of the show's "constant reversals in tone and rhythm", the "ambiguity—and impossibility—of Villanelle's character has worked (through the first season) thanks to Comer's mercurial, unassailable charisma".[17] Due to her character swapping between multiple accents from around the world as part of her various disguises, much attention has been given to Comer's native Scouse accent and the surprise of viewers who hear it for the first time.[18] For her portrayal of Villanelle, Comer has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and three British Academy Television Awards for Best Actress, with her winning both in 2019.

In June 2018, Comer was one of the actresses in a series of BBC Four monologues called Snatches: Moments From Women's Lives, inspired by events that took place in the century since women first won the vote. Comer appeared in the episode "Bovril Pam", where she portrayed a secretary in 1960s Liverpool exploring her sexuality.[19] Comer was ranked No. 94 on the Radio Times "TV 100" list for 2018.[20] In November 2018, The Hollywood Reporter included her in their "Next Gen Talent 2018: Hollywood's Rising Young Stars" list.[21] In April 2019, Comer was asked about upcoming work during her Happy Sad Confused podcast interview and revealed that she had been forced to drop out of Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile due to scheduling conflicts.[22]

Comer performed a cameo in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, appearing as Rey's mother Miramir in flashbacks.[23][24] In June 2020, Comer played the lead role of Lesley in a BBC iPlayer reboot of the Talking Heads episode "Her Big Chance".[25] The episode, directed by Josie Rourke, was filmed in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Comer next appeared in the action comedy film Free Guy alongside Ryan Reynolds,[26] in which she played two roles: Millie, a games developer, and Molotov Girl, Millie's in-game avatar. The film was released on 13 August 2021.[27] It later debuted on Disney+ for home viewers on 23 February 2022. A cover version of Mariah Carey song "Fantasy" sung by Comer was used in the film.[28] For this role, she was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Later in 2021, Comer teamed with writer Jack Thorne and actor Stephen Graham to star in the Channel 4 drama Help,[29] in which she played a young care home worker struggling during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. She also acted as an executive producer. The role earned her a fifth British Academy Television Awards for Best Actress nomination which she ultimately won. Comer portrayed Marguerite de Carrouges in Ridley Scott's The Last Duel alongside Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck.[30] The film was released worldwide on 15 October 2021.

Prima Facie and further accolades (2022–present)

Comer made her West End debut in Suzie Miller's one-woman play Prima Facie at the Harold Pinter Theatre which started in April 2022 and concluded in June 2022. For the role as criminal defense barrister Tessa Ensler, Comer received significant critical acclaim.[31][32][33] Comer made her Broadway debut with Prima Facie when the production transferred from the West End, in spring 2023.[34] Starting 21 July 2022, a filmed performance of the play at the Harold Pinter Theatre was shown at cinemas around the world by NT Live.[35] For her performance, she won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress and the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.[36][37]

In 2023, Comer starred alongside Austin Butler and Tom Hardy in Jeff Nichols' The Bikeriders, a drama inspired by the photography of Danny Lyon and his 1967 book of the same name.[38] She then starred in and produced the environmental thriller The End We Start From, an adaptation of Megan Hunter's debut novel, directed by Mahalia Belo.[39][40] Both films received generally positive reviews.[41][42]

Public image

In December 2018, British Vogue included Comer in its list of "The Most Influential Girls of 2018",[43] and in February 2019 Forbes included her in their annual "30 Under 30" list for being in the top 30 most influential people in the entertainment industry in Europe under the age of 30.[44][45]

In September 2019, a few days after her Emmy win, it was announced that Comer would be the face of the Loewe spring/summer 2020 fashion campaign, which saw her star in a short film for the brand that consisted of her repeating the brand's name with different emotions.[46] On 31 March 2020, Comer was announced as the brand ambassador for skin-care brand Noble Panacea.[47]

Comer is known for guarding her private life and relationships.[48] In 2020, she discussed the class discrimination she experienced during her career as someone from a working-class city.[49]

Filmography

Film

List of Jodie Comer film credits
Year Title Role Notes
2017 England Is Mine Christine
2019 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Miramir Cameo
2021 Free Guy Millie Rusk / Molotov Girl
The Last Duel Marguerite de Carrouges
2023 The End We Start From Woman
The Bikeriders Kathy
Key
Denotes films that have not yet been released

Television

List of Jodie Comer television credits
Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Royal Today Leanne Series 1: Episode 41
2010 Holby City Ellie Jenkins Episode: "Promises"
Waterloo Road Sarah Evans Series 6: Episode 3
2011 Justice Sharna Mulhearne 5 episodes
2012 Doctors Kelly Lowther Episode: "Another Day, Another Dollar"
Silent Witness Eve Gilston Episodes: "Fear: Parts 1 & 2"
Good Cop Amy Series 1: Episode 1
Casualty Maddy Eldon Episode: "I'll See You In My Dreams"
Coming Up Cat Sullivan Episode: "Postcode Lottery"
2013 Gemma Episode: "Big Girl"
Law & Order: UK Jess Hayes Episode: "Fatherly Love"
Vera Izzy Rawlins Episode: "Young Gods"
2013–2015 My Mad Fat Diary Chloe Gemell 16 episodes
2014 Inspector George Gently Justine Leyland Episode: "Blue for Bluebird"
Remember Me Hannah Ward Miniseries (3 episodes)
2015 Lady Chatterley's Lover Ivy Bolton Television film
2015–2017 Doctor Foster Kate Parks 9 episodes
2016 Thirteen Ivy Moxam Miniseries (5 episodes)
Rillington Place Beryl Evans Miniseries (2 episodes)
2017 The White Princess Elizabeth of York Miniseries (8 episodes)
2018 Snatches: Moments From Women's Lives Linda Episode: "Bovril Pam"
2018–2022 Killing Eve Oksana Astankova / Villanelle Lead role (32 episodes)
2020 Talking Heads Lesley Episode: "Her Big Chance"
2021 Help Sarah Television film; also executive producer

Theatre

List of Jodie Comer theatre credits
Year Title Role Venue(s)
2010 The Price of Everything Ruby Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough, England
2022–2023 Prima Facie Tessa Ensler Harold Pinter Theatre, West End
London, England
John Golden Theatre, Broadway
New York City

Video games

List of Jodie Comer video game credits
Year Title Role
2024 Alone in the Dark Emily Hartwood

Awards and nominations

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Jodie Comer

Known for her performances on stage and screen she has received two BAFTA TV Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Tony Award, and the Laurence Olivier Award. She has also received nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award, and two Golden Globe Awards.

References

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