Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia: ‘Villanelle is like one of my daughters’

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Killing Eve’s Kim Bodnia: ‘Villanelle is like one of my daughters’

The Danish-Jewish star of BBC One's hit thriller returns for a third series alongside Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh

Kim Bodnia returns as Konstantin in the third series of Killing Eve
Kim Bodnia returns as Konstantin in the third series of Killing Eve

As the third series of Killing Eve, returns to our screens, The Bridge actor Kim Bodnia reprises his role as Villanelle’s handler, Konstantin, and reveals life behind the scenes of BBC One’s hit thriller…

What’s happening with Konstantin in series three?

It’s exciting, we are going to see what’s behind his character. You can look into his mindset and get some secrets. He has some personal stuff going on and his reactions reveal a lot that we haven’t seen before. It is very different from how he deals with his own business world. As an actor I get to work with the writers and find out the fun game of where they want to go and where my character is going. It’s a challenge, but a really fun combination.

At the beginning of this series, Konstantin is dealt quite a lot of big blows. How does he go about getting his life and business affairs back on track?

Konstantin’s survivor DNA is very strong. When you look into this universe of people that are strong at surviving, it is always fun to see them struggling with it because it is a fight. We always believe it is very easy to do what they do, and to be a person like that, but it is a very hard world. You have to face yourself in the mirror, look in your own eyes and be aware of what is going on to survive. As an actor it’s fun to go in there, to see what is actually going on in his mind and to ask the question about how to get back on track again. That’s what it’s all about and that’s what we wanted to show in this season. How do you get back on track when you are so damaged and you’re always meeting a new wall?

Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw returning for the third series of Killing Eve

Konstantin and Villanelle. What state is their relationship in when we meet them at the beginning of this season?

It’s difficult to say what’s really going on when you’re dealing with a person like Villanelle. We are in a very strong relationship, maybe stronger than we want to be, and somehow, we are so connected to each other. It’s difficult to lead her to do what I want to do and follow my plan, because I don’t want her to be hurt. I feel like Villanelle is one of my daughters, but it is so complex. How do you deal with that as a father and still be professional? It is fun to put Konstantin in these kinds of situations where he must deal with some father and daughter issues alongside his business. That’s wild and that’s where our relationship is right now.

You filmed a scene with Villanelle in a cable car in Barcelona. What was that like?

In the scene, we need a safe place to talk with nobody listening. It was a feeling of safety together with unsafeness. It was brilliant and it gives the scene a very good energy. I didn’t enjoy the view, I can definitely say that, but I loved the fact that the writer took the elements and put us up there in the air with a view of Barcelona all around us.

Who is Konstantin?

He is like me, 54-years-old and going through a lot of stuff. He has all this knowledge of how things are run at a very high level. He knows how to deal with stuff that we normally don’t know anything about. He’s working for the government and he’s working for other governments, so it’s very complex. Then compare that to the love he has for his culture in Russia. He still dreams of being a person that can actually live with himself and face himself in the mirror. His family are his wake-up call, he is a family guy.

How important are Konstantin’s costumes in terms of finding your character?

Everybody knows how important clothes are, for yourself as a person, and of course for a character it is the same. It’s everything. Konstantin wants soft, nice quality clothes to feel comfortable in and he must be practical at the same time. You can also change his clothes to show his way of thinking.

How do you feel being back for a third season of the show?

Every day being back on the third season is a new life, a gift.  It’s great to have the opportunity to be together as one big family, we are a special group of people. It’s not just me who says so. Other people that come and visit and are part of our family for a short period when we’re shooting, they say this too.

How has it been working with Jodie and Sandra over the last three years?

I don’t see them every day, but when I meet up with Sandra or Jodie, I feel this strong desire to keep this family together. To keep developing what we’re doing as art persons and as actors. They’ve become a big part of the production and producing it, as well as being the leads. I love it. I love them both.

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