Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer explain why they don't put a label their 'Killing Eve' relationship: 'It's tough love, man!'

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in the final season of Killing Eve (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)
Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in the final season of Killing Eve. (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)

All good things have to come to an end... including Killing Eve. Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer's hit thriller brings the curtain down on its four season run starting Feb. 27 on AMC. And the stars aren't quite ready to say goodbye. "It's definitely been a process," Oh tells Yahoo Entertainment. "It was a process in terms of shooting it and also understanding how we're going to bring the characters to an end. It's still a process speaking about it now — it really helps me put things in perspective."

Leaping forward in time after the events of the Season 3 finale, the Season 4 premiere finds expert analyst, Eve Polastri (Oh), trying to put her fascination with chameleon-like assassin Villanelle (Comer) in the past once and for all. But the two are inextricably drawn back together once again, setting the table for a final arc filled with twists and turns. The two stars spoke with Yahoo Entertainment about where their characters are as the season begins, how they approach the rare scenes they get to share together and why they try to resist putting a label on Eve and Villanelle's unique relationship.

Jodie, one of the things that's so entertaining for viewers about Villanelle is that unpredictability is baked into her character. Did that also make it difficult for you to track her journey across four seasons?

Jodie Comer: Yeah, definitely. I feel like my experience with Villanelle is that everyone has a very clear opinion of who they think she is, and often that can be exaggerated in different ways. The beauty of playing her for four seasons now is that I feel like I understand her, and my instincts and intuition lead me in the correct way. But it's amazing as each episode comes in to sit down on a Zoom call with the writers and work as a team. Usually, we pick up the story right where we left off, but with Season 4 there's been a bit of time since the last one, so it felt different.

Yeah, I don't think anyone could have predicted she'd be in a religious community as she is this season. How did you wrap your mind around that?

Comer: Me neither! [Laughs] You know, Villanelle is very literal, so we always had this idea that she sees signs and runs with them. In this case, she saw the literal sign of a church and enters there. I think it's a last resort for her, but she also sees the good that the church does for people, what the vicar represents and how people treat him and look to him. There's so many rules within religion, so she's like: "If I follow this, then I have a very easy way of getting out of my problems." Which, of course, isn't true at all! For her anyway.

Sandra Oh: I think that's true for anyone. The more you deny your actual nature, you'll never be able to transform.

Villanelle (Comer) finds herself in unlikely surroundigs in the final season of Killing Eve. (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)
Villanelle (Comer) finds herself in unlikely surroundigs in the final season of Killing Eve. (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)

Sandra, one of the new storylines for Eve this season is her new love interest, Yusuf, who combines the personal and professional sides of her life at last. Was that fun to explore?

Oh: That's so interesting, because I don't consider him a love interest! [Laughs] I do love that relationship because it's a modern working relationship where there are no responsibilities or baggage to also having a sexual relationship. It's not casual — it's just kind of fluid. Working with Robert Gilbert, who plays Yusuf, was great. We got to do a lot of physical scenes, and Yusuf is really there for Eve to show that not only how she has changed, but later on in the season he really checks in with her to see whether she has taken things too far.

Comer: I remember when we had the read-through on Zoom, you guys had such amazing chemistry! I was like, "Did you audition with Robert?" And Sandra said, "No, I just met him on Zoom." You could see their chemistry from the get-go.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge was such an important part of the show's first season. Was it difficult when she stepped away?

Oh: It was very, very tough. But then we were tasked to continue the show, and every year, I feel like the cast and crew really rallied together to hold on to what we knew and we would just bring that into every season. So while that was challenging, it's one of those challenges where you grow. And that's the type of friction that creates something unexpected, particularly creatively.

Eve (Oh) faces the endgame in the final season of Killing Eve. (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)
Eve (Oh) faces the endgame in the final season of Killing Eve. (Photo: Anika Molnar/BBCA)

You two don't get the chance to work together often, but it's always great when Eve and Villanelle get to share scenes together. Have you developed any pre-shoot rituals when you are on the same set?

Oh: No, I feel like we really aim to ensure that everything that's going to happen between us happens while the camera's rolling. There are times when we need to figure out beats when it's a physical scene or a scene with a lot of blocking. But it's also not like we over-rehearse. We consciously try to just hold off until we're rolling.

Comer: We're in different locations a lot of the time, because our stories are often so separate. We're like passing ships, and then we get to share these lovely moments together. A lot of the times when Sandra and I have done scenes together, we get to them and we may not be sure of what the scene means, but then we find it together. I always know that we're going to find it.

There have been a lot of thinkpieces published over the years about what it is that attracts Eve to Villanelle and vice versa. Now that you're approaching the show's endgame, how do you feel about their dynamic?

Comer: I still don't think I can put a name on it, to be honest. It's so complex. Villanelle has always felt an understanding from Eve, a kind of strange acceptance even after everything that she's done to her. And Villanelle has also grown through Eve. I don't think she would've went on the journey that she's been on had she not met Eve. She really took her on a completely different trajectory.

Oh: It's tough love, man. That's what I can say: Tough love! [Laughs] I feel like I could possibly write a book about your question, but it would be more interesting to just not say anything. I feel the way that many people relate to these characters is very, very personal and to name it ruins people's experiences of it. But in a broad way, I think that Villanelle comes into Eve's life and changes Eve fundamentally. She's never the same person after that.

Does it frustrate you when people try to put a label on their relationship?

Oh: Yes, very much so. And I feel that for the show. I think we both feel that there's a real interest and deliciousness of the way that fans are into the characters that's just been great. And I think that's why we both want to keep the mystery about them, because we want the Reddit pages to keep going! Please go ahead and keep discussing it, because it's for you.

Killing Eve premieres Sunday, Feb. 27 on BBC America and AMC+.