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Get to Know Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the Emmy-Winner Behind 'Fleabag' and 'Killing Eve'

SheKnows logo SheKnows 9/23/2019 Julie Sprankles
a person posing for the camera © Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.

If you followed the headlines leading up to the 2019 Emmys at all this year, you may be thinking it’s time to brush up on things to know about Phoebe Waller-Bridge. After all, now that she’s become a bona fide Emmy-snatching sensation, her name is bound to have landed in your brain and lodged there.

And here’s the thing: You should know more about her. Because she’s a gosh darn revelation. You already know this if you’re one of the many fans obsessed with her brilliantly irreverent British sitcom Fleabag. Not a fan yet? Watch it. You will be. To give a bit of context to just how incredible the series is, let’s put it this way: Upon losing the streaming rights to Amazon, Netflix was so bummed out it has since begun referring to Fleabag as “the one that got away.”

But we digress, because the point of this whole spiel is that there’s much more to Waller-Bridge than just Fleabag. She’s the kind of person who seems to be squeezing multiple lifetimes into just the one, and they’re all utterly fascinating. (Remember those obsessive fans we referenced earlier? Yep, we’ll proudly wear that badge.)

So, sit back, picture a hot priest — you won’t think that’s sacrilege once you watch Fleabag — and get to know multi-faceted wonder that is Waller-Bridge.

She’s responsible for Killing Eve, too

Yes, as in the much-raved-about series starring Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Just as she is the writer and creator of Fleabag, Waller-Bridge is the writer and creator of Killing Eve. She also co-wrote the upcoming Bond movie, so can we go ahead and call her one of the greatest minds of our time? That tracks, if you ask us.

She comes from a long (and fancy) line of Brits

Waller-Bridge might use the kind of language that would make a sailor blush — her profanity is basically an art form — but she comes from an illustrious pedigree. Per the Guardian, her mother’s side of the family tree includes Sir John Edward Longueville Clerke, 12th Baronet of Hitcham. On her father’s side? Sir Egerton Leigh, the Member of Parliament for Mid Cheshire.

She almost made the Downton Abbey director pee their pants

Oh, you read that right. What makes it even funnier is that she wasn’t even trying. In an interview with The Times, she revealed that she auditioned to play one of the aristocratic Crawley sisters on the period series. She was unemployed, hungry (literally and figuratively) and headed into the interview with orders from her agent not to “f--- up.”

And then… “It was a really moving scene,” she shared. “It was meant to be sort of profound and moving and emotional, and I went in and I performed the scene and honestly I was like: I have nailed this.” Well, that was her thought — until she realized the director was “pi--ing himself laughing.” She did not get the part.

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