Kim Bodnia, Killing Eve’s Unpredictable Konstantin, Loves Playing Him

by Tina Jøhnk Christensen June 27, 2019
Actor Kim Bodnia at the 2019 Golden Globes

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Danish actor Kim Bodnia unexpectedly returned to season two of Killing Eve after having been presumed dead in season one. This was partly because of his character Konstantin’s amazing chemistry with assassin Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer. And thus, he will also be back in season three.

Killing Eve is a thriller, but it could also be described as a comedy. How would you describe Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s writing and her balancing drama and comedy?

I would say it is just like you describe it. This kind of humor connected to this drama is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. What we saw in Fleabag is also very intense drama, which is incredibly humor-filled and so funny at the same time.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is breaking new ground. Her sense of humor is direct and shameless. Do you sense this innovative spirit when you work with her?

We work closely together and most of the time it is around how she develops the characters and how she is working on her view of the characters. The way she wants to see the character in these fantastic situations gives you are very good sense of who she is and how she is working: She wants to surprise the character in the room and she wants to set him or her up so she can have fun seeing how they will react in these strange situations. She wants to be entertained herself and have fun with her character. That is what it is like to be around her too. She is funny and lovely. I am not sure how she lives her own life and sets herself up in situations, but it is very safe around her. She seems to be a very balanced and grounded person, and we can all relax when we are with her.

You play Konstantin in Killing Eve. How would you describe this man, who both comes across as highly sympathetic but who seems to be able to switch character on a dime and become rather dangerous?

Yeah! That is what I love about this character. Konstantin is a handler of assassins. But in the beginning, we wanted to give him the possibility of training them in the senses of feelings. Thus, I am using my own skills as an actor to show how I am and how I develop my assassins on how to transform into other characters so they can be believable in what they are doing. There should be no doubt that when they enter a room they can be invisible as a person, so they can just go into what kind of energy the room is in and how they talk and how they move and how they react so that was a gold mine for me to have this kind of relationship to my character because then I can use my own skill of reacting differently in every different room I am entering. I think it is difficult to find out who he is – and that makes it so funny to play him.

A scene from "Killing Eve", 2019- Jodie Comer, Kim Bodnia

With Jodie Comer in Killing Eve.

amc

 

You were kind of killed in the first season. Was it always the plan that you would come back?

No! It was not. I was hired to have a good drive in season one. I was supposed to play a character, who would be killed off – really killed and not survive. I was only meant to be in five episodes in the first season. But I think it was after the second scene with Villanelle – with Jodie Comer – that they found out that they loved the energy and chemistry between me and Villanelle. Everybody agreed that Konstantin was a big part of Villanelle. They wanted to develop more of this into the show, so they were rewriting how we met and how Konstantin should be involved with the series. I was so happy that she wanted Konstantin to continue in the show.

Sandra Oh won a Golden Globe for her performance in Killing Eve when she was also the host. What was it like to be there to experience this?

It was a beautiful night. It was very special for us. We have been for Sandra since she got the message that the HFPA wanted her as the host. She was nominated and that is so lovely and a big thing for everybody – especially for her. But to be a host is fantastic. We all love these kinds of shows. This is one reason why all families can get together as one big family and all filmmakers are there in the same room and it is a lovely atmosphere. It was a fantastic experience to share that with Sandra and the love she is giving to all of us and to the show, I really appreciate that.

You were nominated for a BAFTA award. What does this mean to your career?

It means everything. It is a big thing. Like the Golden Globe, the BAFTA is one of our biggest awards and it makes me so happy because it is family members who want to tell you how much they appreciate your work. And for my career, it makes a huge difference, because everything is about going to the next level – and to get this kind of approval is huge.

What is next for you? Is there a third season of Killing Eve or are you going on to something else?

I have not seen the script yet, but they have contacted me, and we are discussing when and how we are going to do it.