‘Killing Eve’ murders are inspired by real crimes

Appearing on the BBC podcast “Obsessed with Killing Eve,” BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera revealed how he collaborated with scriptwriters to provide novel killing methods for the show.

The chilling drama, which first aired in 2018, follows British intelligence officer Eve Polastri, played by Sandra Oh as she hunts down Villanelle, a cold-blooded assassin played by Jodie Comer.

Corera shared that he was enlisted by one of the show’s producers to bring “real elements” to the “plausible” but “fantastical” series.

“I literally went away and I wrote this document called the ‘Kill List,’ which is somewhere on my laptop. Which is basically a load of different ways to kill people, but just slightly crazy quirky ways,” he told hosts Naomi Shimada and Zing Tsjeng.

According to Corera, the ideas he carefully curated ranged from things that happened 50 years ago to stories he had heard about in the news.

He revealed that the producers, which also included “Fleabag” star Phoebe Waller-Bridge, then gave the ideas “that ‘Killing Eve’ zing.”
Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri in the second series of 'Killing Eve.'

When asked about his “favorite” murder on the show, Corera spoke about season one’s assassination of the fragrance mogul Carla de Mann, who was killed by Villanelle using a poisonous homemade perfume.

“That had come from a real one [assassination] in an airport in Asia,” Corera said.

Asked if he believed full-time assassins existed in real life, Corera said that, while it sounds like a work of fiction, it is very much a reality.

“One of the things that we’ve seen in the last few years is that Russia really does have assassins. It really does send people out,” he said, referencing the 2018 Salisbury poisonings.

Corera went on to say that sexiest stereotypes mean that female spies can sometimes be more effective as they are “flying under the radar.”

Waller-Bridge has previously revealed that Villanelle’s character was influenced by convicted killer Angela Simpson, she told the New York Times last year.

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