Entertainment

Phoebe Waller-Bridge: From the fringes of Edinburgh to the toast of Hollywood

The London-born actress, writer and producer's star continues to rise in the UK and in the US.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is perhaps the most in-demand star in television after her hit TV series Fleabag picked up a raft of Golden Globe nominations.

Fleabag, the sitcom she created and stars in, saw Waller-Bridge nominated for her leading role in the comedy, while her co-star Andrew Scott picked up a supporting actor nod.

The series has also been nominated in the best television series (musical or comedy) category for next year’s glitzy awards ceremony.

The nominations for the Golden Globes come after a strong year for the British star, who in September saw Fleabag pick up six Emmy Awards, the biggest night in US television.

She won three awards: lead actress in a comedy, outstanding writing in a comedy and outstanding comedy series, the latter of which was a shock win over previous winners Veep and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

Following her Emmys success, Amazon announced it had signed the actress, writer and producer to a multimillion-pound deal.

Born in London, Waller-Bridge, 34, graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before starting her career in 2009 with an appearance in the play Roaring Trade.

She followed it up with TV roles in comedy series The Cafe and crime drama Broadchurch, as well as parts in films including Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady.

However, Waller-Bridge is best known for creating and starring in Fleabag.

Fleabag began as a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2013, featuring Waller-Bridge as an angry and confused young woman struggling to navigate life in London.

In a portent of what was to come, the production won the Fringe First Award.

Sian Clifford, Brett Gelman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Andrew Scott, Lydia Hampson
Sian Clifford, from left, Lydia Hampson, Brett Gelman, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Andrew Scott arrive at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Festival success caught the attention of the BBC, which commissioned a six-part series for BBC Three.

Fleabag’s TV adaption, also starring future Oscar winner Olivia Colman, Sian Clifford and Brett Gelman, arrived in 2016 to critical acclaim and soon found itself with a wider audience on BBC Two, with Amazon handling distribution in the US.

Waller-Bridge’s performance earned her the Bafta for best female comedy performance, however the show was snubbed at the Emmys.

After the success of Fleabag’s first season, Waller-Bridge turned her attention to adapting Luke Jennings’s Villanelle novel series for the small screen.

Killing Eve arrived in April 2018, starring Sandra Oh as an MI5 agent on the tail of Jodie Comer’s psychopathic assassin Villanelle.

The show was another massive success, cementing Waller-Bridge’s reputation as one of Hollywood’s most in-demand talents.

Anticipation ahead of Fleabag’s second season was now sky-high, despite its creator saying she came “very close” to not bringing it back.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag began as a one-woman show in Edinburgh (Matt Humphrey/The Corner Shop/PA)

Season two arrived in April of this year to almost unprecedented acclaim.

Viewers again fell in love with the titular character’s fourth wall-breaking comic asides, as her voracious sexual appetite continued unabated as she was joined by Scott as the “hot priest”.

On the review website Rotten Tomatoes, Fleabag’s return holds a rating of 100%.

Waller-Bridge then became the toast of Hollywood earlier this year after enjoying a stunning night at the Emmys with the multiple wins.

Shortly after, Amazon announced it had tied down Waller-Bridge to an exclusive deal, with reports in the US suggesting it was worth around 20 million US dollars (£16 million) per year over three years.

Waller-Bridge has also completed her work on the script of the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die, after being suggested to producers by Bond actor Daniel Craig.

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