Killing Eve: Starring Sandra Oh in a Role that in the Book was of White Woman

Returning to the small screen, Sandra Oh (The Grey’s Anatomy) makes her series-regular TV comeback in BBC America’s Killing Eve, an assassin drama from Fleabag breakout Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Killing Eve premieres Sunday, April 8, at 8 p.m. on BBC America.

Tale of Women

The dramatic thriller revolves around two women. The first, Eve (Sandra Oh), is a bored, whip-smart, pay-grade MI5 security officer whose desk-bound job doesn’t fulfill her fantasies of being a spy. The other is Villanelle, a mercurial, talented killer who clings to the luxuries her violent job affords her. Jodie Comer, The White Princess actress taking on the role of Villanelle, the killer.

Other major femme roles include Fiona Shaw portrays Carolyn, the lead MI6 agent, and Kirby Howell-Baptise as Eve’s assistant, Elena.

Oh is still best known for playing Dr. Cristina Yang, the driven surgeon she portrayed on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy for 10 seasons, a role for which she earned a Golden Globe, two SAG Awards and five Emmy nominations.

Christina in Grey’s Anatomy Vs. Eve in New Series

Sandra Oh:I feel very much in a completely different and separate world with Killing Eve.  I was happy for the departure. They are both determined characters, but I’m so interested in Eve in her frazzled-ness and how she doesn’t have things under control. How she’s quite insecure and has not found her voice. That’s initially what gravitated me toward this project. Also, my character is intricately involved with Villanelle and whatever that might mean; that you’re constantly in this tone and style of the thriller, that it’s so different. I’m happy and proud to play Eve; it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.”

Killing Eve is based on Luke Jennings’ novella, in which the character of Eve was white.  The actress praised BBC America for making a change from the source material.

Sandra Oh: “Eve is much more serious in the novella and the character was white,” Oh said. “I am not white, I’m Asian. I’m extremely pleased that was taken into consideration in the casting and wasn’t taken into consideration in the casting, if you know what I mean. That’s a considerable casting choice.”

Getting the Role:

SO: I was walking down the street in Brooklyn and I was looking at my phone and my agent said oh, there’s this thing that had come up and I will tell you, I will share this story with you.  So I’m looking just to tell you a little bit where I am with it.  I was looking at this script and I was kind of going through the script and honestly I was looking at oh, where is the part of the doctor or the teacher or whoever is on this sci-fi the, you know, detective or whatever and then I was on the phone with my agent I remember like so what is the part for?  Who’s the part for?  And then she said it’s for Eve. I was thrilled about that and I read it and also I was familiar with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s work on “Fleabag” and I just think her voice is fresh and interesting and hilarious and I really liked the subject matter and so I said yes.