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Making The Move From London To LA: A Conversation With Killing Eve Actress Nathalie Barclay


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British theatre, film and TV actress Nathalie Barclay has just moved to LA, after a high-profile role in the final episode of ‘Killing Eve’. Nathalie has also performed in many London shows, as well as in theatres around the UK – her role as Kate in ‘Visitors’ last year garnered glowing reviews from a number of national newspapers. Here she talks about the difference between LA and London, working with Hollywood stars, and what it was really like to appear in ‘Killing Eve’.

 

What was it like playing Maggie in the final episode of ‘Killing Eve’?
I had always loved ‘Killing Eve’, and it was a particularly fun role to play because it was the finale of the whole series – Villanelle and Eve were finally reunited, which is what everyone had been waiting for. They end up stealing Maggie and Donnie’s campervan and making fun of us as they drive into the sunset, and I love that my character played a part in bringing them together for a time. It was also a real ‘pinch me’ moment to spend days acting with the absolute icons and acting giants Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh.

 

 

What were Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh like to work with?
Both Jodie and Sandra were extremely warm and generous. They were so encouraging and playful, too. Working with them was also initially quite surreal because I was already such a huge fan of the show, so I felt intimately familiar with their characters, and suddenly I was stepping into their world right at the moment they are drawn back together. It was an incredible experience and I’m so proud to have been a part of it.

 

What was your experience of the shoot?
Great. Everyone was excellent at their jobs, but they also seemed to really be having fun. I think the energy on a set is often dictated by the director and the leading cast, and our director, Stella Corradi, was marvellous and kind. Most of my scenes were set in a bothy, like a stone cabin, where our characters take shelter from the raging storm with Eve and Villanelle. To get the first shot of us all coming into the bothy to escape the rain, we had to be drenched from head to toe. This guy wearing a jetpack washer went straight for Jodie and Sandra first. I watched them get sprayed right in the face with freezing cold water and I remember being quite shocked! Then, of course, it was my turn to get hosed – face first.

 

What other behind-the-scenes secrets can you share?
When I auditioned for the role, I read the scenes in my American accent. My character, Maggie, was initially going to be American, but this changed in later versions of the script. I also didn’t know much about tarot and that became quite a significant part of my character’s arc, so as part of my preparation, I read a book on tarot and learned how to do a tarot reading. I’m so glad I did, because I ended up improvising a tarot reading for Donnie [Maggie’s husband] in one of the scenes!

 

 

Tell us about your career in theatre.
I’ve worked on brilliant touring productions that have taken me all over the UK and given me the opportunity to perform at some dream venues, and I’ve also worked at prestigious regional theatres like The Watermill Theatre and The Nuffield Theatre. And it’s always a joy to perform at home in London at off-West End venues like the Park Theatre, and earlier this year at the Arcola Theatre in Hackney, in the play ‘Don’t Destroy Me’. I’ve worked with some exceptionally talented directors, writers and actors who I’ve learnt so much from.

 

You’ve had a busy year so far – what projects have you been working on? 
It’s been a good year. I played Kate in a beautiful play called ‘Visitors’ last year. It was written and directed by the remarkable Barney Norris, and we received excellent reviews across the board from The Times, The Stage and The Guardian. Then I went on to film for an Apple TV show, to be announced later this year. I’ve been working on some fun voiceover projects, and I filmed a role for a US Netflix series, which I finished just before moving to LA!

 

Tell us about your recent move to Los Angeles!
I arrived last week! So far, I absolutely love it. I’ve been blown away by the warmth and kindness of the people. There’s an extraordinary energy in this city and people’s default answer here seems to be ‘Yes’. That’s so invigorating to be around, especially as a Londoner. I’m a dual USA/UK citizen, but I’ve always lived in the UK. I felt ready for a change, and I wanted to make the most of my ability to work in the States. There’s something so special about being in a city that is home to the actor. There’s also such a healthy emphasis on the actor always being ‘in practice’ here, and showing up to acting class every week rather than waiting for the auditions to come in. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to relocate here, and there are already some exciting projects in the pipeline.

 

 

Photos credited to David Emery (Killing Eve, BBC) and Tom Crooke at Bobbin Productions.

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