This Killing Eve character was originally meant to be portrayed by someone very different

Award winning BBC show Killing Eve is hitting our screens on June 8th, and we’ve been eager to see it as soon as it was renewed.

The tense, female-dominated thriller has been a massive hit amongst fans, earning awards for Sandra Oh, Fiona Show and Jodie Corner. It’s hard to picture anyone else filling the shoes of these leading ladies, but it turns out one of their characters was originally going to be male.

According to one of the show’s producers, the role of MI6 agent Carolyn Martens might’ve been played by a man at one point. This news has come as a shock to many fans, as Fiona Shaw’s performance was hugely praised and even earned her a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress to wish she described the role as being ‘probably the greatest pleasure of her life’.

In the original Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings, the MI6 agent was a male character but they quickly realised they wanted Shaw to take on a role, which seems like it was an excellent decision.

‘In the books, originally Eve’s boss was a man. But we wanted Fiona,’ producer Sally Gentle explained.

‘We read Luke’s books and really liked them and enjoyed this female assassin and the fact there were two women. But actually, to give that a female spin and to tell that story by a woman is, we felt, a far more interesting way into it and something that we hadn’t really seen before.’

Killing Eve is a very female dominated programme, with creator and writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the helm. It was important to all involved that it was a good feminist retelling of the original story.

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Jodie Comer, who plays Villanelle, spoke about the tired sexy assassin trope we see in similar shows and films. She almost turned down the role until she released Waller-Bridge would be writing the scripts.

We love the show just the way it is and can’t wait for its second season!

Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.