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'I have to say I do lose sleep over it' - Fiona Shaw talks Killing Eve, her Irish upbringing, celebrity, tragedy, and marriage

Shakespearan actor Fiona Shaw has found a brand new audience thanks to her scene-stealing turns in 'Killing Eve' and 'Fleabag'

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The stars pf Killing Eve: Sandra Oh, Fiona Shaw, and Jodie Comer

The stars pf Killing Eve: Sandra Oh, Fiona Shaw, and Jodie Comer

Fiona Shaw and her wife Sonali Deraniyagala

Fiona Shaw and her wife Sonali Deraniyagala

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The stars pf Killing Eve: Sandra Oh, Fiona Shaw, and Jodie Comer

You look great, I tell Fiona Shaw. Must be the pig's placenta. Shaw (60), pretty and angular in a soft grey shirt, smiles enigmatically from the sofa of her north London home. Pig's placenta is her MI6 officer Carolyn Martens's beauty secret in the second series of Killing Eve, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's dark, wildly successful thriller about a psychopathic female assassin called Villanelle and Eve Polastri, the agent hunting her down.

But pig's placenta aside, Shaw puts her youthful appearance down to "not being in the theatre every single night". Which is where she's been for pretty much the past 30 years. Formerly known for a huge body of iconic stage roles, including Hedda Gabler, Medea, Electra and Richard II, as well as for playing Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter films, Shaw's fame is now more attributable to her transition to television.

In Killing Eve, Waller-Bridge has taken a genre that's a little worn out - the international-assassin thriller - and given it a completely different slant. The show won five awards at the Baftas last month - including Outstanding Drama Series and Best Supporting Actress for Shaw, who in her acceptance speech referred to the "glass-shattering genius" of Waller-Bridge.


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