Jodie Comer used feel “quite defeated” being rejected for stage roles because she didn’t go to drama school.
While the Killing Eve actress successfully landed roles in film and TV throughout her teens and early 20s, the theatre remained elusive because casting directors were hesitant about taking a risk on a performer who wasn’t traditionally trained at a drama school.
“A lot of the feedback was great,” she recalled in an interview with Vogue. “But one thing that was resounding was, like, ‘She hasn’t been to drama school and this is too big a task for someone who isn’t classically trained.’ I used to feel quite defeated by that.”
The 29-year-old made her professional stage debut on London’s West End last year in Prima Facie, a one-woman play about Tessa, a defence lawyer who must take the stand herself after being sexually assaulted.
She has won acting prizes at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and WhatsOnStage Awards for her performance and is currently nominated for an Olivier Award.
The show’s director Justin Martin saw something different than those earlier casting directors and felt Comer was perfect for Suzie Miller’s play.
“Fundamentally, she’s a stage animal,” he explained. “She has an incredible sense of humour and an emotional rawness. She’s very, very honest and absolutely fearless. And all of that bleeds into her performance and the choices that she makes onstage. It’s a natural home for her.”
Prima Facie opens on Broadway in April.
– Cover Media