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Killing Eve's title role was offered to Maya Rudolph – but she turned it down

Maya Rudolph as June in Forever
(Image credit: Amazon Prime Video)

Maya Rudolph has revealed that she was originally offered the titular role in Killing Eve, but turned it down despite really wanting to work with creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Based on Luke Jennings' Codename Villanelle novellas, the globe-trotting comedy thriller follows disillusioned, off-the-books MI6 operative Eve Polastri, who recovers a zest for life as she attempts to hunt down Villanelle, a psychopathic assassin who's equal parts elusive and alluring.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), Rudolph recalled that she had not long watched – and loved – Fleabag, Waller-Bridge's lauded series, when she was approached to play Eve by the team at BBC America. Although tempted, the former Saturday Night Live star opted out, as she didn't want to uproot her life to film the show.

"There was no way I was about to move to Europe for months. Like, how?" she told the publication.

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri in Killing Eve season 4

(Image credit: BBC America)

As fans know, the character went on to be played by Sandra Oh, earning the Grey's Anatomy alum three Primetime Emmy nominations and a BAFTA TV win. Oh shared the screen with Jodie Comer, who played Villanelle across the show's four seasons, Kim Bodnia (as Villanelle's handler Konstantin), Owen McDonnell (as Eve's husband Niko), and Fiona Shaw ( as MI6 boss Carolyn Martens).

While Waller-Bridge adapted the first season, Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell penned the second. Fear the Walking Dead's Suzanne Heathcote acted as head writer on the third, while the fourth and final season was overseen by Sex Education's Laura Neal.

Killing Eve is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer in the UK, and Hulu in the US. If you've already tuned in and are looking for something else to watch, then check out our roundup of the best TV shows of all time for some viewing inspiration. 

Amy West
Amy West

I am a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.