Jodie Comer speaks out over invasion of personal space

Jodie Comer has expressed concern about the “lengths people will go to to invade” her personal space.

The Liverpool-born actress has seen her fame rise since starring in hit BBC series Killing Eve as Russian assassin Oksana Astankova, known as Villanelle.

The 31-year-old has followed this success with roles in historical film The Last Duel, opposite Adam Driver and Matt Damon, and Ryan Reynolds action comedy Free Guy.

Jodie Comer on the cover of Elle UK’s July/August issue (Elle UK/Cass Bird/PA)
Jodie Comer on the cover of Elle UK’s July/August issue (Elle UK/Cass Bird/PA)

Comer told Elle UK: “It’s probably a load of crap, but I don’t believe (fame) changes people.

“It’s just a magnifying glass that almost feeds a monster. I love acting. I’ve had some amazing experiences.

“And, yes, these opportunities are huge and glossy, but they’re so far from the life that I live.

“Going to things for the sake of it and losing my anonymity – I really don’t enjoy that. In fact, it makes me incredibly anxious.”

“I’ve had moments in my life where I don’t think you can under-estimate the lengths people will go to to invade that space.

“I think it’s important as an actor that people connect with the work and not ‘Oh, did you know yesterday she had eggs for breakfast?'”

Jodie Comer won Olivier and Tony Awards for her one-woman play Prima Facie (Elle UK/Cass Bird/PA)
Jodie Comer won Olivier and Tony Awards for her one-woman play Prima Facie (Elle UK/Cass Bird/PA)

Her latest role is in 1960s-set The Bikeriders, which also stars American actor Austin Butler and British actor Tom Hardy.

She plays Kathy, the wife of a rider, who narrates the film, as Elvis star Butler takes on the role of her husband Benny.

Recalling her time on set, Comer said: “It was all men, and I could feel myself shrinking, but not because of anything that was being done. It was fascinating to witness myself doing it. I had to have a word with myself.”

She also said women “have become integral to my life” over the last few years, before adding: “I think it’s all about surrounding yourself with people who can see something within you that you can’t.”

Last year, Comer won a Tony Award for her one-woman play Prima Facie, which follows a British defence lawyer who ends up in the witness box after being sexually assaulted. In 2023, she also took home the best actress prize at the Olivier Awards.

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Jodie Comer said her one-woman play, Prima Facie, was a ‘huge catalyst’ for her confidence (Elle UK/Cass Bird/PA)

She told the magazine she is “seeing tiny changes in people after being able to speak to loved ones about what they’ve gone through”.

However, she said it is “hard to see, when there is very little positive news being reported”.

Comer went on: “Growing up, I had a very unhealthy relationship with my body, and I’ve always had a tendency to hide it.

“Anything revealing or that showed my arms just wasn’t in my comfort zone. I went through periods of being consumed by what people thought of me – less so now, because I’m much more focused on myself.

“I do think the play (Prima Facie) was a huge catalyst for that confidence. It was the first time I’d truly respected my body, or at least fully took time to care for and nurture it.

“I was so grateful for what it was enabling me to do, and that bled into all aspects of my life. It taught me grace.”

– The July/August issue of Elle UK is on sale from June 20 and available here

– The Bikeriders is in cinemas from June 21.