Actress Fiona Shaw gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the latest season.

By Scott Bay
April 19, 2020
Scenes from Killing Eve Season 3
Credit: Ludovic Robert/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

Actress Fiona Shaw — known for her role as Petunia Dursley in the Harry Potter film franchise and her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company — is an avid traveler. She has been around the globe on film sets and for leisure, and some of her favorite destinations include her home country, Ireland, and the Galapagos Islands.

Killing Eve, for those who haven’t tuned in, is a dramedy that follows Eve (Sandra Oh), an MI6 operative, and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a psychopathic assassin. The two are obsessed with one another, leading them down a dark and brutal path. Shaw’s character, Carolyn Martens, is the principled MI6 head of the Russian desk who is as quick-witted as she is ruthless.

While filming the series, Shaw traveled around the UK and Romania, and even shot some scenes inside London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. Shaw sat down with Travel + Leisure to discuss the latest season and some of her favorite moments on set.

Travel + Leisure: What can viewers look forward to seeing in Killing Eve season 3?

Fiona Shaw: Carolyn’s story gets much more personal. For one thing, her daughter is introduced — it's very interesting to have another member of her family appear, and see what that means to Carolyn. The story in itself is absolutely wild this year. Audiences have gotten to know the characters very well, so Suzanne Heathcote has honed a very interesting plot that will change some perspectives for the audience.

What are you personally most excited about for season 3?

It was much more challenging for me as an actor. Up until this season, Carolyn did a lot of private dialogue with the audience, and with herself. Her personal life is hiding from the audience. And now, a lot of that gets to be sandblasted away. It's much more direct. I think that's a really good challenge.

Scenes from Killing Eve Season 3
Credit: Des Willie/BBCA

What locations have you traveled to while filming?

We filmed a lot around London this year. Beautiful places in London — I have a scene in the Royal Albert Hall, which is a thrill to shoot in because of how important it is to [the city]. We also shot a little bit outside London, in the shires. Other members of the cast went to Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. In previous seasons, I was on location in Romania.

What was your favorite destination?

Definitely Bucharest, Romania. We stayed in a hotel that was near the marvelous city hall with the balcony where Nicolae Ceaușescu — the former president of Romania — was rescued by helicopter in 1989, only to be shot an hour later. I had a driver who used to work with Ceaușescu, and he was able to tell me about the wave of discontent that went across the crowd at that moment — the beginning of a revolution. To be able to stand on that balcony and be there was very exciting. I also went to several art galleries which were fantastic.

What are some of your most memorable moments while filming?

We laugh a lot. Only then to panic about running out of time on set. I very much enjoyed filming the end of the season where we — my daughter on set, Gemma Whelan, and myself — would sit around behind-the-scenes and exchange stories. I also loved my daily travel from London to the shires toward the end of the season. We filmed from late autumn into the winter. Seeing the landscape and seasons change gave me a real sense of the countryside — it was quite a privilege, even though I would complain about the long journeys.

Where are you looking forward to traveling in the future?

My dream is to visit Argentina or Chile. But I’ll have to wait and instead go to Ireland once we are all freed from this lockdown to see my 94-year-old mother. Then, I’ll head to see my two brothers who live in the south of France. If I have time between filming and family visits, I’ll head to South America.

Killing Eve season 3 currently airs on BBC America and AMC each Sunday.