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Fiona Shaw not processing 'Killing Eve' in the past 'quite yet'

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Fiona Shaw not processing 'Killing Eve' in the past 'quite yet'
Fiona Shaw's "Killing Eve" is wrapping up its four-season run Sunday night. Photo courtesy of BBC America

NEW YORK, April 10 (UPI) -- Fiona Shaw says she doesn't expect to fully understand what the globe-spanning espionage dramedy Killing Eve has meant to her until after Sunday's series finale airs.

"I've so enjoyed playing Carolyn. I wish I could go on playing her every week forever," the 63-year-old actress told UPI in a Zoom interview from her London home Thursday.

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"It's on the television at the moment, so I can't go down the street without people coming up and going, 'Oh, my God!' They haven't had the final episode here yet, so it does feel very, very present. I'm not processing it in the past quite yet. I still feel a part of it."

The show centers on Eve (Sandra Oh), a former MI5 analyst-turned-security-specialist who is drawn equally to and repelled by killer-for-hire Villanelle (Jodie Comer). Shaw plays Carolyn, Eve's ex-boss and the former head of MI6's Russian division, whose links to the shadowy criminal enterprise, The Twelve, are unclear until the closing episode's final moments.

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"I was very gratified that I had a sequence with Villanelle because, otherwise, I would have gone through all of those seasons without meeting Villanelle," Shaw explained.

"I'd so enjoyed working with Sandra, so it was very nice then to have some time with Jodie because [the characters] had become a sort of triumvirate."

Shaw liked the challenges showrunner Laura Neal threw in Carolyn's path in the fourth and final season.

"I found it very hard being plucked out of MI6 and sent to Russia. I thought that was taking away the very things that made Carolyn Carolyn, then I had to find some other things that made Carolyn Carolyn, other than power, wit, connections and the ability to solve everything. Suddenly, she couldn't solve anything," the actress said.

While the fates of most of the show's main characters are definitively wrapped up in the last two episodes, the door remains open for Carolyn to go on more adventures.

Shaw would be interested in reprising the role "way down the road" if the opportunity arose for her to get a spinoff of her own or appear in a Carolyn origin story with another actress playing the agent in her younger years.

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"I certainly haven't read anything or seen anything," she emphasized. "I'm very gratified, again, that people think that Carolyn's character should go on through another being. Maybe it will, but certainly I have no knowledge of it at the moment."

The actress, famous for her dramatic theater work, as well as her portrayal of Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter film franchise and Marnie Stonebrook in True Blood, said she loved exploring Carolyn's restrained energy level because it was unlike anything she had experienced before.

"I think it's to do with the television camera," she said. "The camera really enjoys that reticence and that pulling away from stuff. I, myself, am quite a buoyant person, so it was quite intriguing to play the opposite of what I was and to believe that it would hold."

Shaw thinks viewers are drawn to Killing Eve because they want to live vicariously through these three brilliant, dangerous women.

"They both wish they were Carolyn and I'm sure they are very relieved that they are not Carolyn," Shaw explained.

"Carolyn, Eve and Villanelle inhabit a universe where all of us might fantasize about elements of it, like wearing lovely clothes and traveling around the place, but none of us would want the instability of their lives, the lack of connection and solidity and the opaque morality."

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Asked if working on Killing Eve made her more suspicious of people in power, Shaw laughed and said, "Reality has made me more suspicious of people in power."

Both the TV show and daily news headlines reflect the "power of these people with obscene amounts of money" who don't seem to care about how their actions and decisions impact other people, Shaw observed.

"What's been really scary is that Killing Eve in its most outlandishness has not suddenly seemed that outlandish," she said.

"The corruption of all our governments has been absolutely breathtaking. We are in a very unstable moment," she continued. "I think our leaders are too old. We need a new generation to come in everywhere, who are more idealistic. There is something very weary about where we are."

Shaw noted we also seem to be in an era of "endless, brilliant quality television."

She herself is now filming Anansi Boys -- an adaptation of a novel of Neil Gaiman, the creator of American Gods and Good Omens -- in Scotland. She also recently completed a role in the Star Wars: Rogue One prequel series, Andor.

"It felt like I was stepping into this huge world of international performing and I am very honored to be part of that team," she said of Andor.

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"Same with Anansi Boys, which is set partially in London, partially in Florida and partially in the West Indies. It has a wonderful diverse company of people playing, so I am enjoying that," she added. "It's a wonderful moment. There is a renaissance. How we all find the time to watch all these things I don't know, but we seem to be."

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