Phoebe Waller-Bridge says she was in no mood to return for a second season of Fleabag, simply because she had no convincing reason to explain why her character decides to start breaking the fourth wall again.
The show, which Waller-Bridge created and also stars in, revolves around Fleabag, who is an angry, confused and sexually active woman in her 30s who lives in London.
As Fleabag, the actor often broke the fourth wall, talking to straight into the camera or looking at it during awkward and weird moments.
But towards the end of the first season, she stops doing this as a secret is revealed.
Talking to Jimmy Fallon during her appearance on his show The Tonight Show, Waller-Bridge said the first season ended on a “proper” note so she needed a valid explanation for the second season.
“I was very smug about not coming back because I thought I had a lot of artistic integrity in not coming back after the first season because the first season had a proper ending in my mind. It was based on a play and it was adapted to the same ending. I felt like, in the first season, it was the most interesting version of that girl’s story we were ever gonna hear.
“Unless I can reinvent a reason for why she talks to the camera again, I can’t see how I can justify coming back because the whole point of the first (season) was she had this front and this persona to the camera until this secret was revealed and then she’s kind of shy,” Waller-Bridge said.
The 34-year-old actor said she then found the reason in Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest, a love interest for Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, and soon the whole second season started to take shape.
“When I came up with the trick of another character seeing that she looks to the camera, that’s when the whole thing cracked open again,” Waller-Bridge said.
The second season premiered in early 2019 and won top honours at Television Critics Association Awards in all three categories in which it was nominated – Individual Achievement in Comedy for Waller-Bridge, Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Programme of the Year.
Fleabag is contesting for 11 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Best Comedy Series and Best Actress for Waller-Bridge.