Phoebe Waller-Bridge: P Joe Sabia: J
P: And the guinea pig took off her knee pads, got off her skateboard, and said “Fuck you. Fuck you!” Thank you. Wow, great crowd, wow!
J: What a rousing performance!
P: Alright, Joe!
P: Alright. Just how we say hello here.
J: Oh! Alright. Well, I’m here to ask you 73 questions…
J: So what material am I walking in on right now?
P: This is a rehearsal of Fleabag, the play.
J: And what is the significance of this theater we’re in right now?
P: This is the very same space I ever did the preview of Fleabag.
J: And what’s the most memorable theatrical moment you’ve had in the theater?
P: In quite an early performance, I was performing right here, and there was a girl sat in the front row who laughed so hard at a joke that her boob came out.
J: Okay, then. Well, Fleabag is now a massive hit, and I’m a huge fan.
P: Thank you.
J: Where did the concept of the show come from?
P: I think it was really inspired by the cynicism I was feeling in my twenties, and then also wanting to play a character I can really relate to, and also a touch of female rage.
J: How would you define female rage?
P: Uncontrollable, violent, female anger.
J: And Killing Eve is another show that I’m a big fan of.
P: Thank you.
J: How would you condense that series into a quick little soundbite?
P: Murder, murder, hair.
J: Now, which do you prefer, writing from multiple points of view or writing from a singular point of view?
P: I do like writing from a single point view because it means you really have to delve into the psychology of one person.
J: And how different or difficult was that to write without also acting it?
P: It was kind of a relief to begin with, but then I did start to miss it.
J: When talking about Fleabag, I heard you said it was hard to not look at the camera. Does it feel good to be in front the camera again?
F: What do you mean? This is not… this is just your face isn’t it? Can you feel that?
J: I was just testing you. Of course it’s my face. There’s no camera here.
P: Should we move on?
Woman: See you tomorrow!
P: Bye guys! Thanks so much. Great pretend rehearsal.
J: So, Fleabag is the show that I binge recently. What’s the show that you binge recently?
J: What’s your dream role in life?
P: I’d really like to play someone who’s brought up in the wild, like raised by animals.
J: What’s your favorite word in the English dictionary?
J: Favorite podcast in the podcast pantheon?
P: “Guilt and Shame” and “Guilty Feminists”. Just anything with the word guilt in it.
J: Favorite artist?
P: René Magritte.
J: Favorite artistic moment in the history of all art?
P: In the history of all art… Fuck you.
J: Who’s your favorite British idiom?
P: Never look a gift horse in the house. In the house? In the mouse!
J: Favorite American idiom?
P: I’m just gonna circle back.
J: Biggest difference between American and British humor?
P: I think if it’s really truly funny, there really shouldn’t be a difference.
J: What’s one thing fans will be shocked to learn about you?
P: I didn’t write any of it.
J: Would you consider a stand-up ever?
J: Can you tell me a joke?
P: First hurdle.
J: Phoebe, you are staging the world’s biggest art heist. What lie did you tell the security guard to let you into the museum?
P: I am the main security guard.
J: So I can see you on your way out. What do you have planned for the rest of your day?
P: I’m gonna go into the Fleabag edit. It’s the final day.
J: Oh, I cannot wait for that. You find yourself on a plane, do you take the window or aisle seat?
J: You find yourself on a train, are you riding backwards or forwards?
J: How do you unwind?
P: Oh, sleep.
J: Who’s your favorite designer right now?
P: Galvan, who designed my amazing liquid red thing from the Golden Globes.
J: Who’s the most stylish fictional person?
J: Who’s the most stylish real person?
P: Bill Nighy.
J: What would you consider to be your beauty philosophy?
P: Don’t overthink it, but also, eyebrows.
J: Can you tell me a PG-rated version of the most R-rated story that you have?
P: Oh, wow. I did do a play here upstairs when I was in bath, naked with somebody for…I don’t know if there’s a PG version of this story actually. Let’s move on. This is Maddie who played Fleabag in the tour.
J: Oh, very cool.
P: Hey Maddie!
J: Hey Maddie!
J: Favorite gift you ever received?
P: Build your own gingerbread house, I got this Christmas from my mom, and then I also got a very beautiful bracelet.
J: Oh, that sounds really really nice.
P: Bye box office.
Woman: Bye bye.
P: See ya.
J: Favorite gift you ever given?
P: I gave my brother a record, and I had recorded all of his friends singing happy birthday and sending lovely messages to him on it. I was really chuffed about that.
J: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
J: Ok, I see the work station over here. Can you tell me what you’re currently working on?
P: No, of course not.
J: What three words describe your writing process?
P: Panic, panic, hope.
J: And what is a crucial aspect to your creative process?
P: Panic and hope.
J: What would you say to anyone in a creative rut?
P: Read and walk around. Get out of bed and call someone who can complain about your rut to.
J: Okay, show me a hidden talent.
P: Are you ready?
P: And then..
J: What? Okay, that is weirding me out.
J: Yes. Tremendously so.
J: What’s the best description of London that you’ve heard?
P: That it’s a lovely country.
J: What’s your favorite thing about Soho?
P: Oh sorry. People just open doors to you whenever you want to leave the room. Thank you. The seven noses of Soho.
J: And what’s the most English thing I can do while I’m here?
P: Apologize for everything.
J: What’s your favorite insult?
P: Can you bleep it out cuz American really don’t like this word. CUNT!
J: Oh, we bleeped that out. Favorite quote?
P: We write to taste life twice.
J: Which is the hardest to nail, imitations or accents?
J: Are you good at imitations?
J: I don’t believe it for a second. And you’re a pal with Donald Glover. What’s he like to work with?
P: He’s an adorable little kitten.
J: Can you tell me something about him that absolutely no one in this world knows?
P: No, why would I do that?
J: Okay, so we have a British red phone booth. People don’t actually use these anymore, right?
P: Oh they do, but mainly to urinate and call up prostitutes.
J: You said Fleabag is not autobiographical, but what would you say are your biggest similarities with her as a character?
P: Deep down she’s a hopeless romantic.
J: And what’s your favorite thing about her?
P: She lives to make you laugh.
J: And it’s going off Broadway?
J: Will this be your first time performing onstage in New York?
J: Who is someone you’d love to see in that audience?
P: Glenn Close.
J: What dating advice would you give anyone who’s single right now?
P: Always smell good.
J: What’s the worst first date you’ve ever had?
P: Someone who was more boring than they were hot. Does that make sense?
J: Yeah, kind of. What would you like to be remember for?
P: My favorite lamppost. Making people love.
J: And who would you ask 73 questions to?
P: Um, Rasputin.
Fan: Oh my gosh! Oh hi, Phoebe. Love the show.
P: Thanks so much, thank you! Fans.
J: Do you normally get recognized on the street?
P: Ah, yes.
J: Peaceful ambience outside we have here. How do you handle pressure in your career?
P: I think I feed off it.
J: Do you have any regrets in life?
J: What is the some of the best advice that you’ve ever given or received?
P: Um, my mom’s always given me the best advice. And there’s one in particular, when I remember she said to me when I was younger “One day darling you’ll walk into a room and there’ll be somebody there who you’re very attracted to, and you might just want to have sex with them immediately, and they might want to have sex with you immediately, but that doesn’t mean you have to”
J: That’s good advice. Now what’s the best advice that you’ve completely ignored?
P: Don’t eat that.
J: What’s a question you generally detest being asked?
P: What’s like being a human in comedy? What’s it like being a woman in this industry? What’s like being a woman?
J: What’s a question you wanna be asked more?
P: Um, are you a model?
J: Do you want me to ask that question?
P: Go on.
J: Alright, so we’re in a park. Tell me something a little bit more about this park.
P: This is where I always end up after gay pride.
J: Where did you grow up, Phoebe?
P: I grew up in Ealing.
J: How would you describe your upbringing?
P: Loud, loving, and flatulent.
J: Look at that dog behind you, that’s so cute!
P: Aw! Are you doing something behind my back?
J: Morning person or night person, what are you?
J: Pilates or yoga?
J: Jogging or swimming?
J: Very random party, it’s a good party, karaoke happens, what do you do?
P: Take it very seriously.
J: And I heard you have a theory of song selections.
P: Yeah, I think you can an awful lot about…
J: That guy’s loving it.
P: You can tell a lot about a person by how they conduct themselves in a karaoke session.
J: What would you pick?
P: He’s a Tramp from Lady and the Tramp.
J: woo, that’s a good selection. When in doubt, you should always go with Frank Sinatra. I guess, right? Phoebe, last question, before you head to your appointment, would you be able to give some feedback on a script?
P: Oh yeah, sure.
J: Drop me a line..
P: I will give you encouragement to read it.