FLEABAG creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has finally explained that Hot Priest twist that left her fans scratching their heads.
Viewers of the show will know that Phoebe’s character Fleabag was the only one who broke the fourth wall and spoke to the camera until the introduction of Andrew Scott as the “Hot Priest”.
But now the BAFTA-winning actress has lifted the lid on the characters’ close relationship and how she used the fourth wall to mirror their own private journeys.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge revealed that Fleabag and The Priest both feel like they’re being watched and “witnessed” the entire time.
The Priest feels he is seen by God, and Fleabag feels she is viewed by the camera.
At the end they both have to make a decision – Fleabag decides to bid farewell to the camera and The Priest chooses to stay with God and in the priesthood.
The 35-year-old actress and writer explained, “[Fleabag] has a relationship with the camera the whole way through, and it was interesting to have someone who has a similar thing, he’s mirrored [because]he has God.
“And she’s witnessed by the camera the whole way through, and in the end, the big question for her is whether or not she can let go of the camera – and he’s witnessed by God the whole time, and is always having to check into that the whole time.
“And in the end he has the same question, so I just felt like it would be a really good way to mirror each other’s journeys.”
Speaking during BAFTA Television: The Sessions – The Making of Fleabag –Waller-Bridge went on to explain that when Fleabag breaks the fourth wall it’s symbolic rather than someone in particular.
She said: “I feel like it’s that pressure of being watched, and feeling watched, and feeling like if you’re not being witnessed, does what you’re doing count for anything, does it matter?…
“She’s constantly grappling with this need for the audience to validate her. It’s a really fraught… relationship.
“For me it was more about that, and the same for him [The Priest], constantly questioning – there’s a pressure on him the whole time, asking him if he’s a good person.”
The multi award-winning actress also explained she wanted a love interest for Fleabag who could “match her intelligence and perceptiveness”.
Fleabag is nominated for three TV Craft Awards (Director: Fiction, Editing: Fiction, Writer: Comedy), and four TV Awards (Female Comedy Performance: Sian Clifford, Female Comedy Performance: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Scripted Comedy, and Virgin Media Must-See Moment: Confessional scene).
The British Academy Television Craft Awards take place on Friday 17 July and will be broadcast from 7pm on the BAFTA YouTube channel and BAFTA’s Facebook page
The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will be broadcast on BBC One on Friday 31 July.