While the lead’s actions may be hilarious or outrageous, the underlying problems of Fleabag aren’t trivial. It began as a stand-up monologue that Waller-Bridge performed on a dare by a friend in London, she says: “It was a 10-minute story about a girl who gave the front of being very sexually confident and borderline arrogant, but she was using that to basically tell the story of this terrible tragedy.” The idea was expanded to a full-length one-woman show that she performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to rave reviews, before developing it as a series.
Waller-Bridge cites characters such as Frank Underwood from House of Cards as her inspirations. “You never know when he’s going to use you as an audience or not, and you never know how much you can trust him,” she says. She also looked to Louis C.K.’s alter ego on Louie as well, for “him being completely flawed as a central character and sort of struggling.” Her Fleabag also makes the case that bad girls deserve our sympathy, too.
Faux fur coat by McQ, sweater by Le Kilt. Hair: Josh Knight at Unit 30 using Bumble and Bumble. Makeup: Victoria Bond at Caren using MAC Cosmetics.