***This interview contains spoilers for 4.03***
In last night’s episode of Killing Eve
, Pam, played by Anjana Vasan talked to Hélène (Camille Corrin), eager to get away from her brother (Manpreet Bachu) and start working for her, but she told Pam she was not ready. Not happy and fed up with her brother, Pam murdered him thinking it would move the timeline forward, but it only served to anger Hélène for disobeying. However, Hélène approached Konstantin (Kim Bodnia) to start Pam’s training as an assassin.
According to Vasan, Pam is miserable and desperate to start working for Hélène, because she is offering something she didn’t think she could have. “I think there's an element of grooming involved with this story between Hélène and Pam, because…she's in a kind of a desperate situation,” Vasan told Jamie Ruby of SciFi Vision in an exclusive interview. “I think what Hélène promises is something more extraordinary. Just Hélène, as herself, is so aspirational, and I think she kind of feeds slowly into Pam's idea that she can get out of this place…So, I think she's kind of seduced in a way by what Hélène is offering. And I think she assumes that people who look like Hélène, who are from where they are, from a much more privileged background, must be doing important work or worthy work, and there's a reason for why they do what they do, because they're rich, expensive looking important people. So, she's very naive in that sense, but that's why she's easily influenced and molded potentially into something more dangerous.”
Is there a line that Pam won’t cross? “Well, I think the interesting thing about Pam is,” said the actress, “I think with Killing Eve
there is the larger question that I feel like it always battles this idea of natural born killers. Are they made this way? Can you go back once you've done something like that? I think that is a contradiction and a question that she starts to battle with…So, what makes that interesting, that fight that she has inside her head about it, is that she could go [either] way.”
Vasan, who was a fan of the series before getting the role, enjoyed her time working with Bodnia, saying he was “super lovely and super exciting to work with,” adding that Pam and Konstantin are an odd pair. “I think that’s what makes it exciting, because they're both forced into a situation that they didn't expect,” said Vasan.
During the interview, the actress also talked about what it was like working with Sandra Oh, one of her heroes (and beating her up!) and much more. Please read the full transcript below and be sure to watch Killing Eve
Sundays on BBC America and AMC+.
SCIFI VISION: Can you start talking about how did you first start working on the show?
It was literally just an audition that came into my inbox, and I freaked out a bit, because I am a massive fan of the show…In that audition process, they also sent me an episode, like, you know, top secret, you can have a look at episode one. I was most excited about that, like, “Well, even if I don't get it, I get to know what happens next.” That was what was most exciting about that process.
Then, I kind of didn't expect to hear anything from it. Then, I did, and I was excited for about thirty seconds, and then completely terrified, about walking into a show like this, that I love with actors I really respect and not wanting to screw up, essentially, and wanting to make sure I [did] a good job. And I didn't know what kind of set it was going to be be like. I thought, “It's such a big show,” but it was really friendly and collaborative and super welcoming, and that's what I loved about it. So, it was extremely satisfying once I got on set. All the nerves just kind of went away, and it was just really fun to play.What was it like getting to work with these people that you that you liked so much? I know, especially, you got to beat up Sandra. That's probably not something you get to do every day.
And not something I, personally, Anjana, wants to do. [laughs]
She's just like, “Go for it.” Yeah, she's wonderful, and she's definitely a hero of mine. I know they always say like, “Don't meet your heroes,” and I think, in this instance, it’s the opposite, because they are exactly what you hope they will be. They're very friendly and very generous but also led by their work and not by their ego, and their work speaks for themselves, and I think that's what makes them exceptional actors.
What was it like though filming that stunt scene?
Yeah, we kind of block it out and rehearse it a couple of times and just make sure everyone's feeling safe. Then, you just kind of go through it on the day. It's all quite fast. I think the stunt team is very good at their job. I’d definitely not done anything like that before with stunts, but they made me feel like I was I was able to and capable enough to do it. So, it was mostly just very fun.
Cool. Well, I assume if you're going to be an assassin, you're going to get more of that. Can you talk a bit though about why Pam is so intent to work with Hélène?...Why is it so important to her? Why she willing to go that far?
I think there's an element of grooming involved with this story between Hélène and Pam, because, crucially what we see, particularly with her brother, is that she's in a kind of a desperate situation. She's in quite a miserable place in her life, because as much as she loves her job, she's isolated. She doesn't have any friends. Her parents are no longer with her. I think what Hélène promises is something more extraordinary. Just Hélène, as herself, is so aspirational, and I think she kind of feeds slowly into Pam's idea that she can get out of this place. I don't think that Pam ever imagined that her world would be any anything beyond her bedroom and then the mortuary and the funeral home. I don't think she has anything, has never thought of that idea beyond that. So, I think she's kind of seduced in a way by what Hélène is offering. And I think she assumes that people who look like Hélène, who are from where they are, from a much more privileged background, must be doing important work or worthy work, and there's a reason for why they do what they do, because they're rich, expensive looking important people. So, she's very naive in that sense, but that's why she's easily influenced and molded potentially into something more dangerous.
Do you think that there is a line though that if Hélène tries to push her too far into doing certain things that she won't cross in the end?
Well, I think the interesting thing about Pam is I think with Killing Eve
there is the larger question that I feel like it always battles this idea of natural born killers. Are they made this way? Can you go back once you've done something like that? I think that is a contradiction and a question that she starts to battle with. So, it's that thing of seeing someone who doesn't seem like she could be a killer, but then also clearly is capable of doing it. Then, kind of building throughout the show is that question. So, what makes that interesting, that fight that she has inside her head about it, is that she could go any way, in terms of how Pam fits into the story of the other characters and sides, for lack of a better word. I feel like she could go either way, and that’s what makes it surprising.
As an assassin, are you going to end up with a really fabulous wardrobe at all? Maybe not as much as Jodi but…
I don’t think anyone can compete with Villanelle’s wardrobe, and I don't think that Pam could even pull off any of the looks. Nobody else can. There is only one Villanelle. But what's interesting is, because she's someone who's so hidden and small and kind of uncomfortable in her own skin in a way, there is a kind of weird confidence of like release of something that happens when she kills…Even working with Konstantin, she goes through a little bit of a journey there. So, there's a change. I don't think it’s as fabulous, well it can't be as fabulous as Villanelle, but there's a change within her. In her own Pam way, I think she gets more comfortable in her own weirdness. If that makes sense.
Yeah, that makes sense. Can you talk about working with Kim? He seems like he's a lot of fun.
So much fun and just very surprising. He’ll throw things at you [that] you respond to, and he's just super lovely and super exciting to work with. Yeah, it was a lot of fun, because they are an odd pair, I think, Pam and Konstantin. I think that’s what makes it exciting, because they're both forced into a situation that they didn't expect. He's like a force of nature, and that laugh gets me every time. So, it's very hard to keep a face whenever he laughs. That was the biggest challenge for me. It was keeping a straight face, because he's very funny.
So do you have a favorite scene coming up that you can tease that you're allowed to seize?
Oh, gosh. I feel like I'd be giving it away if I did. There's some surprising stuff that even surprised me reading it…Maybe some stunts that were quite cool to do. I'll leave it at that.
Have you learned anything about yourself from working on this show, either as an actress or just in general?
Yeah, I think definitely I felt it was so sort of led by instincts, because the scripts were coming in; you had to really honor your instincts for the person that you're playing. Yes, we could collaborate and check in with the writers all the time, but it's something quite freeing about it, because my background is theater, and you know what you're getting before you start. You slowly build it up, and by the time you're in front of an audience, you have the complete sort of picture, and it changes every night, but you know what you're doing. With this, you [have] to be more fearless about how you approach it and much more bold about the choices that you make. I think that's a really good thing. So, I've not done anything like that before. That was very exciting to do, to completely rely on your instincts in that sense of like, well I'm gonna make this choice, because I don't know what, for example, Episode Five will say, but I'm going with what I have in Episode Four, and I'm going to go with these choices and not kind of apologize for that…[This] isn’t a situation where you’ve got like, eight scripts right in front of you, and you can plot and plan premeditate too much about what you're going to do. There's always prep that you have to do, but that was a process that I was not very familiar with, and I think it just made me sort of lose some inhibitions and lose some kind of like self consciousness with it and just kind of go for it, and I think that's always a very useful skill to have as an actor.