BAZ BAMIGBOYE: From assassin to bank robber – Jodie Comer is aiming for big time

Jodie Comer is shooting the final scenes of what’s being called a ‘game changer’ of a role for her

Jodie Comer is shooting the final scenes of what’s being called a ‘game changer’ of a role for her

Jodie Comer is shooting the final scenes of what’s being called a ‘game changer’ of a role for her

Jodie Comer is shooting the final scenes of what’s being called a ‘game changer’ of a role for her.

The Killing Eve actress has been filming the movie Free Guy, an action adventure comedy picture, in Boston. It’s her first major film and she stars with Ryan Reynolds, who plays a bank clerk who realises that he’s stuck in the middle of an immersive video game.

Comer’s in the game too, as a bank robber, and she has a second role in the ‘real’ world, playing what has been described as a ‘regular’ person.

The film has been set a July 3, 2020, opening date for here and America. ‘It’s a big date to release blockbusters, particularly in the U.S.,’ a film consultant based in New York explained.

‘It’s a game changer for Comer. She’s rightly massive because of Killing Eve but it’s something else entirely if a big movie takes off at the box office,’ the consultant added.

At one point Kenneth Branagh was eager for Comer to be in his film of Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile but filming dates clashed with the third series of Killing Eve, which begins shooting next month.

Reynolds is also a producer of Free Guy, along with Shawn Levy, the director known for his Night At The Museum film series and the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Levy cast Stranger Things actor Joe Keery in the film, along with Taika Waititi, Utkarsh Ambudkar (who are pictured above with Reynolds, Comer and Levy). Lil Rel Howery of Get Out fame is also in Free Guy.

  • As I watched Clive Owen superbly inhabit the wretched body of a debauched, defrocked priest during a preview of Tennessee Williams’s The Night Of The Iguana, I felt that it’s a must-see for all our clergy — so they can witness what happens when the sins of the flesh become irresistible. I asked Owen’s view backstage and he agreed, jokingly, that clergy should check in to see what they’re missing.
The Free Guy gang (from left): Joe Keery, Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Shawn Levy, Taika Waititi and Utkarsh Ambudkar

The Free Guy gang (from left): Joe Keery, Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Shawn Levy, Taika Waititi and Utkarsh Ambudkar

The Free Guy gang (from left): Joe Keery, Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Shawn Levy, Taika Waititi and Utkarsh Ambudkar

Jodie Comer 'Killing Eve' TV Show Premiere, April 2019

Jodie Comer 'Killing Eve' TV Show Premiere, April 2019

Jodie Comer in the press room after winning the award for Best Actress at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, May 12, 2019

Jodie Comer in the press room after winning the award for Best Actress at the Virgin Media BAFTA TV awards, May 12, 2019

At one point Kenneth Branagh was eager for Comer to be in his film of Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile but filming dates clashed with the third series of Killing Eve

Joseph and the amazing first-night gift 

Star: Jac Yarrow in his dressing room

Star: Jac Yarrow in his dressing room

Star: Jac Yarrow in his dressing room

First-night gifts for actors can range from decorative trinkets to bouquets or jewellery, depending on the budget. But the present Michael Harrison gifted to Jac Yarrow, the young actor who plays the title role in the fun new production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the London Palladium, tops everything.

For starters, it’s worth £100,000.

Yarrow, who doesn’t even graduate from Arts Educational School till September, was plucked from class to play the Old Testament hero in the show that Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote more than half a century ago. It has been completely revitalised by director Laurence O’Connor and stars a radiant Sheridan Smith and a hip-swivelling Jason Donovan.

Producer Harrison is grateful to Arts Ed for coming up with Yarrow (with a little help from this column), and so he decided to pay the fees for one student to attend Arts Ed on a three-year course.

‘The idea is to put the scholarship in Jac’s name,’ Harrison told me in Yarrow’s dressing room on Wednesday night. ‘It seems fitting that we got Jac from there, and through him we’ll help someone else.’

Yarrow described the gesture as ‘out of this world’. ‘Making the gift — and making it in my name — is amazing,’ he told me.

Later, when the story was related to Smith in her dressing room suite, she was visibly moved. ‘This is brilliant! It’s so difficult for people from working class backgrounds to go to drama school. I didn’t,’ she said.

Harrison told me the Yarrow scholarship will include three years’ fees and enough funding to cover lodging, food and travel.

A scene from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at the London Palladium

A scene from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at the London Palladium

A scene from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at the London Palladium

Arts Ed principal Chris Hocking declared: ‘That’s the most amazing opening night present you can ever possibly get.’

He revealed that the recipient of Harrison’s magnanimity would be Ben Culleton, from a village in Leicestershire.

Culleton, who took his A-levels at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, will begin studying at Arts Ed in West London in September.

Hocking said Culleton was not only good at acting, singing and dancing, ‘he’s a quadruple threat, because he’s a really charming young man’. Not unlike Yarrow, in fact. He added that Culleton had been told about the scholarship and is ‘completely overwhelmed by it all’.

Meanwhile, Harrison has invited a number of Arts Ed students to see Joseph; many were at last night’s official opening night gala.

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