How Stephen Graham helped kickstart Jodie Comer's journey to stardom

Why Jodie Comer will ‘never stop thanking’ Stephen Graham: Fellow Liverpudlian helped kickstart her path to superstardom by asking his agent to take on the teenager after they shared a brief scene in a TV mini-series

  • Liverpudlian actors Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer share lasting friendship
  • Killing Eve star Jodie, 29, has credited Graham, 48, with kickstarting her career
  • The television actor spotted Comer’s talent after sharing a scene in 2012 series
  • Graham took the young actress’ number and introduced her to his talent agent 

As she took home the prestigious award for Leading Actress at last night’s BAFTA awards, Jodie Comer firmly cemented her place among the most coveted actress’ in the business. 

And despite her massive success, the star has never forgotten who helped her on her journey to superstardom – constantly crediting fellow Liverpudlian actor Stephen Graham for kickstarting her career. 

In fact, after taking to the stage to accept her award for her outstanding performance their pandemic drama, Help, Comer, 29, said she would continue to thank him ‘for the rest of her life’. 

Graham, 48, had recognised her talent back in 2012, when they shared a very brief scene together in BBC miniseries Good Cop and swiftly persuaded his agent to take a chance on the young actress. 

After winning a slew of roles in much-loved television series like My Mad Fat Diary and Doctor Foster, Comer would find global success as the glamorous assassin Villanelle in acclaimed TV series Killing Eve. 

Now, with a string of rave reviews behind her following her West End debut in one-woman show Prima Facie, plus roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Free Guy – it seems that Graham’s continued guidance has helped the actress become one of Britain’s most in-demand stars. 

As she took home the prestigious award for Leading Actress at last night’s BAFTA awards, Jodie Comer said she would continue to thank fellow Liverpudlian actor Stephen Graham for kickstarting her career

Last year, Stephen and Comer got the chance to work together again for first time in nearly ten years as they co-starred in Channel 4 television film Help

Jodie and Stephen’s friendship dates back to 2012, when they filmed a brief scene together on the set of British police Good Cop, which only ran for one series before being cancelled.  

The actress, who was in her early teens, played a waitress who was harassed and nearly sexually assaulted by Graham’s character before the protagonist intervenes. 

And while their scene was only brief, Stephen was so impressed with Comer’s performance that he instantly reached out, offering to put the aspiring star in touch with his agent, Jane Epstein. 

Speaking ahead of their Channel 4 film Help, Jodie explained: ‘I met Stephen for the first time ten years ago. Stephen very kindly introduced me to his agent who then became my agent. 

Graham, 48, had recognised her talent back in 2012, when they shared a very brief scene together in BBC miniseries Good Cop

‘He made that introduction out of pure kindness in order to help me get more opportunities.’ 

It was during their first meeting that Graham imparted advice to Jodie which has lasted throughout her career, including telling the actress never to lose her Scouse accent. 

Speaking with Lauren Laverne on Radio 6, she said: ‘[I was] just like chatting to him throughout the day, picking his brains, asking him lots of questions.’

‘I remember at that time feeling like I needed to take elocution lessons,’ she said. ‘I don’t know where I got that from but he was like, “You’re kidding me, don’t you dare ever lose this accent!”.’

She went on: ‘He’s so true to himself and it was so good to have someone exactly like him, who is from where I’m from, and celebrates how they are in an industry where there are probably less working class actors. To have someone like him is amazing.’

Before meeting Jane the young actress had already bagged smaller TV roles in programmes like Holby City and Waterloo Road, but was far from becoming a household name.

The duo are pictured posing together after arriving at Cineworld Leicester Square for the premiere of Free Guy, where Comer starred alongside Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds 

The agent has previously explained how she had a ‘gut feeling’ about Comer, revealing that despite her young age it was obvious she ‘had the energy and spirit that would translate on to the screen’ 

She told The Guardian: ‘Stephen called me from the set of a series he was doing back in 2012 called Good Cop and passionately described a scene he had just shot with a young actress who he thought was one of the most exciting talents he had worked with to date. 

‘He was so impressed by her and asked if I would meet her. I did, and he was right.’

In the years after she was signed by Jane, Jodie landed a host of impressive roles – with one of her first standout performances as Chloe Gemell in the popular E4 series My Mad Fat Diary. 

In 2015 Comer gave an incredible performance alongside Suranne Jones as Kate Parks, the mistress of a married man in BBC One drama series Doctor Foster.

In 2015 Comer gave an incredible performance alongside Suranne Jones as Kate Parks, the forbidding mistress of a married man in BBC One drama series Doctor Foster


Jodie landed a host of impressive roles after being signed – with one of her first standout performances as Chloe Gemell in the popular E4 series My Mad Fat Diary (left). Her first starring role came in 2016, when she played Ivy Moxam in the BBC Three series Thirteen (right) 

Her first starring role came in 2016, when she played Ivy Moxam in the BBC Three series Thirteen, which earned her a nomination for the BAFTA award for Best Actress. 

But worldwide fame came in 2018, when Comer stole the show as psychopathic Russian assassin Villanelle, who develops a mutual obsession with MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh). 

Killing Eve was initially met with huge success, with the first two series viewed 105 million times online in one year and the programme and it’s actors receiving several accolades. 

In 2019, Jodie thanked Stephen for his continued support after taking home the prize for Leading Actress for her performance in Killing Eve.

Speaking as she collected her award, Jodie said: ‘I want to take this moment to thank Stephen Graham. If I didn’t owe you a pint before then, I do now. Thank you for the generosity you showed me all those years ago.’

Worldwide fame came for Comer in 2018, when Comer stole the show as psychopathic Russian assassin Villanelle, who develops a mutual obsession with MI6 agent Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh)

Last year, Stephen and Comer got the chance to work together again for first time in nearly ten years as they co-starred in television film Help. 

The Covid drama was set in a fictional Liverpool care home and told the moving story of young care home worker Sarah and a challenging patient during the onset of the pandemic. 

When Channel 4 first announced the drama, Stephen said: ‘I’ve wanted to work with Jodie for ages, and together we’re hugely passionate about shining a light on one of the biggest tragedies of our time and the people at the heart of it.’

Jodie added: ‘For us to be able to explore such a relevant and emotive story through the eyes of such beautifully real characters, and in our home city of Liverpool, is a real honour.’

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