Season two of Fleabag might never have happened had it not been for Sian Clifford convincing Phoebe Waller-Bridge to do it, Clifford has revealed.
The second and final season of the acclaimed sitcom aired in 2019 and saw Waller-Bridge winning Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Writer, Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series – the latter seeing her becoming the first Brit to win it in 38 years.
However, Clifford – who plays Claire on the show – has revealed in a new interview that filming for series two almost didn’t happen as Waller-Bridge was “reluctant” to do another. So much so, she had to encourage her.
“When were round that table with our gang plus Andrew Scott, it was a really amazing feeling and I loved it! Absolutely amazing. I was one of the people who were encouraging a very reluctant Phoebe to even make a second series. She didn’t want to do it,” Clifford told the RadioTimes at the Virgin Media BAFTAs pre-ceremony.
She continued: “Lucky for her, our producers gave her time and space. She just said, ‘I’m not doing it unless I have a good enough idea.’ She waited and she was able to buy some time because she had another project on. Not everyone is afforded that privilege but they let her do that and I think the project benefitted from that.”
Clifford added that it wasn’t just the script that improved with the time off, she said she gained more “confidence” during the break.
“We all benefitted from it because we all went off and learnt about ourselves,” she said. “I was definitely a better actor when I came back. We’d grown. There was definitely more confidence and that’s to do with finding the actor I was pre-drama school.”
“I think we have to let her [Fleabag] go, she’s exhausted,” she told The Mirror. “She’s been through a lot. But we’re all going to work together again, so there will be something of the Fleabag spirit to come back.”