Phoebe Waller-Bridge reveals biggest regret about ‘Fleabag’

"I wish I’d seen that coming"

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has said that she regrets that her family have “taken the brunt” of unwanted attention thanks to the success of Fleabag.

Waller-Bridge, who wrote and starred in the award-winning BBC dramady, said that she underestimated the impact the TV series could have on her family in regards to viewers making assumptions that it was autobiographical.

In an upcoming episode of How to Fail with Elizabeth Day [via The Guardian] Waller-Bridge said: “I’d underestimated, as we all had, what impact it was going to have and that people were going to want to talk about it so much and like it so much.


Sian Clifford and Phoebe Waller Bridge in ‘Fleabag’

“And I was essentially just so far away from everybody and in a different timezone doing the play.”

In Fleabag, Waller-Bridge plays the titular character who has a strained relationship with her sister Claire (Sian Clifford) and her godmother (Olivia Colman). Fleabag’s mother and a close friend have died.

Waller-Bridge continued: “Because it’s about family and everything, my family suddenly experienced this really intense focus from people in their lives, and people asking about the show and asking about me, and one of my regrets is I wish I’d seen that coming.

“They were actually taking the brunt of the profile of the show getting bigger,” she continued. “They were being asked all the questions about the show… basically, there was just a communication breakdown with my family.”


As The Guardian notes, Waller-Bridge has a strong relationship with her elder sister, Isobel, while her mother Theresa is still alive. Michael, her father, is now married to artist Rosemary Goodenough. Instead, most of Fleabag‘s material draws from Waller-Bridge’s “biggest fears”.