Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has said that she never called Andrew Scott’s character the Hot Priest.
The nickname, which quickly took over the internet when season two of Waller-Bridge’s show aired last year, comes from the fact that Scott’s Priest character is not actually given a name.
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In a recent BAFTA panel ahead of the BAFTA television awards, Waller-Bridge said that she did not choose the popular name herself. “I want to be clear that I didn’t call him the hot priest, the internet did!”
One of the key moments in season two sees the Priest engage with the fact that Fleabag breaks the fourth wall and talks to, what seems like, the viewer.
Waller-Bridge said, “I love the idea people can interpret it how they like. It was symbolic of something I can’t explain, it was never a certain person but I love that for some people it is that.”
She added: “I feel it’s that pressure of being watched and feeling watched and, if you’re not being witnessed, does what you’re doing count for anything, does it matter?
“But then the flip side of that is if you’re constantly witnessed you’re too frightened to slip up or let someone see you be vulnerable.”
On the flawed and complex character she wrote, which was later dubbed “the comedy show of the decade” by NME, Waller-Bridge added: “She’s constantly grappling with this need for the audience to be there to validate her but also to leave her alone so she can experience things on her own.”