Fleabag and Game Of Thrones stars on their 'bloody' new comedy
After starring in two of the biggest shows of the past few years, Maisie Williams and Sian Clifford wanted to make their next moves carefully.
Both women were cheering each other on at the Emmys last year, where the two series picked up the biggest awards of the night – outstanding drama, for Thrones, and outstanding comedy for Fleabag.
Now, they have paired up for new Sky original dark comedy Two Weeks To Live. Williams stars as Kim Noakes, who lives an isolated existence off-grid in the Scottish wilderness with her controlling mum, Tina, played by Clifford.
Speaking at Sky’s Up Next launch event, the pair told Sky News about their time on set and how it felt leaving such huge series behind.
Williams says it was completely different to the “very serious” Game Of Thrones working environment.
“It was so much fun,” she says. “I’ve never really done a comedy like that. And it was so much fun on set, everyone’s just smiling the whole time, which is very different to a drama. People are very serious, they don’t want to distract the actors.
“But people like to have fun, even actors like to have fun – even the moodiest ones. So it was nice to see so many smiley faces and just feel free to joke around.”
Two Weeks To Live picks up with Kim escaping and heading south to England to find her father’s killer, after witnessing his brutal murder 15 years earlier.
Hmm, a revenge journey. The comparisons will inevitably made to Game Of Thrones. And there’s weapons, too. But this is very different, they both say.
“I think tonally this is a very different show,” says Williams. “I think as far as Kim goes, there are definitely similarities between herself and Arya Stark…. but it’s like a very different vibe for me.
“I was really overwhelmed coming into it because I thought… When you’re doing drama, you have to take yourself so seriously and everything you do is so sincere. Coming on to this, I realised I was going to have to just take the mickey out of myself a lot and just let go, and I’ve never really done that on screen. So I definitely felt like I had to drop a wall.”
And the show is certainly a big departure from Fleabag for Clifford.
“If we’ve done our job correctly, it’s hilarious, very dark and bloody,” she says. “It’s a bit of a revenge tale, but it’s also a love story.
“I play Tina, a very protective mother [who’s] pretty ruthless as a person. She’s lived off-grid with her daughter for 15 years, and she’s very protective of that and not willing to give it up easily.
“My character’s working class, which is much closer to my own roots [than Fleabag], to be honest. She’s a tough cookie, is Tina. She’s a hunter. She’s very practical, very physical, very good with weapons.”
What kind of weapons are we talking?
“We’re talking crossbows, lots of guns, knives. All of the weapons,” said Clifford.
“We didn’t do training, but there was a lot of handling of things. I mean, it kind of freaked me out if I’m honest, I’m not mad about weapons.”
There won’t be other shows like Fleabag or Game Of Thrones, Clifford said, but this one is “brilliant for other reasons”.
Williams jokes that after starring in such huge shows, they were both fighting for screen-time. “We just kept elbowing each other to get in front of the camera, it was a nightmare.”
But really, they formed a close friendship on set.
“Even though it’s biologically impossible for me to really be her mother, I’ll settle for her being my pal,” Clifford said.
Speaking about the Emmys, she added: “We did both win the two best series so that was a lovely moment. Fun, fun, fun. We’d just won and we were backstage when you guys won and we went mental. We were just so thrilled for them to get that honour. It was awesome.”
Two Weeks To Live is coming soon to Sky One