I've only seen the Season 1 trailer for the new Amazon series Fleabag so far, but I have to say that I think some of the promotional materials seem a little misleading. Specifically, that image of the titular character with streaks of mascara running down her face suggesting that she had shed some tears. To me, the somber image makes it seem like the series is a drama, when in fact it's actually a comedy, which becomes immediately apparent once you watch the trailer. However, it looks like this comedy about a woman navigating life's various relationships in modern-day London is packed with as much emotional depth as any drama, and much of that is going to be due to the extremely talented Fleabag cast.
Of course, the fact that the series is based on a play of the same name that premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was written by that aforementioned lead actress, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, might have something to do with it as well. But just because Fleabag is the brainchild of Waller-Bridge doesn't mean she's the only member of the cast that is going to connect with her words while portraying one of the series' characters onscreen. These are professional actors, after all, and some of the best in the biz, might I add.
So who will be joining Waller-Bridge in bringing Fleabag's existential adventures to life? Read on to find out.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge as Fleabag
As I previously mentioned, Waller-Bridge penned Fleabag, and she serves as one of the show's executive producers. She's also stepping in front of the camera as Fleabag, an English twentysomething cafe owner whose real name we never learn, Waller-Bridge told The Guardian in July, and who deals with financial troubles, sexual frustration, death, and much more in the new series. However, this isn't Waller-Bridge's first acting gig. She has also appeared in the Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady, the British sitcom The Cafe, the crime mystery Broadchurch, and the Millennial-tastic comedy Crashing. I have a feeling Fleabag is really going to put Waller-Bridge on the map, though.
Olivia Colman as Godmother
Olivia Colman is definitely having a moment. Not only will she be playing Fleabag's passive aggressive and shade-slinging godmother-turned-stepmother in this new comedy, but she has also been having quite the career as of late. Colman has gained fame and acclaim for portraying police office Ellie Miller in the British drama Broadchurch. She has also had memorable turns in British comedies like Peep Show, Rev., and Twenty Twelve. Colman recently graced American televisions this year in AMC's The Night Manager for which she is nominated for an Emmy for her role as Angela Burr.
Bill Paterson as Dad
Bill Paterson plays the patriarch of Fleabag's family, and as a veteran actor, he's basically like the father of the cast as well. Paterson has had memorable roles on TV (Traffik, Sea of Souls, Law & Order: UK), as well as film (The Killing Fields, The Witches, Dad's Army). In addition, American audiences recently saw him play Ned Gowan in Outlander. Man, does Paterson have range!
Hugh Dennis as Bank Manager
Hugh Dennis' character in Fleabag is named after his profession, and he's going to have a memorable run-in with Fleabag when she flashes her bra at him in the hopes of getting a loan, according to The Telegraph 's review of the new series. Well, it looks like Dennis is used to outrageous plot points like this since he has starred in far-out British comedies like Spitting Image, My Hero, and Outnumbered in the past. It sounds like this role will actually be relatively tame for Dennis.
Hugh Skinner as Harry
Hugh Skinner plays Fleabag's boyfriend in the series, who seems to take himself a little too seriously. The actor has had a mix of serious and comedic roles in the past, with screen time in the most recent film adaptation of Les Miserables and Poldark, a star turn in the satirical comedy W1A, and a lampoon of Prince William in The Windsors. Skinner certainly has a fascinating career taking shape.
Ben Aldridge as Arsehole Guy
It looks like Ben Aldridge will be playing a love interest (or maybe more like a friend with benefits) of Fleabag's who makes her weak at the knees but probably isn't the best relationship for her, as is evidenced by the character being called Arsehole Guy. Still, you can't deny that Aldridge is dreamy, and he's brought those good looks to romantic period dramas like Lark Rise to Candleford and The CW's Reign. But Aldridge has also shown a bit more grit in the military drama Our Girl. I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of Aldridge in the future.
Jamie Demetriou as Bus Rodent
Bus Rodent might sound like a strange name, but once you see that it's bestowed upon a character that has rat-like teeth and who Fleabag first meets on the bus, you'll see that the moniker is actually very apt. Demetriou doesn't have those choppers in real life, but he is actually a very funny guy as a real-live comedian. He has written and starred in his own series of shorts for the U.K.'s Channel Four, and he also appeared in the comedy Rovers, according to the bio on his talent agency's website. It sounds like he has plenty of hilarious projects in the works, too.
Jenny Rainsford as Boo
Fleabag doesn't have a lot of friends, but Boo is one of them, although she does accidentally insult her outfit in the show's trailer. Nevertheless, Fleabag could be Jenny Rainsford's big break as she hasn't had a ton of starring roles in the past with screen time in Prometheus, Da Vinci's Demons, and Law & Order: UK.
Sian Clifford as Claire
Claire is Fleabag's older, more successful sister, who doesn't always see eye-to-eye with the main protagonist. The actress behind the character, Sian Clifford, doesn't have a ton of experience in show business, having previously appeared in Midsomer Murders and the TV documentary Dark Matters: Twisted But True. But she's also done some producing, and I'm curious to see what else she has in store for the world in the future.
Brett Gelman as Martin
Brett Gelman is the sole American in the Fleabag cast, who plays Martin, Claire's husband and an alcoholic antiques dealer, according to SplitSider. And he's big in the American comedy scene as a comedian and comedic actor who has appeared in Eagleheart, Bad Teacher the TV series, Married, and Another Period. It'll be interesting to see how a hop across the pond impacts his comedy, if at all.
With a cast as exceptional as this, how could Fleabag not be a hit?
Images: Amazon Studios (2)