Jodie Marie Comer was born in Liverpool on 11 March 1993, and attended St Julie's Catholic High School in its Woolton suburb. After being expelled from a dance group by her friends at school due to being unable to attend rehearsals for the school talent show during a family holiday, she instead performed a monologue for the show; this brought her to the attention of her drama teacher, who then sent her to audition for a BBC Radio 4 play, which became her first acting job. Her co-stars in the play told her that she could make a career out of acting and advised her to get an agent. While pursuing an acting career, she took jobs such as collecting glasses in a bar and working at the checkout in a Tesco supermarket.
2008–2018: Early work
Comer's professional career began in 2008 with a guest role on an episode of The Royal Today, a spin-off series of the medical drama series The Royal. She then made appearances in series such as Waterloo Road, Holby City, Doctors, Silent Witness, Casualty, , Vera, and Inspector George Gently. She was cast in leading roles in the five-episode drama series Justice, the supernatural miniseries Remember Me, and as Chloe Gemell in the E4 comedy-drama series My Mad Fat Diary. Comer appeared in the 2015 adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover, a television film broadcast on BBC One. That same year, she appeared as Kate Parks in the BBC One drama series Doctor Foster and was cast in her first starring role as Ivy Moxam in the BBC Three miniseries Thirteen, which premiered in February 2016 and earned her a nomination for the British Academy Television Award for Best Actress. In December 2016, she appeared in the BBC miniseries Rillington Place. In 2016, Comer was listed as one of Screen International's "Stars of Tomorrow" in association with the BFI London Film Festival. In 2017, she starred as a young Elizabeth of York in The White Princess on Starz, a sequel to the BBC miniseries The White Queen. In 2017, she also made her feature film debut, as Christine in the Morrissey biopic England is Mine.
2018–present: ''Killing Eve'' and mainstream recognition
In April 2018, Comer began starring in the BBC America spy thriller series Killing Eve as Oksana Astankova / Villanelle, a psychopathic Russian assassin who develops a mutual obsession with Eve Polastri, the MI5 agent tasked with pursuing her. Comer has garnered critical acclaim for her performance on the series, with Jia Tolentino of The New Yorker stating that, in the context of the show's "constant reversals in tone and rhythm", the "ambiguity—and impossibility—of Villanelle's character has worked thanks to Comer's mercurial, unassailable charisma". Due to her character swapping between multiple accents from around the world as part of her various disguises, much attention has been given to Comer's native Scouse accent and the surprise of viewers who hear it for the first time. For her portrayal of Villanelle, Comer has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and two British Academy Television Awards for Best Actress, with her winning both in 2019. In June 2018, Comer was one of the actresses in a series of BBC Four monologues called Snatches: Moments From Women's Lives, inspired by events that took place in the century since women first won the vote. Comer appeared in the episode "Bovril Pam", where she portrayed a secretary in 1960s Liverpool exploring her sexuality. Comer was ranked No. 94 on the Radio Times "TV 100" list for 2018. In November 2018, The Hollywood Reporter included her in their "Next Gen Talent 2018: Hollywood's Rising Young Stars" list. In April 2019, Comer was asked about upcoming work during her Happy Sad Confused podcast interview and revealed that she had been forced to drop out of Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile due to scheduling conflicts. In September 2019, a few days after her Emmy win, it was announced that Comer would be the face of the Loewe spring/summer 2020 fashion campaign, which saw her star in a short film for the brand that consisted of her repeating the brand's name with different emotions. On 31 March 2020, Comer was announced as the brand ambassador for skin-care brand Noble Panacea. Comer performed a brief cameo in the 2019 film , appearing as Rey's mother in flashbacks. In June 2020, Comer played the lead role of Lesley in a BBC iPlayer reboot of the Talking Heads episode "Her Big Chance". The episode filmed by Josie Rourke was filmed in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2018, it was announced Comer had been cast in the action comedy filmFree Guy, which began filming in May 2019. It is set to be released in December 2020. She is currently filming for The Last Duel. The film will release in limited theatres on 25 December 2020, before having a worldwide release on 8 January 2021. She will portray Marguerite de Carrouges, the lead female role.
In December 2018, British Vogue included her in their list of "The Most Influential Girls of 2018", and in February 2019 Forbes included her in their annual "30 under 30" list for being in the top 30 most influential people in Europe under the age of 30.