Kim Bodnia's Konstantin is integral to BBC America's Killing Eve in many ways. He brings levity to Villanelle (Jodie Comer) and keeps her grounded.
Konstantin is also wrapped up in the mystery of The Twelve investigated by Eve (Sandra Oh) and connected to Carolyn (Fiona Shaw) in ways we still don't understand.
This past week we had the opportunity to chat with Kim Bodnia by telephone, and while he refused to offer a hint of what's to come, he does have some insight on Villanelle and what makes the program such a success.
Bodnia is honored to bring Konstantin to life. "It's so funny. I think the way there are putting him up, and you never know what's going on. It's so lovely. It's so complex and lovely to play him."
If you've heard Konstantin laugh, you've heard Bodnia laugh, and both get to do it often.
Bodnia says the "too crazy" black comedy infused into the writing for Killing Eve allows tthem to have a great time on set, and he enjoys that he can have a laugh as himself that then translates onscreen through Konstantin.
One of his favorite things about Villanelle is that she's got the mentality of a teenager and is always acting out in some way.
While the writing is excellent, when Comer gets on a role as Villanelle, everyone around her can react to her varying takes. "It's a very good balance between improvisation and the script, a very good balance," says Bodnia.
To viewers, what's on screen is magical, and Bodnia agrees. "Yes, but that's actually what we love." He continued, "I having fun, and new things happening all the time. The camera loves it," and the crew loves it, too. Bondnia says their team gives them the opportunity to investigate all of the different energy they catch from the actors on camera. That's what translates to viewers.
Like us, Bodnia finds himself transfixed by what's happening on screen when he watches Killing Eve. He attributes it to what's going on behind the camera.
"You know, it's so crazy. Because all of us are very good actors, when the camera is rolling, it's like everybody's transforming into these characters. You never know, actually, what we are using or not using. It's so great. It's just exciting."
He's just as surprised by watching to discover which takes make it to the finished product. He says they're always reacting and there is a very strong energy when he's working with Comer and Oh.
But what Bodnia really loves are the times either Villanelle or Eve are alone in their scenes. "I really adore the scenes where you see Villanelle or Eve alone in their own worlds. I mean, how they react to what they are discovering inside themselves, and how they are exposing that. It's wonderful.
"It's so exciting to see Eve, how Sandra is doing with this love story, and violence, and wow, it's brilliant. I love to see Villanelle, Jodie's reaction to herself when she's alone. I really love these scenes, because you never get a chance to see women in these positions, you know. Especially women in the position they are. For me, it's like gold. I have never seen that before; it's so strong."
On Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 3, the long-awaited reunion between Konstantin and Villanelle occurred. Bodnia loved very minute of it, "When she run down the hallway with bad temper, with a knife in her hand. I'm sure that I was so scared that she really want to stab me, and I wanted to show that. I only had seconds to do that, but it was so fun."
And the scene everyone loved when Villanelle was finally feeling herself again and decided to sing a little karaoke in the car came from Comer herself, Bodnia says. "Jodie said, 'Why doesn't Konstantin play the song that I play for him when I wanted to celebrate his birthday in the first season?' Even if it wasn't my birthday."
"That song, together with that scene was so incredible. It was so cool. I mean, it was full of senses and feeling inside Villanelle, and still, the fear that she wanted to stab Konstantin; that was brilliant. I was hooked. You know when we shot the scene it was just fun playing with how bad she is behaving, you know. It's a very intense scene, in my face is on the way with guns and everything. It was fun. It was so fun."
Like the rest of us, Bodnia really likes the relationship between Villanelle and Konstantin. "I really hope that we can see more of how they behave, how they handle it. How they get on. How they can handle this very crazy situation they are stuck in.
"I really hope that Villanelle can handle her situation because now she's a really bad teenager, you know. As a father, you know, you always wish that she can come through that in a safe way."
If Konstantin sees Villanalle like a daughter and a teenager, can she really be a psychopath as he warned Eve? Or maybe she has feelings but doesn't know how to control them. "That's what I'm working all the time with, you know, because it's so dangerous, the knowledge that Villanelle have about herself, and psychopath, and feelings. It's unbelievable, crazy.
"It's so dangerous because she's so aware of it. I had to respect that. I had to respect the way she's looking at what is real love and not real love. Konstantin is coming from a world where he have real love, you know. Have a daughter and a family, but still he's connected to the world that is not like that.
"It's so complex. It's a very good question, and it's so difficult. I mean I, personally, I as Konstantin, I really hope that because he really adores her, and I'm just really hoping that she could have a moment of... see herself before she ends up being a killer and a psychopath, you know.
"Before that, because Konstantin met her in the prison right after she was on a bad tract. She's framing her senses and feelings; that's why has such control of her. He's actually training her in senses and feeling. That's the conflict here, because then I train her in things that she can't really feel, but I'm training her to feel it.
"That's the game, that's why he can have control of her."
Be sure to tune into Killing Eve Season 2 Episode 4 tonight for more from Bodnia, Comer, and Oh as one of the most exciting shows on television continues.
Killing Eve airs on BBC American Sundays at 8/7c. If you're still to board the speeding train, you can watch Killing Eve online via TV Fanatic.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.