How 'My Favorite Murder' Podcast Shaped Sandra Oh's 'Killing Eve' Character

True crime podcast My Favorite Murder informed Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge as she wrote Eve Polastri, an MI6 intelligence officer (played by Sandra Oh) intertwined with a deadly assassin. In a New York Times article on the various influences that went into the hit BBC spy series, Waller-Bridge described how Eve was partly inspired by My Favorite Murder.

In the first episode of Killing Eve, we see Polastri's fascination with women assassins, a hobby enabled by her desk-riding job for Britain's domestic intelligence service, MI5. Eve is fascinatied with murder, which helps her put together the disparate clues leading to the work of Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a deadly killer. In the series, Eve gets more than her fill of murder thanks to her access to intelligence archives. But in early scripts, Waller-Bridge wrote Eve as a true crime fanatic.

As she developed the series, a friend—and murderino, as the podcast's fans are called—introduced Waller-Bridge to My Favorite Murder, in which hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark talk through terrible crimes, including serial killings, gruesome home invasion murders and shootings.

Waller-Bridge even recorded her friend, as she attempted to explain the appeal and effect she felt listening to My Favorite Murder. "I like feeling that vacuous emptiness in my soul when I realize there are people out there who can do this," Waller-Bridge told The New York Times , relaying her friend's words. "It puts me in a victim position, and it makes me feel alive."

Eve's fascination with Villanelle is essential to the Killing Eve appeal, which is less a traditional cat-and-mouse, spy-vs-spy thriller and more about two very different, but equally determined, rivals circling one another.

Waller-Bridge, Comer and series director Harry Bradbeer describe several other influences on Killing Eve to the Times, including a real-life interview with a killer, the cinematography of No Country for Old Men and a perfume commercial directed by Spike Jonze.

Killing Eve returns for Season 2, which premieres Sunday, April 7 on BBC America.

Kilgariff and Hardstark are currently touring My Favorite Murder to sold out crowds. Their first book, Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-to Guide, will be released on May 28 and is now available for preorder.