Phoebe Waller-Bridge has said she begged Andrew Scott to have a coffee with her so she could pitch him the role of the priest in Fleabag.
The duo, who previously played bond traders in Steven Thompson’s investment banking play Roaring Trade at the Soho Theatre in 2009, re-teamed for a doomed romance in the second series of Waller-Bridge’s acclaimed TV show.
She told BBC Radio 2: “Andrew is just the greatest actor of our generation I think. I worked with him 10 years ago on a play together and I remember being onstage with him and just thinking what we were doing was real.
“We were playing traders and he’s so charismatic, I was like, I am a trader and we are traders together.
“Then he would break out of it and ask for a note or something and I’d be like, oh no, no, we are actors.”
Waller-Bridge is now releasing a book about the making of the show, Fleabag: The Scriptures, bringing together the complete filming scripts of the first and second seasons, annotated with never-before-seen stage directions and commentary on her creative process and the making of the series.
On writing the role of the “hot priest” for Scott, she said: “I just wanted to be in that with him again, he is so exciting to work with, so I actually called him up and begged him to have a coffee with me so I could pitch him the idea for the show and the story of how that actually ended up is in the book.
“He has such a huge impact on this character, so I knew it had to be Andrew because I knew he would give the character integrity and he’d ground him.
“The moment I spoke to him about it and said, ‘it’s a love story’ – he said he’s been wanting to play in love for a really long time.
“We both really had that instinct that’s what we really wanted to play and people might want to see and what we wanted to see. So it was really important to us that it felt real.”