Sean Delaney on the shocking fate of his character in ‘Killing Eve’

Sean Delaney as Kenny Stowton.
Nick Wall/BBCA

‘Killing Eve’ isn’t exactly a show that one would describe as shy or low-key. Every season, audiences are virtually taken on a wild ride and each episode, the characters get more and more unpredictable. So it should come as no shock that season 3 of this immensely popular BBC series starts off with quite a bang.

The end of episode 1 for the third season, which just premiered this week, shows Eve, Carolyn, Villanelle, Konstantin and Kenny all still reeling from the intense events that occurred in the first two series. Konstantin is back working for the 12 (although according to him “I never stopped”), Carolyn is in the hot seat with work and Eve, who is presumed gone by Villanelle after leaving her for dead, is keeping a low profile for the time being—until, Kenny, who left his job in security to start working for a website, is tragically killed.

Sean Delaney, who plays Kenny, has had almost as wild of a ride as the show’s characters while working on ‘Killing Eve.’ Kenny started off as just a temporary role for a few episodes, but turned into a reoccurring and quite integral piece of the show’s puzzle—and that liberating shift as an actor and a person has not been lost on the young performer.

Delaney sat down with Metro to discuss more about working with such an impressive cast and crew on the show, and the shocking fate of his character in ‘Killing Eve’ season 3.

So cutting right to the chase—when you read what happens to Kenny in the first episode of season 3, what was your reaction?

Well, I was very lucky that I was warned beforehand, it was a discussion for a couple of months. I feel like if I had any major objections as to why it wouldn’t help the story, I could have expressed it and maybe they would have changed it, but I was so excited in a really odd way—granted I was going to be unemployed from it, which makes no sense. But when I first got told that it was happening, my immediate thought was what it does to Sandra and Fiona’s characters emotionally. It’s one of the most genius starts to a season that you could think of. Then when I read the rest of the script, I think it was just genius that we are taking everyone by surprise. With the end of the second season starting thirty seconds after the first, it kind of comes full circle, and in danger now was Eve—it was almost easy to anticipate, myself included, that the third season would pick up thirty seconds after that. Instead, six months have gone by, and it was really interesting to see how these characters have moved forward and how they’ve recovered from the trauma from the last two—it happens so quickly. I just watched it last week, and I forgot even from reading it how much it’s like chapters for each character, where typically before it was mainly what Eve is up to or what Villanelle is up to and the various people they interact with. Now you’ve got more information and more connections of the various people affected—I thought it was really exciting and a very brave move. I kind of feel like whether you like ‘Killing Eve’ or not, you can’t deny it’s a great TV series and that we’ve never shied away from anything, and I was excited that this episode was just as game-changing and rule-breaking.

Laura Radford/BBCAmerica/Sid Gentle

What was the experience like filming your last episode?

Emotional for sure. For me in particular, it was more than just leaving the show. ‘Killing Eve’ was the first reoccurring TV job that I’ve ever done. When I first started, my part was only lined up for six to nine days of filming then it evolved and I got a mother out of it. Working with Fiona Shaw and Sandra Oh, these people are just at the top of their game in this industry and to have that experience to learn from them—as far as an acting apprenticeship goes, this has just been a dream. Finishing that off and knowing that I’ve made something that is going to be an emotional driving point for a series was great. I’m really proud of it. I’m proud of everyone and I’m proud of what I’ve done. But I get emotional for sure, it kind of came around full circle for a lot of my scenes. One of my last scenes is a one-to-one with Sandra, and my first day on set was with Sandra, there’s just something about it coming full circle and reflecting how this journey has been as people and as actors in the series. It was really humbling, but it was difficult too because everyone knew what was happening. Every last scene I did with someone—it was just one of the most emotional rollercoasters I’ve been on in the last couple of years. Obviously, [the audience] doesn’t know what’s going to happen, which makes it more heartbreaking.

What have you learned as an actor working on ‘Killing Eve’ with such an impressive cast and crew? 

When I saw the script was from Phoebe Waller-Bride, and I had seen ‘Fleabag’ before, I knew this script was going to be cool. I’m fully aware that a career is typically not made up of working on Phoebe Waller-Bridge scripts to start with, so I’m very aware of how fortunate and how privileged I’ve been. I just want to take all I’ve learned and apply it to the next thing. I’ve also just been very lucky in my short career to just get to work with such phenomenal actors, including the work I’ve done on stage and ‘Killing Eve.’ These really brilliant actors I’ve gotten to work with, just the generosity to match their work ethic, and the fact that this has taken shape [for me] in this TV series is something I’m really proud of. I know I’m doing something right, what that is though I’m not really sure of, I’m just going to keep working as hard as Sandra and Fiona and Kim [Bodina] have been to me. So to just appreciate them when they’re around, and then when they’re not around, how do I treat this with the same heart and attention that they’ve put into it?

The scene right before Kenny meets his fate in ‘Killing Eve.’ Laura Radford/BBCA

Are there any specific episodes or scenes that stick out to you from working on ‘Killing Eve?’

In terms of scenes, my first day filming, I was really petrified and terrified—which really helped for playing Kenny, I have to say. Also, the airport terminal scene with Sandra and Fiona in series 1. Acting alongside one woman, who is completely distraught, and then another being so emotionally controlled as a lesson, I’ll never forget that. But, I’m probably in the first episode of this season more than any episode of the series, and for growth as an actor, I’m really proud of it. The fact that I get a send-off and that I’m being used as an emotional driving point for people, it’s made me really excited about what’s to come.

Catch ‘Killing Eve’ season 3 Sundays on BBC America. 

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