Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins, stars of the hit Sky action comedy, discuss the brand new series
How’s filming been going?
Sue: We’ve been in a coffin all afternoon Literally.
Mel: Five hours.
Sue: We’ve been doing some deep coffin acting.
Mel: The two of us, snuggled up, in a six-foot-long, three foot wide underground cavity. We started to lose oxygen and hysteria was starting to kick in.
How does it feel to be back and working on Hitmen?
Mel: It’s weird because we haven’t actually filmed Hitmen for two years. The second series kept getting pushed back because of you know what. There was a lot of anticipation and excitement, but also we felt quite nervous as well. I think a lot of performers feel that way, because we’ve all had a year plus of not actually doing that much, and now it’s all come back with a full crew of people and expectations. So the safety restrictions haven’t gotten in the way of the fun?
Sue: Not at all. We had a lot of good weather which allowed us to film outside, which helps. And this may come as a surprise, but we didn’t have any intimate scenes so we didn’t have to resort to glass, Perspex or cling film to, you know, stop the exchange of bodily fluids.
Mel: I had to snog somebody – or I was supposed to in the script. We go to a school reunion in the first episode and there’s a bit of slow dancing. But we got round it quite cunningly... For that day we had this party all set up, and we had supporting artists who were actual couples in their own bubbles. Just so we could get shots of people slow dancing and smooching. Everyone was having a thoroughly good time.
Smooches aside, what other scrapes can we expect to see this series?
Sue: Lots of fighting. We started the first week doing some heavy stuntage, which at my age is a bit of an ask, I won’t lie. In my head I’m Carrie- Anne Moss from The Matrix. In reality I’m Bella Emberg as Blunder Woman. The difference between me and a real assassin is that my hip flexors really twang the next day. We’ve done a bit of close combat, we’ve done a bit of heavy petting at a disco...
Mel: We had to bog wash one of our major guest artistes...
Sue: I’ve driven a Hearse at 80 miles per hour... and I have to say it’s a real goer.
Mel: It’s got a lot of poke, that has.
Sue: Good torque on that. And we’ve become part of a psychosexual love triangle.
Mel: That’s the overarching storyline for this series. And the third party of that triangle is of course the amazing Katherine Parkinson.
Mel: Yes! She filmed with us for three full weeks which was an absolute treat and a joy. Mainly because she’s trained so she’s a really good, funny actress. We immediately felt like we had to raise our game.
Sue: She’s phenomenal. She’s so brilliant and the character is so repulsive. I think people are going to really love her. Last series structure was basically based around one featured guest artist each episode, whereas this series we still have those, but they’re slightly overshadowed by the bigger narrative of their being this interloper trying to split us up.
Do you see anything of yourselves in your respective characters?
Sue: I think Mel is actually way more competent than I am. I talk quite a good game, but the reality is I have no transferrable skills in anything whatsoever. If chat is a thing, I’ve got that nailed.
Mel: That’s her superpower.
Sue: But you wouldn’t find me, for example, in any of the Marvel films, because the chat will only take you so far with Thanos before you’re completely obliterated. Mel’s superpower is list-making and farting.
Mel: I do make a bloody good list. I am actually very, very organised. So what we’re saying is we’re really acting. We’re playing characters. Speaking of secret superpowers, Sue was unmasked as Dragon in The Masked Singer and surprised us all by having a lovely voice. Now that it’s out in the open and we all know, can we expect a few more van-based singalongs?
Mel: It’s in her contract now. She’s really changed.