Finding Villanelle in Paris: Killing Eve Filming Locations in Paris
Updated: Jan 10, 2020
"I promise I won't be naughty." -- Villanelle
Here's my complete guide to the must see Killing Eve filming locations in Paris France. The intriguing star of Killing Eve is Villanelle.
Villanelle's a complex character with wicked smiles and catlike features. A Russian assassin with a killer sense of style. Jodie Comer stars as Oksana Astankova in the hit BBC America spy thriller Killing Eve. It's a buzzy and subversive show. And Killing Eve uses Paris as the canvas for its layers of deceit and intrigue.
The Character of Villanelle
Jodie Comer is the talented Emmy-nominated actress who plays the charismatic psychopath Villanelle in Killing Eve. She may be the most fascinating and unconventional villain on TV.
Villanelle can giggle like a cheeky young girl while talking murder. She's a cold blooded comic.
When she toys with Frank in the MI6 safe house, Frank begs for his life, pleading “I have children.” Villanelle upends this trope, replying “I don’t want your children.” When Eve asks why she castrated a victim, Villanelle ignores her and instead comments on Eve's crime against fashion sweater-shirt.
Comer thinks Villanelle is popular because she's objectively "unlikeable." We see something of Villanelle flaws "within ourselves." Being unlikeable isn't the same thing as being uninteresting, after all.
And Villanelle is never dull -- with her over-the-top murder plots, deadpan funny lines, avant garde fashion sense, and carefree remorselessness. Her foibles and faults are funny and relatable. We identify with the troubled orphan and her "girl gone wrong" story line. Perhaps we're secretly relieved it's not us.
Plus, Villanelle's always eating. She adorably gobbles up potato chips, lemon drizzle cake, ice cream, and pasta. We appreciate someone who indulges in sweets and doesn't just eat lettuce, even though clean eating is all the rage.
Must See Killing Eve Filming Locations in Paris
Killing Eve centers on Villanelle's off kilter relationship with bored MI5 agent Eve Polastri. Eve is a relentless bureaucrat with unfulfilled spy fantasies. When a frumpy Eve is charged with capturing the elusive Villanelle, the two women circle each other, in a game filled with romantic tension and shifting loyalties.
Killing Eve is a globetrotting show shot in five European countries: France, Italy, Germany, Romania, and England. I've written about the show's European filming locations previously.
In this post, I focus on the City of Love, home to our sassy hitman Villanelle. Paris is an ideal city for a TV show with its stunning architecture, sweeping skylines, secret side streets, and offbeat hip neighborhoods.
Here's my guide to visiting Killing Eve filming locations in Paris. If you fancy a stroll or a walk in her footsteps, here's a handy map to assist you along your journey.
1. The Iconic Dress in the Place Vendôme, 1st Arrondisment
Probably the most iconic Paris filming location is the stunning Place Vendôme in Paris' 1st arrondissement. With its cloud piercing Vendôme Column and stately 17th century colonnaded buildings, it's a posh and unmissable landmark in Paris.
In Season 1 Episode 2, we witness Villanelle confront her handler Konstantin on the Place Vendôme. Villanelle has just finished a psychiatric exam to determine whether she's still villain worthy after a particularly bloody murder.
In a flight of fancy, she dons a cotton candy frothy fantasy of a dress, which is deliberately meant to shock and tease. The pink Molly Goddard dress "broke the internet" and was TV's "biggest fashion moment of the year."
The dress is a symbol. It's emblematic of Villanelle's subversive streak, her complete disdain for social constraints. It also reveals how she tricks her victims -- power disguised behind an angelic feminine facade.
The Place Vendôme is loaded with the world’s finest haute couture jewelry creations. But if you must have your own flouncy Villanelle dress, Galeries Lafayette is jus 10 minutes from Place Vendôme. It stocks designer duds including Molly Goddard, the designer of Villanelle's famous dress.
2. Villanelle Frolics With Sebastian in the Jardin des Tuileries in the 1st Arrondissement
When Villanelle is put on ice while her handlers assess her mental stability, she decides to try being a “normal” person. That means hooking up with Sebastian, the doe-eyed blonde hunk living in her apartment building.
Sebastian is sweet. He appears with herbal remedies to sooth our antihero's bruises. The duo have a leisurely day and nibble ice cream cones while walking companionably in the serene Jardin des Tuileries.
The Tuileries is a beautiful spot in central Paris, running between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde on the Right Bank. You can visit Notre Dame, Saint-Chapelle, or the Conciergerie. Then stroll through or picnic in the Tuileries on the way to the Champs-Élysée and the Arc de Triomphe.
Unfortunately for Sebastian, he later steals the poisoned “perfume" from Villanelle's purse. One whiff, and he's dead at her doorstep. Villanelle hears a thump as she's opening a champagne bottle. She just shrugs off Sebastian's death. She's likely glad to be rid of a well-meaning "normal" person.
3. Death By Perfume in the 2nd Arrondissement
In Season 1 Episode 2, we see Villanelle in the 2nd arrondissement on her way to execute a theatrical hit on Carla de Mann, a perfumer manufacturer. She's strolling down Rue de la Paix, a short street that runs from Opera Garnier to Place Vendôme. It's a fashionable shopping street with high end jewelry shops.
Dressed as a server, Villanelle attends a posh event where Carla is in attendance. Villanelle follows her into the bathroom, pretending to be an aspiring perfumist. She convinces Carla to smell her perfume, which is poisoned. One sniff and Carla has an asthma attack. She dies on the spot with Villanelle looking on, creepily mesmerized.
In the fictional Killing Eve novellas, on which the TV show is based, the perfume is the favorite scent of the Comtesse du Barry, the mistress of Louis XV. In real life, there's an actual scent called "Villanelle," sold by Belgium based Kamila Aubre. After the show aired, sales of Villanelle skyrocketed, although Aubre's version is based on a poem.
4. Villanelle's Apartment & Shopping Escapades in the 6th Arrondissement
Villanelle's chic Paris apartment is set in the upscale 6th arrondissement, located in the heart of Paris’ Rive Gauche, or Left Bank.
The inside of her apartment is actually a set in a London studio. Typical of Villanelle, it's shabby chic, heavenly, and kind of a perfect artsy pad with peeling wallpaper. The view of Paris from her window is an amazingly detailed backdrop, rendered realistically as if in daylight.
Villanelle's apartment also stars in the Season 1 finale, "God, I'm Tired." Eve is spying on Villanelle and secures the keys to her swishy apartment from a helpful elderly "neighbor." Eve eyes the closet full of designer clothes, the vintage curtains and mirrors, and the refrigerated champagne.
Eve's triggered. Does an assassin deserve a life of luxury? Furiously, Eve rips the clothes out of the closet and smashes champagne bottles. Villanelle returns, and in classic comic fashion, asks Eve "Did you have a party or something?"
Eve collapses on the bed, exhausted. Villanelle cuddles up to her. Then Eve, in a moment that changes the characters' already unsettling dynamic forever, stabs Villanelle in the stomach with a knife.
It's a scene of twisted intimacy, which reveals Eve's dark side. How far down the rabbit hole will Eve go? Eve and Villanelle are now bound together in a more physical and toxic way. And Villanelle likes it.
In the series, it's suggested that the stylish Villanelle has a bit of a shopping addiction. She certainly has an impressive wardrobe. At a minimum, Villanelle's a magpie who buys anything on a whim if it catches her eye. Remember when she asks for the designer of the vintage Italian silk throw during a hit in Episode 1?
Below, we see scenes of Villanelle casually strolling in the tony streets of the 6th arrondissement, on the way home to her chic apartment. The 6th arrondissement is a great place to shop in Paris. There are both classic chains like H&M and Zara and chic boutiques for the more well-stocked wallets.