I write about my biggest fears: Phoebe Waller-Bridge
London: Phoebe Waller-Bridge says she draws her characters from her personal life but it is more about being in touch with her deepest fears.
The creator and star of dark comedy Fleabag said that she asks the question "what if" through the hit 'BBC Two show', which follows her title character, a 30-something woman and her misadventures with life, family and love.
"Of course I'm drawing on really personal things and things that echo in real life, but I write about my biggest fears. I write about losing my best friend or losing my mum, or not communicating with my dad, or not getting on with his new partner, and all those things are my worst fears: whereas actually my mum's alive and well, my best friend is alive and well and we have an unbelievable relationship, my relationship with both my siblings is incredible, I get on really well with my stepmother and my dad; but it's the 'what if?'" Waller-Bridge said on 'How to Fail with Elizabeth Day' podcast.
What troubles the writer is the speculation that a female screenwriter could only have drawn such lifelike characters from real life.
"Women can make things up too! It's not all our diaries!" she said.
"It might be to do with the fact I'm a woman, but it also might not be. That autobiographical assumption is something I'm asked about a lot. It is either because the show feels so raw and real that people think it's real, or it's because people assume there's a limit to a woman's imagination. I'd always rather believe the former."
Waller-Bridge also said the success of the show and the sudden fame that followed exposed her family to questions about their personal life.