The actor on her new ‘plilm’, being busy in a pandemic, and the strangeness of Brad Pitt ‘fan-girling’ over her Fleabag co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge

In a challenging period for her industry, actor Sian Clifford seems almost embarrassed at how busy she has been. In 2020, the 38-year-old from west London co-starred in ITV’s drama Quiz – the story of the “coughing” scandal on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – and the survivalist mother of Kim (Maisie Williams) in Two Weeks to Live on Sky. In July, she won the TV Bafta for female in a comedy for her performance as Claire, the uptight sister in Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag. Clifford has already shot a number of projects for 2021 including Good Grief, a tragicomic filmed play written by Lorien Haynes about two friends coming to terms with bereavement, in which she stars alongside Nikesh Patel.

Good Grief has been described as “neither theatre, nor film”. What is it?
I’m coining the word “plilm”. Not a play or a film but a plilm. There might be a better word out there; I’m open to offers. But it is a total hybrid. We didn’t film it in a theatre. We filmed it in a studio. But the play is absolutely phenomenal. It is exploring the stages of grief, but it’s not linear. My character has lost her best friend, and Nikesh’s character has lost his partner. It’s devastating, but so funny. It’s also an experiment that I very willingly participated in to keep people engaged with the arts during this time.

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