Back into Action
In Hitmen: Reloaded, the series two follow up to 2020’s Hitmen, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc return as Jamie and Fran, the two best pals who happen to also be contract killers. They have a new van at their disposal, new assignments intended for… disposal… and an enigmatic new client, Mr V, who seems to be providing them with an abundance of jobs.
At their old school reunion, Jamie and Fran get talking to their long-lost classmate, Kat (Katherine Parkinson), but her success at reconnecting with Jamie leaves Fran with a bad taste in her mouth.
Sue Perkins is Fran, the self-styled leader of the duo who likes to get things done. She’s witty, wry and always imagining a new way to weasel out of a tough spot. Convinced she knows best, Fran is always at odds with her carefree accomplice – but the truth is, but killers are completely clueless.
Beneath Fran’s put-on leader persona, she’s torn apart by the fear that her life isn’t going according to plan. It was never her dream to murder for money, after all, and even though she’s not too shabby at it, it’s not the kind of career that kindles joy.
With a cold-blooded ambition and wish to move up in the world Fran can see herself properly in her element in the future; perhaps in full-body PVC, taking out the boss of a Hong Kong Triads ring, atop a skyscraper at night. Somehow though, she and Jamie seem destined to mop-up low-level targets in an unfulfilling and miserable mire.
She might be a murderer, but that doesn’t get in the way of Jamie’s heart of gold. Played to perfection by Mel Giedroyc, and with an upbeat, impulsive and largely oblivious attitude to everything going on around her; Jamie throws herself wholeheartedly into her tasks.
In contrast to Fran, Jamie is quite content. She doesn’t seem aware of how sinister her salt earning is, and just feels glad to be hanging out with her best mate all day. She’s able to make friends with just about anyone – even her imminent targets… but this doesn’t stop her for a second when it comes to pulling the trigger.
Interview with Mel and Sue
How does it feel to be back and working on Hitmen?
Sue: Amazing. It’s so fun.
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.
Sue: We’ve basically been given the chance to come back out of lockdown and play, albeit in a careful way. You really take care outside of filming because the crew is your family and you want to make sure everyone is safe.
Mel: We feel very lucky to be working, as there’s a lot of people in our profession out there who aren’t and haven’t had a chance to do anything like this.
So the safety restrictions haven’t gotten in the way of the fun?
Sue: Not at all. We had a lot of good weather that 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…
Sue: By having sex.
Mel: No! By doing a really sinister… if you can imagine an upright spooning position. So he was behind me and we got round the whole intimate snogging.
Sounds like your average school disco.
Sue: It was basically a 1980s grind.
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.
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.
Sue: She’s phenomenal. The triangular dynamic is so fun to play. It felt like we were still at school with those silly tensions that you have, particularly amongst girls. She’s so brilliant and the character is so repulsive. I think people are going to really love her.
Being contract killers is just the latest project in a partnership that’s been going since 1993. That’s getting close to 30 years on screen. How do you feel about having such career longevity? Is there a secret to working together and also staying friends? Not everyone can manage it.
Mel: Just keep hanging on,
Sue: Stay on the bus. Stay on there until somebody forces you off it.
Mel: Refuse to go. You are the person on the tube who is sleeping at the terminus.
Sue: Or on the Circle Line, just going round and round and round. It’s been chequered, really. Some things have worked brilliantly beyond our wildest dreams. Some things have failed worse than we can ever imagine. But the thing that keeps it going in continuum, is that…
Mel: We’re friends.
Sue: We love each other. We have a laugh.
Hitmen: Reloaded – Wednesday 29th September at 9pm on Sky Comedy, or stream on Now TV