Fiona Shaw on IF and Working With Real-Life Friend Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Fiona Shaw IF interview

Outside of his work on The Office, John Krasinski is best known for the chilling Quiet Place horror franchise, which he co-wrote, directed and starred in alongside his wife, Emily Blunt. But while A Quiet Place: Day One is set to hit cinemas next month, Krasinski has stepped away from the franchise for the time being, and has spent his time working on IF, a family dramedy. Along with Krasinski, the film stars Ryan Reynolds, Fiona Shaw and Cailey Fleming.

IF follows Bea (Fleming), a young girl who finds that she can see everyone’s imaginary friends who have been left behind as their real-life friends have grown up. To celebrate the release of the film, we spoke to Fiona Shaw about her friends — both real and imaginary.

Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in IF
Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming in IF. Credit: Paramount

Did Fiona Shaw Have an Imaginary Friend Growing Up?

Over Zoom, Shaw — who plays Bea’s grandmother in the film — says that while she never had one specific imaginary friend, she was “an imaginative child” growing up.

“All children spend a lot of time in their imagination, quite wisely!” Shaw says.

“My brother had [an imaginary friend], and I think it’s because we moved house,” she says. “But I was busy having a hospital. I was very obsessed with my Dad, who was a doctor, so I had a hospital of animals, and they were all very sick, and I was curing them all the time.

“So I didn’t really have an imaginary friend, in that I had a whole ward of imaginary friends!” she continues. “They mainly had broken limbs, obviously, because it’s much better to do bandaging than internal operations on toys!”

Watch the trailer for IF:

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Is Fiona Shaw’s “Fairy Godmother”

IF reunites Fiona Shaw on screen with her real-life friend and now three-time collaborator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who voices Blossom in the film.

“I always love any chance to be with Phoebe!” Shaw exclaims. “And she is a delightful person, both in life and in art.”

The duo have previously worked together on Killing Eve and Fleabag, but Shaw is quick to note that she “can’t get enough!” when it comes to working with Waller-Bridge.

“She’s delightful,” Shaw says, adding: “It was very clever of John to kind of put us both together again, and it’s great fun. She and I watched the film together last week.”

As for Shaw’s favourite collaboration with Waller-Bridge, though, the trophy goes to the second season of Fleabag.

“That first scene, the first 10 minutes of Fleabag 2 I think, is one of the best things I’ve seen on television, ever,” Shaw gushes. “But of course, I’m very grateful to her for Killing Eve, where she wrote us into a kind of fourth dimension, really. And people [were] so engaged with those characters that I’m forever grateful to Phoebe.”

“I feel, in a way, that she is my fairy godmother!” she laughs.

IF is in HOYTS cinemas on May 16. Buy tickets here.

Want more entertainment news? Click here to read all our content, and check out the stories below:

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.