Features

Here's What You Need to Know About Fleabag's Hot Priest

Andrew Scott may be the breakout star of Season 2, but his career demands more than just your "Hot Priest" tweets.
  • Andrew Scott in Fleabag (Amazon)
    Andrew Scott in Fleabag (Amazon)

    Fleabag certainly isn't the biggest shown on television, but that hasn't stopped the darkly comedic British TV series about grief and depression from capturing the imagination of just about every TV critic, and hordes of evangelizing fans on Twitter, where the show's second season may as well be the second coming.

    The enthusiasm for Season 2 of Fleabag extends beyond just creator/writer/actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge (although she's obviously a huge part of it). Joining Waller-Bridge for Season 2 is a supporting cast that includes Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, Kristin Scott-Thomas, and Fiona Shaw. But even among these big names, a disproportionate amount of attention has gone to Andrew Scott. Except not really. It's gone to the character he plays on the show: the Priest. Fleabag being a show that exists so intensely through Waller-Bridge's character's point-of-view, some characters get names while others are just "Godmother" or "Arsehole Guy" or, in this case, "Priest."

    Or more accurately, "Hot Priest," if you've been on social media. The rapturous reception to Fleabag's second season has run heavy with appreciation for the blazingly sexy love story between Fleabag and Priest, who despite his vocation, becomes an object of intense sexual desire. Which makes sense, because: have you seen Andrew Scott? Which is actually my point, because judging by the way people are talking about Hot Priest, it seems like a LOT of people are unfamiliar. That needs to change immediately.

    People have taken notice of Andrew Scott at various points in his career, and I guess that means we need to make room for the Fleabag-come-latelies. Especially because I myself hopped onto the train a good bit after all the Sherlock fanatics had adopted him as their own forever, for his performance as Moriarty, the legendary arch-enemy of Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch).

    I came by Andrew Scott in the perfect little 2014 movie Pride, about a group of gay English activists in the '80s who threw their support behind a working-class coal miners' strike in Wales. It's a bright, bittersweet comedy that blends class strife, AIDS activism, family and dancing, and in it Scott plays Gethin, the more diminishing half of a gay couple whose quietness lets him fade into the background of his boisterous circle of friends. But we eventually learn about his own Welsh upbringing and painful separation from his family, and Scott plays everything just so perfectly.

    In addition to Sherlock and Pride, Scott has appeared as a James Bond antagonist in Spectre, and opposite Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson in the BBC's King Lear. He won a BAFTA for Sherlock and a British Independent Film Award for Pride. He's also, it should be noted, an out gay actor at a time when there still aren't enough out gay actors. He's astoundingly charismatic as Priest in Fleabag's equally astounding second season. But when you talk about Hot Priest, please come correct. He's Hot Andrew Scott.

    People are talking about Fleabag in our forums. Join the conversation.

    Joe Reid is the Managing Editor at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, The Herald Sun, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.

    TOPICS: Fleabag, Sherlock, Andrew Scott, Phoebe Waller-Bridge