FANTASY OF MAGIC AND MADNESS
Trying to keep the rabid fans of a beloved book such as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell happy is difficult enough for the makers of a TV adaptation.
But keeping the original author happy is even trickier — especially when she’s on set.
Thankfully, says Alice Englert who plays Lady Pole in the BBC fantasy drama, Susanna Clarke wasn’t the slightest bit precious about the liberties they were taking.
“She was around for quite a bit of the shooting and was the sweetest, kindest spectator,” says Englert, daughter of filmmaker Jane Campion. “There’s really no horror story.”
The miniseries is about two men who bring magic back to England after three centuries, with Englert’s character becoming collateral damage as a result of being raised from the dead (it doesn’t go too well).
“Susanna was really aware of how the series had taken on its own life and was really was so happy to see that. … and I was just too young and too excited to even be that considerate!” she laughs. Best known for Beautiful Creatures, Englert is a hot tip to appear in season two of her mother’s TV series Top of the Lake, being filmed in Sydney.
“I think she’s fantastic,” says Englert. JONATHAN STRANGE & MR NORRELL, BBC FIRST, THURSDAY, 8.30PM