movies: He­lena Carter Bon­ham talks Miss Hav­isham ................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - CONTENTS -

HE­LENA Bon­ham Carter ad­mits she had doubts about play­ing Miss Hav­isham in the new film adap­ta­tion of Great Ex­pec­ta­tions.

The Os­car-nom­i­nated ac­tress stars in Four Wed­dings And A Funeral di­rec­tor Mike Newell’s big-screen adap­ta­tion of Charles Dick­ens’ novel about young or­phan Pip, whose life is changed by a mas­sive in­her­i­tance from a mys­tery bene­fac­tor.

Bon­ham Carter ad­mits she felt ‘‘really ex­cited’’ about play­ing the mad spin­ster who lives in her cob­web-cov­ered wed­ding dress af­ter be­ing jilted on her wed­ding day.

‘‘At the point when I was of­fered it I felt a bit young and then Mike said, ‘No, no, if you look at the book she is ac­tu­ally your age’. And I said ‘Oh great! OK’,’’ she says.

‘‘And then I thought it’s quite an orig­i­nal idea. Peo­ple al­ways ex­pect her to be a 70-year-old but then Gil­lian (An­der­son) did it too (in the re­cent BBC TV adap­ta­tion) and I thought it’s not that orig­i­nal – she’s younger than me.

‘‘But there’s so many dif­fer­ent ideas in the book that we ac­tu­ally went for com­pletely dif­fer­ent ideas. And I love the fact she’s steeped in fairy­tale, the way Dick­ens has writ­ten her.’’

Hol­l­i­day Grainger plays Estella, who cap­tures Pip’s heart only to break it. The Bel Ami star says she has al­ways fought Estella’s cor­ner and wanted to show a softer side to the char­ac­ter.

‘‘I used to have ar­gu­ments with peo­ple in my sem­i­nars about her be­cause she can be seen as a cold co­quette,’’ Grainger says.

‘‘But it’s just that she’s so emo­tion­ally dam­aged that she really wants to love and be loved but she never has been and she doesn’t un­der­stand it. So then she doesn’t be­lieve that she can.’’

The film also stars War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine as Pip and his brother Toby Irvine, who plays young Pip, Ralph Fi­ennes as omi­nous crim­i­nal Mag­witch and Rob­bie Coltrane as the lawyer Mr Jag­gers.

Coltrane says bud­get con­straints meant the pro­duc­ers didn’t know where the funds for the film were coming from week by week – an ex­pe­ri­ence that united the cast.

‘‘It was a joy. We were all hang­ing around with each other on set all day, largely be­cause it was a great big hole on the A4 mo­tor­way,’’ he says. ‘‘But there was some­thing very mag­i­cal about it.’’

He­lena Bon­ham Carter as the mad spin­ster Miss Hav­isham in

Great Ex­pec­ta­tions.

Hol­l­i­day Grainger

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