SEX SELLS: MANVILLE HOOKED ON HARLOTS
LESLEY Manville’s character in Harlots is the gift that keeps on giving.
The celebrated actor is relishing the chance to play nasty brothel owner Lydia Quigley in the British period drama.
Harlots is set in 1763, when one in five women in London is making a living selling sex.
The series centres on a rivalry between Quigley and another brothel owner, Margaret Wells (Samantha Morton).
What sets it apart is it is created, executive produced, written and directed by women.
“I read the first three scripts and I was intrigued,” Manville says.
“The scale of prostitution that was going on in London in 1763 amazed me.
“Lydia Quigley is such a great part and I had great freedom to create her.
“The producers described her as ‘the Lady Macbeth of brothel keepers’ so I thought, ‘This sounds juicy – I wouldn’t mind getting my teeth around this’.
“Lydia is a nasty piece of work but the more I played her, the more delicious I found her.
“There is a wit and a sarcasm and malevolence about her which I have to admit I enjoyed perhaps more than I should have.”
HARLOTS STREAMING NOW, SBS ON DEMAND