Hayley My costume drama’s not stiff
Hayley Attwell will set pulses racing tonight in the BBC’s sexed-up version of the classic Howards End.
The costume drama aims to build on the success they had with bodice- ripper Poldark, which was a huge Sunday-night ratings hit.
The four-parter, which is based on EM Forster’s 1910 novel and directed by Hettie MacDonald, has also been given a faster pace and a more modern feel.
Hayley, 35, plays lead character Margaret Schlegel – but unlike many literary heroines, Margaret “is no damsel in distress”.
Following in the footsteps of Emma Thompson – who starred in the 1992 Merchant Ivory film with Anthony Hopkins – could have been daunting.
But Hayley said they were keen to make the new series “real” and not “stiff”.
She added: “Reading the script, the characters just became strong on the page and they felt very clearly well-defined and complex, equal in their own voices.
“I found these characters fascinating, I wanted to know more about them.
“It was a ‘ yes’ for me straight away.
“Margaret, at the beginning, is content with her life, loves her home and family, but there’ s restlessness and self-doubt.
“She searches for answers and constantly evaluates if she’s living a good life, making the most of her position to effect change.
“She’s quite a rare woman in her time, independent but progressive.”
PACE As Margaret