Hay­ley My cos­tume drama’s not stiff

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News -

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

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