Holliday Grainger said the new film version of Great Expectations shows things from Estella's perspective.
Charles Dickens' classic novel is narrated by Pip, who falls in love with the beautiful but rather selfish Estella. Holliday revealed she was pleased that Harry Potter director Mike Newell's new film shows more to Estella, who she plays.
She said: "In the novel you never see it from Estella's point of view, throughout it's like you're watching her. And so it's only really at the end that you figure out exactly why she's become who she is.
"It's such a complex history of emotional damage really, and that kind of fascinates me. It's such a deep level of hurt and anger and how she's managed to restrain that and still maintain that kind of composure, I've always found her fascinating."
Mike said Helena Bonham Carter was perfect for the role of mad spinster Miss Havisham.
He joked: "Well she's mad. Helena is mad and that links up precisely with the madness of Miss Havisham.
"The wonderful thing about her is that she's so courageous and she throws herself right into something like that - most people would hold back, but not her."
He also revealed he hoped the new adaptation of the story, which has been retold time and again on television and film, would introduce it to a new generation.
Mike said: "I thought it was a very contemporary project and I thought that young people would be very interested in seeing the emotional troubles of people at the period of the story, so it was a very up-to-date subject for me."