Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Helena's doubts over Havisham role

Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger star in Great Expectations
Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger star in Great Expectations

Helena Bonham Carer has admitted she did have doubts about playing Miss Havisham in the new film adaptation of Great Expectations.

The Oscar nominated actress braved the rain in a bold, fitted Vivienne Westwood gown at the gala screening, which marked the close of the BFI London Film Festival 2012.

Four Weddings And A Funeral's Mike Newell directed the big screen adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel about young orphan Pip, whose life is completely changed by a massive inheritance from a mystery benefactor. One Day's David Nicholls penned the screenplay.

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

But she added: "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! Okay!'

"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 television adaptation) and I thought it's not that original, she's younger than me."

Holliday Grainger plays Estella, who captures Pip's heart only to break it.

The Bel Ami star revealed she 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," she said.

"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."

Also at the premiere were War Horse star Jeremy Irvine, who stars as Pip, and his brother Toby Irvine, who plays the young Pip in the film.

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