Belfast Telegraph

Campion: Hunter didn't want role

Jane Campion has revealed Holly Hunter didn't want to appear in her new TV show Top Of The Lake, but she found the director impossible to say no to.

The pair worked together on the Oscar-winning film The Piano, and Campion admitted she had Holly in mind for the role of guru GJ when she was writing the crime drama.

The director said: "I did think of Holly [when I was writing it] and it was hard holding back.

"She told me later that she really didn't want to do it. She rang up once to say, 'I can't do it' but she couldn't say it.

"I was so convinced that she would be brilliant because of her strength and her originality.

"So in typical Holly fashion she turned round to her husband and said, 'I couldn't say no'."

The series set in New Zealand centres around a criminal investigation into the pregnancy and disappearance of a 12-year-old schoolgirl. Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss plays detective Robin Griffin.

Campion admitted her first thought when Elisabeth asked to audition was "Oh, an American..." But she'd been hunting high and low for her leading lady and agreed to see her.

"I think she's a rare creature," said the 59-year-old director. "She's like the Mona Lisa - the more you go in, the more tantalised you get. There's something hidden and mysterious that just engages you. And the more I worked with Elisabeth, the more devoted I felt."

:: Top Of The Lake begins on BBC Two on Saturday, July 13.

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