Belfast Telegraph

Scanlan finds Dickensian life tough

Joanna Scanlan has revealed how her role as Charles Dickens' wife made her realise how the world is a much better place today for women.

The Thick Of It actress stars as Catherine Dickens in The Invisible Woman - a film directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes. It tells the story of Charles Dickens' relationship with his secret lover. Joanna said she thought a lot about the experience Catherine had and how it would be different now.

Joanna said: "What made me think more than anything was the difference in society between now and then. What's not common any longer is the humiliation of the woman to the same level. And I actually thought, yeah, our society has improved."

The Welsh actress added: "Now although many marriages end, I don't think the position of a woman in her forties, late forties or fifties, is anything like as catastrophic as it was then. She has a chance to re-invigorate herself, which poor Catherine Dickens did not have.

"Careers can go on, and the position of that woman is going to be one of being ultimately respected rather than disgraced by the divorce."

Joanna, who is very grateful to be part of the movie, said although she may be known for comedy, she feels at home with serious drama.

"I feel very lucky to be part of that. I mean, incredibly lucky," she said.

"I do actually feel more at home in the world of serious drama than I do in the world of comedy. I've always felt that I'm probably a very serious person and I feel comfortable around seriousness," she added.

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