Belfast Telegraph

Suranne Jones wants to avoid roles that steal her soul

The actress stars in BBC One series Gentleman Jack.

Suranne Jones has embraced the challenge of her role (Ian West/PA)
Suranne Jones has embraced the challenge of her role (Ian West/PA)

Suranne Jones wants to devote herself to challenging roles and not parts that steal her soul.

The actress committed herself to playing the part of lesbian diarist Anne Lister in the BBC series Gentleman Jack.

Lister was a formidable writer and landowner who secretly documented her same-sex relationships in the 19th century.

Jones has been inspired by the part, and said the challenge of playing the complex figure is something she wants to embrace in future.

The actress said she wants to fight for her characters after taking on the multifaceted role.

She said: “I’ve made a decision that I want to go after roles like this more than I do the ones that kind of steal your soul a little bit.

“You give your soul to roles like this and you fight for the character in a way because there’s a cause to it all, and those are the roles I want more of in the future.”

Jones hopes that Gentleman Jack will have a modern feel, and show the strength of women in a man’s world.

Lister, whose diaries have been adapted for the drama by writer Sally Wainwright, found a way to live with her eccentricities and sexuality in the Victorian era.

Jones said: “I hope our audiences will see this as a really modern period drama, which sounds odd to say, not only because of the story of the lovers but because we’ve got a woman in a man’s world who presents herself in a way that she wants to present herself and doesn’t conform to the norms of society.”

Gentleman Jack airs tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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