Interview with Shalom Brune-Franklin (Estella) in Great Expectations - Premieres Today on March 26
Arriving on Hulu in the U.S. and BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Sunday, March 26
"They really do have amazing timing when it comes to dropping a fart or deciding to pee or poo themselves in the middle of the scene."
Watch the Trailer Below / Image: BBC/FX Networks/Pari Dukovic / Published: 21 March 2023
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What do you think it is about this classic tale that makes it so captivating for readers?
Can you tell us about your character, Estella, and the journey she goes on?
Estella is Miss Havisham's adopted daughter. Miss Havisham was famously left at the altar and, since then, she's lived this incredibly heartbroken life. She adopts this child and her real aim is to raise a daughter who can break the hearts of men. It's sort of her way of getting revenge on the opposite sex for what happened to her. Estella is like Miss Havisham's doll in an incredibly toxic environment. She’s raised to be a cruel and cold heartbreaker and that's the beginning of the journey that we see in the show.
What was it like working with Olivia?
It was amazing. The relationship between Estella and Miss Havisham is incredibly toxic and dark, especially the way that Steven has adapted it. I was really excited and nervous when I found out Olivia Colman was essentially going to be playing my mum. They're such heavy scenes so it's really fun when we're on set and straight after we yell "cut" we're just laughing and making light of the situation, so that's been lovely. She's such a dream, I literally pinch myself thinking about it. I can't believe I'm working with her.
Can you tell us about Steven Knight's writing?
Steven Knight is amazing. I was such a huge fan of his. As soon as I saw this audition fall into my inbox I was like, oh my gosh, I couldn't breathe. He's incredible. The adaptation is so different and exciting. There are so many characters that I feel are different from the book. One of my favourite characters in our version is Jaggers, who I think is almost unrecognisable from the novel. He's got an incredible imagination and it's going to be really good fun to watch.
Could you talk about the look for your character?
The process of hair, makeup and wardrobe with a period drama is so different to anything I've ever experienced, specifically with wardrobe. In our very first meeting with Verity Hawkes, who's the designer, she'd laid out all these incredible sketches that she had drawn up and was explaining the process of what happens to Estella – we see her bloom and rot in her clothing, like you would with flowers. I remember going in for those first fittings and seeing those dresses for the first time – they literally took my breath away.
So, how would you describe Estella's fashion and style?
It’s obviously incredibly period, like Victorian, but I think Verity and Niamh Morrison, the hair and makeup designer, both had, surprisingly, a lot of fashion runway references. There were Galliano references, Vivienne Westwood references. So, they were trying to go for something that was a bit more editorial and grungy, not quite traditional. I guess I would describe her style as a weird rotting grunge princess.
Have there been any funny moments on set?
There’s been some pretty funny things that have happened with the horses on set. They really do have amazing timing when it comes to dropping a fart or deciding to pee or poo themselves in the middle of the scene. It’s not very highbrow that answer, is it? It's so loud. It sounds like some kind of like heavy machinery, a horse fart.
Coming to BBC One and BBC iPlayer from Sunday 26 March.
The six-part limited series will premiere on March 26 exclusively on Hulu in the U.S. and feature the first two episodes on that date.
Source BBC One
March 26, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC One