Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

August 14, 2006

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Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 3:05 pm

Ruth Wilson on Jane Eyre

At last, a wonderful interview with our new Jane Eyre has come over the wire (on the 11th). And there’s also a notation on the bottom of the article with a little more information on the air date in the UK. The series will be airing on BBC One in late September! Here are some excerpts from the interview with Ruth Wilson:

The 24-year-old won the role late last year, having only graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in July.
At the time she had just one professional credit, as seductive Jewel Diamond in the Five sitcom Suburban Shootout.
And because most of the parts she was being put up for were similarly glamorous, she approached the Jane Eyre audition considering herself barely suitable for the role of the dowdy governess from Charlotte Bronte’s 19th Century novel.
“But then I read the script and the script was amazing… so honest, natural and real,” she says.
“It was kind of the first script that I felt really at ease with. When I was at the audition it just came so naturally to me.”
I just felt really humble saying, ‘I’m Ruth Wilson, I’m playing Jane Eyre’ She adds: “She’s a complex, amazing character – it’s a gift to be given really on your second job.”
Wilson admits she was “a bit in shock” when she was told she would be joining a stellar cast including Toby Stephens, Francesca Annis, Pam Ferris and Tara Fitzgerald.
“I didn’t quite believe it for a while. The first people I phoned up were my mum and dad, who were very chuffed and sort of screaming down the phone, more excited than I was.”

[…]

But the most nerve-wracking moment was when she first joined the rest of the cast and crew for the script read-through.
“It’s everyone in this big room: BBC execs; casting directors; most of the crew; people who I’ve got no idea who they are. There’s just 60, 70 people in a room.
“The worst thing was going round the room saying what you are doing – I just felt really humble saying, ‘I’m Ruth Wilson, I’m playing Jane Eyre.'”
Just as she sensed that all eyes that day would be on the unknown actress in the starring role, Wilson is aware that critics’ eyes will be too.
“They’re not going to ignore me,” she says.
“You wish for these roles, but you know that it’s going to be judged on every level.”
Star struck
With almost all her previous experience in the theatre, Wilson admits that she is still learning how to act for the screen.
“I really enjoyed the experience, I got so much out of it and I can only get better, I know I can.
“Whatever the critics say, they say – there’s no point worrying too much about it.”
Since completing filming in June, Wilson has immediately noticed the positive effect of the addition of Jane Eyre to her CV.
“I am going to better auditions,” she says.
“People are starting to see me when they wouldn’t have done before – suddenly you have done a big show and you have got a bit more standing.”
She adds: “Suddenly I’m going to an audition and it’s like, ‘There’s Tamsin Greig, I’m going to an audition with her,’ and getting really star struck by people around me in the audition room.”

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