Fast rising British actress Holliday Grainger has been cast in the pivotal role of Estella in Mike Newell’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens classic “Great Expectations”, reports Screen Daily. Grainger will play love interest and emotional torturer of the orphan Pip, played by “War Horse” star Jeremy Irvine.
For those of us who are fans of the new hit Showtime series “The Borgias”, this seems like a bit of perfect casting. As Lucrezia Borgia, Grainger already pretty much plays Estella on a weekly basis, charming and manipulating men to get her way. “She is just an incredibly fine actor and has the beauty that is needed for Estella as well as an extraordinary technical ability,” producer Elizabeth Karlsen said of the actress. Initially, American actress Rooney Mara had been in early negotiations for the role, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
Estella is brought up and taught to torture men by the eccentric Miss Havisham, played by Helena Bonham Carter in Newe’lls adaptation. Irvine’s naive and kindhearted Pip is no match for Estella’s beauty and succumbs quickly to her charms, all the while becoming the recipient of a mysterious benefactor, the ex-convict Magwitch to be played by Ralph Fiennes.
Grainger was most recently seen on the big screen as one of Mia Wasikowska’s cousins in Cary Fukunaga’s “Jane Eyre” and will next be seen opposite Robert Pattinson in Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod’s adaptation of “Bel Ami”. “The Borgias” was also picked up for season 2 on Showtime.
Filming on Newell’s “Great Expectations” begins on October 10 in London, readying for a 2012 release to celebrate Dickens’ bicentenary. A BBC miniseries of the same novel is also planned, with Douglas Booth set for the role of Pip and Ray Winstone as Magwitch.