'Great Expectations' role stunned Helena Bonham Carter

Published: Oct 23, 2012, 08:40 IST | PTI

Actress Helena Bonham Carter says she was stunned when she was offered the role of Miss Havisham in a film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic 'Great Expectations'.

The 45-year-old said she had reservations when she was approached by the film's director, Mike Newell, because she thought she was too young to play the bitter spinster, reported BBC online.

Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter

"My first reaction was, 'Am I that old?'... (Newell) said if you go back to the the book and work out the mathematics she is only 56. I said 'Yeah but I'm 45', and he said it spans from age 27 to 56 - and I thought what an original idea," she said.

The coming of age novel, set in the early to mid 19th century, depicts the growth and personal development of an orphan named Pip. Miss Havisham, an iconic character in English literature, is depicted as a bitter, old spinster, who is always dressed in a decaying wedding gown after being ditched by her lover on her wedding day. She encourages Pip to fall in love with her adopted daughter Estella, with an intention to break his heart later. 

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