Tuesday 27 December 2011, 10:00
I wanted to play Miss Havisham because she's an iconic character who pervades our world in various forms. So many people have written about her or based other characters on her over many decades.
I was interested in what it was that was so appealing about her, what it is that seems to get under people's skin.
Miss Havisham interrogates Pip
I am sure it also matters when somebody read the book and what their situation was at that particular time.
A lot of people I know who said Great Expectations is their favourite book are men.
Did they read it when they were pre-pubescent and feeling lost and misunderstood? Pip is feeling the awe of the wider world, the world beyond, and how Miss Havisham draws him into that, and opens his eyes and his heart, ultimately to crush it.
I can imagine being a young man, and reading Pip's journey, falling in love in a mysterious way in this magical house where you have come from the hardship of working in a forge and having lost all of your brothers and sisters save one.
And here's hope, here is a door to the rest of the world - and then having that shut and then reopened.
I can imagine that journey as a young kid, especially a young boy, must be unbelievably exciting.
It was the journey pre-Harry Potter. Of course it was longer ago, but I can imagine young people having the same kind of magical response to Great Expectations that we did when Harry Potter books first started to come out.
That's if it does get introduced at an early age, in school or through a parent or whatever and the child is able to crack the density of it.
This wasn't my experience of it. My experience of it was dipping into it here and there and probably reading most of it in my late 20s.
I can only imagine the magic of it and the immersion in that world at a younger age.
Gillian Anderson plays Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.
For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.
Watch Gillian (in costume) talking further about the Great Expectations script and set.
Read an article by Mike Osborn on the 'youthful' air of Gillian Anderson's Miss Havisham.
Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.
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Friday 23 December 2011, 09:29
Monday 9 January 2012, 10:29