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24 September 2014
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Eve Myles as Maggy
Eve Myles as Maggy

Little Dorrit, a major BBC One Dickens adaptation



Eve Myles plays Maggy

 

For Eve Myles, it was a dream come true when she was asked to join the cast of Little Dorrit.

 

"I've always adored Charles Dickens!" she exclaims.

 

"His characters are so bold. They're larger than life, like a very rich painting. It's like having the luxury of playing on screen the sort of characters you'd usually only play on stage.

 

She adds: "Dickens also conjures up this beautiful picture of London at the time. He writes about these wonderful communities. They're never run of the mill, they're always heightened and extraordinary. Working on this has exceeded all my expectations about Dickens – it's been an absolute blast."

 

Eve, who has broken through to the big time since portraying Gwen Cooper in Torchwood, plays Maggy. She is a woman who is looked after very tenderly by Amy Dorrit (Claire Foy).

 

Maggy has special needs - which presented the actress with a particularly demanding task.

 

"One of the reasons I wanted to take on this role was because I knew it would be a real challenge and very tricky to get right.

 

"Maggy is in her twenties, but she had brain fever when she was little and that has left her with the mind and knowledge of a 10-year-old," reflects the actress, who also has appeared in another substantial BBC One autumn drama, Merlin.

 

"She is a child in a woman's body. You have to tread so carefully because it's a very thin line. Adults playing children can be the most irritating thing in the world. For me, the key was not to pretend to be a child, but to try to capture the energy, naivety and impatience of a 10-year-old."

 

The actress, who also showed up as Gwen in the last series of Doctor Who, goes on to articulate the affecting nature of the relationship between Maggy and Amy.

 

"Maggy is the grand-daughter of Little Dorrit's old nurse. The nurse died when Amy was a baby, and the Dorrits have taken care of her ever since. Amy is Maggy's best friend and has become her mother.

 

"In fact, Maggy never calls her Amy - she calls her 'Little Mother'. Even though Amy is 21 and Maggy is 28, Amy looks after Maggy. Maggy is completely dependent on her. It's a classic role reversal."

 

Finally, Eve reveals that Maggy was one of the hardest parts she has ever taken, but also one of the most stimulating.

 

"It's about being truthful without being patronising. I must admit it was an incredibly tough role to play, but in the end I found it so rewarding."

 


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