ET Online – When Steven Spielberg handpicks an actor to hang an entire movie on, there are great expectations placed upon their performance and subsequent success. Luckily for us all, Jeremy Irvine’s post-War Horse career has been as gripping and exciting as his Oscar-nominated, tear-inducing film debut.
Following the little-seen, but simply wonderful, Now Is Good, Irvine stars as Pip in Mike Newell’s retelling of Shakespeare’s Great Expectations. And while the film is set in the 1800s, there’s a marvelous modernity infused throughout that elevates it above your standard classic literary adaptation. ETonline chatted with the rising star about taking on this iconic role, how he brought something new to the seventh version of Pip and which of his upcoming roles he’s most excited for audiences to see.
ETonline: What appealed to you about this incarnation?
Jeremy Irvine: There have been a few TV adaptations, and that modernized movie, but there hasn’t been a period movie version since David Lean’s movie [in 1946]. I felt like it was about time. There’s a trap that actors fall into while doing period pieces; we get caught up in the etiquette of the time. If two characters are in love, they stand on opposite sides of the room and are terribly prim and proper. We wanted to make something a little bit more raw and violent and visceral. We didn’t want to get caught up in that. Mike Newell, the director, wanted to do a movie that felt modern despite the period clothing.