Tuesday 16 January 2018

Holliday Grainger baffled by 'fuss' about Lady Chatterley's Lover

Holliday Grainger plays Constance Chatterley and Richard Madden gamekeeper Oliver Mellors in BBC One's Lady Chatterley's Lover.
Holliday Grainger plays Constance Chatterley and Richard Madden gamekeeper Oliver Mellors in BBC One's Lady Chatterley's Lover.

BBC One's latest adaptation of racy DH Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley's Lover stars Holliday Grainger in the title role, but the 27-year-old is not impressed by its reputation and does not "see what all the fuss is about".

Written in 1928, the book gained notoriety for its explicit language and sexual descriptions, and was banned in the UK until 1960.

A fter publishing, Penguin Books was tried under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 for frequent use of the word "f***" and its derivatives.

The jury found for Penguin Books and since then, Lady Chatterley's Lover has enjoyed an infamy which remains to this day.

"All I knew was that it was a really steamy, racy read and my grandparents had always said that the copy was well thumbed in libraries, and one particular middle central page!" reveals Grainger.

"But as a modern reader, post-Fifty Shades Of Grey, I was like, 'Oh, I don't see what all the fuss is about!'"

Previously adapted by the BBC as a mini-series in 1993, this new one-off film pairs The Borgias' Grainger with Grantchester's James Norton as Sir Clifford Chatterley and Game Of Thrones' Richard Madden as gamekeeper Oliver Mellors.

As the drama unfolds in the new adaptation, Lady Chatterley enjoys a happy marriage until her husband is severely wounded while fighting in the First World War.

Confined to a wheelchair and unable to make love, Chatterley becomes more distant and his wife eventually embarks on a torrid affair with Mellors, despite their difference in class.

The good-looking cast coupled with the Lawrence's racy source material soon sparked press speculation about the sex scenes: just how far would the BBC go?

Jed Mercurio, who has directed and written this latest BBC version, doesn't view it as a pornographic tale so anyone expecting frequent steamy trysts between Lady Chatterley and Mellors will be sorely disappointed.

"There's sex and passion in it, but we're not going to shock people like the book did," he said.

The release of the trailer showcasing a bare-chested Madden added to all the excitement, with Lady Chatterley's Lover branded "the new Poldark" - a reference to the recent period drama starring Aidan Turner. However, the sex scenes are tastefully placed and done.

Madden decided not to revisit the 1993 mini-series starring his former Game Of Thrones co-star Sean Bean in the role of Mellors. At the time, viewers complained about its full frontal nudity.

"I blocked it out of my mind, just to prevent myself being influenced," Madden said.

Bafta-nominated for his breakout role in police drama Happy Valley, Norton insisted: "The idea was to tell it as a love story, a love triangle, and focus on the emotions of the characters."

Lady Chatterley's Lover airs Sunday September 6 on BBC One at 9pm.

Press Association

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