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Luther star Ruth Wilson brands roles for women 'offensively' two-dimensional


Ruth Wilson is starring in the title role of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre

Ruth Wilson is starring in the title role of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre

Ruth Wilson is starring in the title role of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre

Most of the screen roles written for women are still so two-dimensional it is "offensive", Luther star Ruth Wilson has said.

The actress, who is currently starring in the title role of Hedda Gabler at the National Theatre, said she has seen little improvement in the quality of parts for female movie stars over the years.

She told the Press Association: " I find most of the characters written are so two-dimensional, so many of the roles for women. I find it offensive.

"There are lots of two-dimensional male parts too and it's very boring to play and hard to play.

"I find it more so in film than in TV, where it tends to be more detailed, but i n film you're written as the girlfriend or the best friend or the one with the smart comments, they are very simply drawn.

"In TV they are trying to improve with longer narratives but film is still struggling. There are two extremes - Marvel and DC (comic book movies) or small low budget, and neither seem to have many complex female roles. Indies are maybe a bit better."

Wilson, 35, is treading the boards in London before she returns to the US to film the fourth series of drama The Affair opposite British star Dominic West, and said television in the UK is still lagging behind America, where bigger budgets offer more freedom to experiment.

She said: "In American TV they have more money so can take more risks. We do substantial shows here but usually short run series. Cops and hospital dramas are what we offer the world."

However, Wilson said she would still love to return to the role that she continues to be best known for - psychopath Alice Morgan in BBC drama Luther.

She said: "I would love to return to Alice but I don't know if that will happen. There is an enthusiasm for it."

She added she has embraced the complexity of the role in Hedda Gabler, a new version of the Henrik Ibsen play by Patrick Marber, directed by Ivo van Hove, for which she has received an Olivier Award nomination.

Audiences around the country will have a chance see the show for themselves when it is broadcast live to cinemas tomorrow.

She said: "I t's been one of the best experiences of my career, I've had the time of my life and feel more relaxed and more open and liberated. I don't know if I will ever get a part like this again.

"It was so amazing and complex and funny and nasty and vile. She's a child and she's sexy, there are so many sides to her. She is someone unknowable."

She added: "I sat down and really tried to work her out but to rationalise her actions is very difficult, to work out what she's thinking, I still don't know if I've found my own logic.

"That is what I love, you keep finding new bits to it."

Hedda Gabler will be broadcast live from the National Theatre on March 9 as part of National Theatre Live. To find your nearest cinema go to http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/.

PA Media