Hayley Atwell Is Restless, Starring in new BBC Drama
Having already taken a role in the superb adaptation of Any Human Heart, Hayley Atwell is no stranger to world of William Boyd and she has one the leading roles in up coming BBC drama Restless based on Boyd’s novel of the same name. In fact when Atwell heard about Restless she knew instinctively she wanted to be part of it. The opportunity to play the lead in a BBC drama by one of the UK’s most respected writers and dramatists was a no-brainer and like her character in Any Human Heart, Atwell recognised Eva had the potential to be a career defining role.
“I see Eva as a strong, but incredibly vulnerable person which is true of most people. We are not just one thing; we have many different sides and many different identities, depending on what is required of us. Eva is a heroine and a very brave woman that I feel blessed to have spent time working on – she’s a much better woman than I am!”
“Will dedicated Restless to his wife Susan, who, I have absolutely no doubt, has been a driving force in terms of the women he has created in his books. You can tell how much he admires women as he writes competent, capable and daring characters; especially in Restless, with Eva and Ruth, who are both so alive with bold spirits and are great fun to watch.”
When Eva Delectorskaya, a young Russian émigré living in Paris, discovers her brother Kolia was murdered by the German Secret Service, she finds herself disarmed by the charms of her brother’s handler Lucas Romer and recruited as a British spy. What follows is a story of passion, espionage and murder that spans 30 years and mixes real events with fiction in true Boyd form.
“I don’t think Eva gets a chance to know who she is in many ways. At the start of the story she’s plucked from a very vulnerable situation of losing someone close to her and is offered the opportunity to have a different kind of life. It’s new, exciting and scary.”
Born out of tragedy Eva discovers she is really very good at being a spy and she enjoys it. “I think it’s a study on a woman’s physiological journey as well as an emotional journey and one that has quite a lot of thrilling aspects to it, especially in the adventures that she embarks upon, not only for her own survival but the survival of people around her.”
For Atwell, an excellent script is at the heart of any great story and she attributes much of what is exceptional about Restless to Boyd’s attention to detail.
“There is one scene where Eva has been given these sandwiches which are chopped liver and onion and it is these little quaint details that Will feeds into his book that makes it so real. The art department then went off and got hold of some sandwiches and wrapped them in wax paper with string. I don’t open them up or eat them in the scene, but in between takes I discover that they are actually chopped liver and onion; it’s these small details that make a difference. Every time you open up Eva’s handbag you find a perfect little cigarette holder, a silver lighter, some powder, blusher, a little nail file; all the period pieces. The audience won’t necessarily see these in a scene, but all those little details make an actor feel that you are stepping into a world that has been fully created and it all started with Will on the page; with him wanting to create a very vivid world for people.”
Source: BBC Media Release